Tait is an intelligent young boy in elementary school. Multiple challenges are making it difficult for Tait to succeed in all aspects of development. The major problems facing Tait include autism spectrum disorder which he has battled since he was two years old. This makes it difficult for Tait to communicate, socialize and behave normally with his peers (Lord et al., 2018). Besides ASD, Tait also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, making him highly sensitive to pain. This makes it hectic for Tait to freely congregate with his peers. Although these challenges present him with various behavioral and communication challenges, Tait is ultimately intelligent, curious, and willing to learn. He manifests outstanding social prowess and is visually astute. The boy can communicate using various languages, and facilitates his learning in elementary school. His elementary learning is supported by different support teams that improve his communication abilities and develop his behavioral standards. Tait is determined to integrate his communication with argumentative and alternative modes to make his speeches suffice. He has responsive and active home-based communication partners, and, certainly, Tait will improve his communication and advance his behavioral standards through the help of his peers and his communication partners. He is attentive, he engages in reciprocal interaction, and he effectively uses multiple modes of communication to interact with his peers.
Behaviors to Address
As highlighted in the profile above, the main challenges faced by Tait include impulsivity and communication difficulties. That implies Tait is easily destabilized by involuntary urges and emotions. Such challenges trigger particular behaviors. That is, whenever Tait is challenged by the situations listed above, he reacts in particular ways. Often, Tait reacts by destroying property, aggression, or tantrums (Farmer et al., 2015). In that respect, the three major behavioral challenges that need to be urgently addressed include tantrums, property destruction, and aggression.
Tantrums refer to situations in which young children uncontrollably burst out into frustration, anger, annoyance, or cruelty in response to specific scenarios. In Tait’s case, a tantrum is identified as one of the most frequent behavioral challenges posed by his inability to behave and communicate as expected. For instance, when Tait gets emotional, he gets frustrated and angry at everything and everyone. Unfortunately, he is unable to control his anger, cruelty, and frustration. Hence, he often bursts out angrily at every voidable phenomenon. In that regard, tantrums significantly affect Tait’s success in fighting both autism spectrum disorders and rheumatoid arthritis (Lord et al., 2018). Addressing this behavioral challenge is likely to influence Tait’s recovery in positive ways.
Apart from tantrums, Tait also manifests high levels of aggression resulting from his major challenges, including impulsivity and communication difficulties. Once he tries to communicate but is unable to convey his message properly, Tait might not only manifest tantrums but will also be overwhelmed with aggression (Farmer et al., 2015). In response to his flaming emotions, he attacks others violently. When he is not satisfied or convinced about something, he might equally turn violent and attack innocent peers and communication partners. That is very likely to drive his peers away from him and break the bonds between him and his communication support teams (Matson et al., 2005). As a result, his recovery period might be prolonged, and he might not be able to incorporate argumentative and alternative modes of communication in his communication skills. Addressing this behavior will strengthen his relationship with his peers and communication partners, both in school and at home.
This is the most adverse behavior manifested by Tait. One behavior leads to another and eventually becomes so violent that he destroys property. That is, tantrums result in aggression and unnecessary attacks on his peers. Consequently, aggression may result in the destruction of property; especially his aggressiveness is ignored (Matson et al., 2005). When everyone is calm, and Tait has nobody to attack, he is likely to express his aggression on property. As a result, he can destroy a lot of property.
Strategies for Decreasing the Behaviors
Destructing the child
The most reliable means of dealing with Tait’s tantrum challenges is destructing him from the causative agents. It is great that the causes of a tantrum for Tait are known. They include impulsivity and communication difficulties. Tantrum results when he is emotional or unable to communicate effectively. Therefore, to avoid or limit cases of tantrums, Tait can be kept away from things that might trigger his emotions or disturb his comfort. Equally, he should be kept away from situations that bring him to the realization that he is unable to communicate effectively. In that manner, the behavior is adequately addressed and hence reduced.
Carefully Responding to the Child’s Request
Another effective means of dealing with tantrum problems is by carefully considering Tait’s requests whenever he wants something. It is known that tantrum is often caused by dissatisfaction. Moreover, it is known that Tait suffers impulsivity challenges. That is, the boy is easily disturbed by petty elements of inconvenience (Matson et al., 2015). Therefore, it is highly probable that he might burst out into frustration and anger when his needs are not satisfactorily addressed. Astonishingly. Tait’s greatest challenge is verbal communication. He is unable to convey a message through verbal means of communication. Consequently, he is likely to get emotional if his message is not properly perceived. In that respect, it would be highly proficient to give adequate attention to the child whenever he shares his needs. That would ensure every request he makes is carefully listened to and given a positive reaction.
An adequate means of addressing aggression is by staying calm. Tait’s peers and partners should be nicely encouraged to ignore him whenever he gets aggressive. Tait will have nobody to attack when everyone is calm despite his aggression (Matson et al., 2015). That might successfully suppress the behavior and make it completely fade away. He finds no reason to behave aggressively towards his innocent peers. Interestingly, discouraging this behavior consequently discourages impulsivity and encourages adequate communication.
Property destruction can be decreased or removed from the child using negative reinforcement. A particular reinforcement to the behavior can be identified and consistently administered whenever he behaves aggressively (MacPherson et al., 2019). For instance, if he is always isolated for destroying something, he might learn that the behavior only causes him isolation and loneliness. Eventually, Tait is likely to stop the behavior.
Data Collection Procedures for Monitoring Progress
This is a highly recommendable mode of data collection. In Tait’s case, observation is adequate for keeping the progress of the child’s behaviors. He can be observed frequently to identify whether the behavioral challenges addressed above are still persistent (Guan & Stanford, 2016). Those are aggression, property destruction, and tantrums. If the behaviors are simultaneously fading away, Tait’s is considerably having positive progress.
Interaction is sometimes referred to as participant observation. It involves interacting with the child to observe how he reacts to impulsivity, poor communication, and emotional challenges (Guan & Stanford, 2016). For instance, if Tait behaves aggressively and his aggression is ignored, the behavior is expected to disappear. However, if he continues to behave aggressively despite being ignored, then the behavior has not been adequately resolved.
MacPherson, L., Reynolds, E. K., Daughters, S. B., Wang, F., Cassidy, J., Mayes, L. C., & Lejuez, C. W. (2019). Positive and negative reinforcement underlying risk behavior in early adolescents. Prevention Science, 11(3), 331-342.
Farmer, C., Butter, E., Mazurek, M. O., Cowan, C., Lainhart, J., Cook, E. H., & Aman, M. (2015). Aggression in children with autism spectrum disorders and a clinic-referred comparison group. Autism, 19(3), 281-291.
Matson, J. L., Dixon, D. R., & Matson, M. L. (2015). Assessing and treating aggression in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities: a 20‐year overview. Educational Psychology, 25(2-3), 151-181.
Guan, S., & Stanford, D. (2016). Learner and faculty support. New Directions for Higher Education, 2016(173), 65-74.
Lord, C., Elsabbagh, M., Baird, G., & Veenstra-Vanderweele, J. (2018). Autism spectrum disorder. The Lancet, 392(10146), 508-520.