One of the things we do at Small Talk, is to see children who are having behaviour issues at school or at home and people are seeking the answer as to why they behave as they do.
It's so sad how so many children are being misunderstood. Time and time again, we see this scenario:
The child who doesn't understand social clues and cues, may not be good at reading facial expressions, doesn't understand abstract language such as sarcasm, or people's intentions. They probably don't always remember that they need to modify their language according to the listener i.e. you don't talk to the teacher like you would your mum. They develop a strong sense of right and wrong to help them cope. They may be aware of their difficulties and be anxious.
Then, at lunchtime, someone knocks into them, they refuse to say sorry as it was 'an accident', they may try to explain that or just run off laughing. The child knows that you must tell if someone does something wrong but is sent away by the dinner lady or teacher on duty as 'he didn't mean it'. This upsets the child who gets more frustrated and wants to get his point across. He ends up shouting at the member of staff and is then sent to the headteacher. He is really fed up, frustrated and down right angry, so shouts at the headteacher too....... result: excluded for the next 2 days!
These children may be on the autistic spectrum but they might not. Social understanding is hard for many children.
The solution is simple:
1. A Social thinking programme with behaviour mapping for the child (Garcia Winner)
2. Training for staff
Why is that so hard to understand?