spitting, mouthing and all things saliva
Hi everyone, I am a first year, fresh out of college preschool special ed teacher. I have 5 kids one of whom is a low functioning autistic student. I am having a very difficult time working with this child. She spits constantly, mouths and eats everything given to her and will play with her saliva when not engaged. At first I thought the spitting was attention motivated which often it is, but she also spits when I am working one on one with her. When someone comes into the room when either my aide or I am working with her and they say hi to this student, she will spit at them. I have made no spitting signs, rewarded with food items when she is not spitting (which is rare). When allowed free play on the playground, she will spit on the equipment and play with her spit or try to eat the woodchips, rocks, etc. She has to be constantly monitored and between 2 adults and 5 kids, my other students are being neglected and some are picking up her bad behaviors. If I leave this child in her chair for even a second, she will pull off her diaper and start eating and spitting it out.
I am not getting support from my special ed lead teacher and the other special ed teachers in the building have no other ideas either. I am really desperate. I know the first year is always hard but I didn't think it would be this difficult. I have been sick for the past 2 months and am absolutely drained. I am willing to try anything to help this student but have run out of strategies to use. Help!!
I would try a social story about when it is appropriate to spit. Maybe start with bored and move into how spitting makes others feel and we use it to brush our teeth....I use many different social stories with my students. Then pull it out as often as needed.
For putting things in her mouth, this is usually simulating. Keep some toys (maybe ones from home) that she is allowed to put in her mouth. When she mouths other things, take them away and replace them with the appropriate toys. If out at the playground, move her to a bench with her toys. Its hard, but she needs someone to keep an eye on her.
At her next IEP meeting, you need to fight for a 1-1 aide. She obviously needs it. Try bringing this up with your lead and principal. Have reasons, data, support. Keep a tab on how often you are with her, how often the aide is with her, how often she takes off her diaper to eat it, etc. This data will make your case stronger. But this is a student who needs the aide, so you will need to fight or get the parents to fight.
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