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He’s Yelling

Oh, doesn’t everyone love getting emails from their child’s specialized academic instructor (SAI)? Some of them are good. Some of them aren’t so good. Some are half and half. But I always, always flinch when I see them come in.

I got an email from Little Man’s SAI yesterday. There was some good stuff first. I think she likes to soften the blow. She’s nice that way. But then the hammer comes down (with her, it’s a stuffed hammer, she’s just so darned nice, but a hammer nonetheless). Yesterday’s hammer was her letting me know he’s been yelling at other students at school. Typically, he yells when he’s frustrated, when someone won’t be quiet or leave him alone, or when someone is being annoying. Let’s just say, he yells a lot. I sighed heavily, as I’m doing now. I didn’t respond yesterday.

I made myself get back to her this morning. I cc’d his teacher. His yelling is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s good. In his world, it means he’s comfortable in his environment. He wouldn’t be letting ALL his true colors show if he were still feeling uncomfortable with the newness of the school and the people.  So the yelling is actually a good sign that he’s settled in. It also tells me he’s advocating for himself, granted letting someone know they’re annoying you could and should be handled in a much better manner than yelling at them. But still, he’s letting his emotions be known.  So, yay Little Man!

Booo, hissss that he’s yelling. We’re working on it. He yells a lot at home. We know it isn’t a good way to make friends or keep friends.  Not many people are going to want to hang out with someone who yells all the time. You aren’t going to win many popularity contests if you yell constantly. And, as I said, there are much better, more acceptable ways of getting your point across.  We stop him when he’s yelling at home, remind him how his tone is being interpreted by the other person in the conversation, ask him to lower it, remind him to use his calm words to get what he wants or needs. Trust me, this goes on a lot.

I hope they (at school) don’t believe we just shake our heads at him when the yelling starts. It’s a battle we’ve been waging for a few years. I will never excuse it, but I do understand it. We just need to funnel all that self-advocating down a more acceptable path.

9 thoughts on “He’s Yelling

  1. I hear you. John and I have a game where he throws pretend snowballs at me and I throw pretend banana cream pies at him. We take turns pretending to get hit. At John’s latest IEP, the aide and the teacher were being stern about John acting goofy and throwing snowballs at them. I said, “John only does this with people he really likes. He’s showing affection and friendship.” “Oh,” they said. So I had to tell my boy that we can only play the snowball/pie game at home. This makes me sad in a way, but appropriate behavior in the appropriate context is a necessary lesson.

  2. I feel like I can completely relate to this. My is not very functionally verbal. We get a lot of grief from our son’s educational team about his scripting, however. I feel like I have to remind them that before the scripting he didn’t speak, at all. Before we found electronics as a way to get his attention, my son would run in circles all day, only taking breaks to eat. Of course, we are working on limiting the videos and input that he is scripting, but I am very hesistant to yank it from under him, because it has been such a useful tool in getting him to enter our world. My son also tends to scream, especially when elevated. I can relate to applauding my son attempting to self-advocate. It is a form of communication that should be heard and respected. Yes, we are consistently working to channel this desire to communicate into a more “social acceptable” form. But, until we are successful at this, I feel like the team that is around my son should treat his yelling as a form of communication, and not just an adverse behavior. Communication, in any form, is better than the alternative…. no communication at all. Good luck. 🙂

  3. I can most definitely relate to the yelling. He usually yells at me and his sister and not other people. I’m trying my best to remind him that he won’t get his way by doing that. I do wonder if he does it at school. I’m sending prayers for you. It sounds like you are already doing your due diligence at home.

  4. Working as an Instructional Aid in public schools I see so much behavior like this. It’s a daily struggle for educators too, dealing with behavior that is happening for positive reasons but also is distracting to other students. A lot of our teachers work on the behavior with the child but also explain it to other students. Like, hey, yeah our friend likes to yell and he’s working on doing it less, but we can also find ways to deal with it and not be distracted. The classroom rules that we all abide by can be shifted for progress and inclusion. Besides the world is not a place where everyone sits quietly all the time, better to prepare everyone to understand and live with different kinds of behavior in the world. I wish you the best of luck with everything!

  5. When we used to pick up our son when he was in grade 5 we would always get what my husband would call, “The Badness Report”. It was never positive and it was tough to take. I know it i challenging for professionals and I appreciate them wanting to partner for a solution but let’s be realistic – this is what you are paid for? I am not paid for this and this will not be your problem 10 years from now but it will sure be mine. I like to hear their suggestions, comments, etc. but I am sorry we are not equal partners. We have different jobs. I have little patience for untrained, whiny, professionals – do your job! I have a little bit of angst about can you tell? I have just worked with a lot of teachers, aids, etc. and from what I have learned the good ones say it this way. I have noticed this – we try this – it is not helping so I wanted to check in if there were other strategies to try or if we should keep on the same path. They are positive and they love your child you can tell. The rest of them I have no time for……

    • We’ve been completely blessed and lucky in everyone who has had a hand in his education. They do usually temper the bad with the good. But you’re so right – they won’t have to deal with this child in a few years. We have them forever.

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