Sometimes when in class, some students can be quite unpredictable in their behavior. This can be developmental, a coping mechanism, trauma related or even some form of an obsessive-compulsive response in order to gain some level of control in their confusing world. It is easy to judge some of this behavior as intentional, rebellious or defiant.
However sometimes we recognize that what we are perceiving may not be the entire story. Perhaps there is something underlying such as ADHD, or obsessive-compulsive tendencies that contributes to their behavior. Jerry Bubrick, who has a PhD in Clinical Psychology has recently published an article in the Child Mind Institute about how teachers can identify the symptoms and behaviors related to OCD.
Here is the introduction to the article:
For children who have obsessive-compulsive disorder, functioning in school can be complicated and very difficult. And for a teacher, it can be easy to misread the symptoms of OCD as oppositional behavior on the child’s part, or as ADHD.
But if teachers can recognize the behaviors associated with OCD, especially when a child is embarrassed and trying to hide his anxiety, they can help save him to receive treatment or make adjustments from unnecessary struggle, and clear the way for him to learn successfully.
Dr. Bubrick goes on to describe the behaviors associated with OCD. Here is the link to this very helpful article.
It can be perplexing and frustrating for teachers to be constantly dealing with these types of behaviors in their classroom. However, many of the strategies that are commonly used to gain control of these behaviors are not helpful. They do not consider that this could be the way a particular student copes, with a more serious issue that is permeating their perspective and life.
I believe that the strategies for brain regulation can also be a great help. Keeping students safe and empowered is so important in these moments. If you are interested in additional tools for helping students regulate in the classroom youcan go to Lakeside’s website and locate our Neurologic Initiative tools and video training. Via our Neurologic Initiative we have trained thousands of teachers and equipped them to deal with these challenging behaviors of dysregulated students. I am sure you will find these tools to be both insightful and helpful.