We had a Bad Day yesterday. For James it actually started on Wednesday, the day I had to be at his IEP progress meeting. He'd been having a couple of rocky weeks with extreme testing and not doing classwork. All this week I made a special time to talk about his day and talk about what was appropriate behaviour and how his day went. I cut back on his iPad time and started having James practice writing his spelling words before school. Wednesday school day went better.
The Respite care lady, however, reported that James was naughtier than the dickens at home. For a while, he did well, eating an afternoon snack and then getting to play on his iPad. Then he got frustrated with a game and started to smack the iPad, which he *knows* to not do. So the iPad got taken away. He threw a yelling, crying fit that startled the Respite care lady, because James hasn't tended to do this, although he's been doing it more this year than before.
Then he went into the bathroom and smeared toothpaste ALL OVER EVERYTHING. Yeah, Time Out time. He was constantly testing both her and myself so that if he was not in his room on a Time Out, we were constantly having to stop what we were doing to discipline James. Things in his mouth, chewing on books ... all things he knows to not do and hasn't done in a long while.
What to do? Well, first off, I had him apologise to the Respite care lady. James was sorry, and he gave her a hug. Then I used his Activity board (with anything electronic removed) to chose a better activity. This helped, as well as giving him some spelling word writing exercises when he started to drift loose again. He went to bed early that night I tell you!
Come yesterday, James did some spelling, had a small amount of iPad time, and then went back to spelling. I both needed some time to fix breakfasts and lunches as well as wanted to give James some practice with starting, stopping, and transitioning activities before school. The morning drop off went well. When I came for the pickup, however, I could tell things had gone badly somewhere.
James was crying profusely and looking miserable. His aide had that patient, yet strained look. Evidently, all had gone really well, until the last part of the day, when his aide left for a few minutes to go to the office. His teacher gave James, as a reward for good behaviour, some computer time, as he'd finished all his work. The problem started when his teacher gave him a heads up about stopping, and then getting off. James threw a huge temper tantrum. Then he started hitting the computers. Then he kicked the teacher, and would not apologise. O.M.G.
First, I asked James, "Did this happen?" and he said "Yeeeeess!!!" while sobbing. Then I had him apologise to his teacher. I held his hands and told to beathe with me until he calmed down and stopped crying. We all discussed what happened and agreed no computer time for James at all for the rest of the week. No iPad time at home until I hear he had a good day (not perfect mind you, but making good effort, completing a reasonable amount of his work, and showing good behaviour).
At home, I told James that I loved him. I said I was disappointed to hear that he kicked his teacher and hit the computers; that these were not acceptable actions and therefore no iPad for the rest of the day or next morning. I helped him write a "sorry" letter to his teacher and we worked on his spelling words and his reader books. We had a much calmer day at home. This morning was good as well. My fingers are crossed.