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(47,020 posts)
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 06:21 AM Apr 2024

Sometimes you have to put aside the BF Skinner behavioral modification

and use common sense.

I substitute teach in a public school. I'm honored that I'm placed in classes for special needs students. Levels fourth grade to eighth grade. I've known some of them since they were six years old.

Yesterday, one lad (12 years old) was really having a bad day. Refusing to work, shouting, cursing (yeah, the "f word" ), yelling for his classmates to "shut the f*ck up" when they weren't even talking, throwing things, hitting his aide. Not behaving like his usual self.

My first impression was maybe it was the stirrings of puberty with hormones in the driver's seat. I observed some more. I went to his aide and whispered, "He's acting this way b/c he's constipated." She looked me incredulously, thought about it, and figured, "Hey, we've tried everything else . . . . "

He was led to the classroom bathroom, stayed for about 10 minutes. When he emerged, all the anger was gone. Apparently he WAS constipated and his "stomach" really hurt badly, but he couldn't connect the problem with a solution.

My point: some things in education have nothing to do with psychology and theories. It's the child.

Research summary
In our clinical practice, parents consistently report a number of abnormal behavioural patterns like irritability, aggression, temper tantrums, disrupted sleep patterns, straining and withholding behaviour more frequently in children with constipation.

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(7,190 posts)
1. I hit "reply" out of reflex. I got nothin'. How does one follow or elaborate on, "constipation, the root of angst".
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 07:06 AM
Apr 2024

Hat's off to ya.


(17,859 posts)
3. A classmate of mine in the Psych Grad program had an N1 for his ED thesis
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 07:30 AM
Apr 2024

..where he whispered affirmations into the ear of a student who was doing particularly bad and charted the students improvement. Sometimes just a concerned whisper in the ear makes them feel empowered to succeed..or to share a tummy issue. Maybe you did just this by giving this student the private personal attention they needed to solve their problem.


(5,486 posts)
6. I'm also a SPED substitute and can attest
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 07:45 AM
Apr 2024

Thanks for sharing this. Stomach problems are common among kids on the autism spectrum. I really hadn't connected that to their meltdowns, but makes sense.

It is such a privilege to be able to work with these kids.

Yesterday, I did an impromptu experiment to demonstrate photosynthesis, placing a leaf in water and then watching for oxygen bubbles. All the kids had magnifying glasses and could see the bubbles. I got hugs from all of them for it. Was not expecting that. I love these kids.

When they have a good day, it makes up for the bad days.


(6,484 posts)
7. As the parent
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 08:12 AM
Apr 2024

of a kid on the spectrum... THANK YOU. We're looking to place our child in K come fall and are deciding between 2 schools. It's really all about the teachers... not the facilities, for us. We'll see how it goes. Transitions are ROUGH for these kids.


(5,486 posts)
17. The teachers that prefer SPED are really dedicated
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 09:06 AM
Apr 2024

Early grades SPED can be pretty rough. Aim for the school with the highest teacher:kid ratio. It's really all about the staffing.

Good luck!


(2,342 posts)
15. I have had a number of people I know who,
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 09:02 AM
Apr 2024

in their ending years that required pain medications, complain of just wanting to have a BM.
I have read of studies that show constipation as a contributor to headaches.
My golf swing is not as smooth if my morning routine did not go smoothly.
There is an oral opening in the body that exits in the south. It is a basic tunnel for the comings and goings of nutrients and then waste.
It is all about the flow.


(115,980 posts)
18. I had nearly spit out my coffee, your comment was so perfect. I think
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 09:08 AM
Apr 2024

many people do not realize that many meds impact elimination. Something so simple, and so overlooked.


(6,484 posts)
9. Sometimes it's just a scratchy shirt...
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 08:16 AM
Apr 2024

or the wrong breakfast food... or anxiety about participating... or really anything else. Being patient, attentive and observant when faced with a challenging child is not something everyone can do. THANK YOU.



(49,079 posts)
11. "A scratchy shirt"
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 08:47 AM
Apr 2024

That threw me back to childhood. Sometimes an uncomfortable piece of clothing can be torture for a child. The things that most of us can deal with must be even more difficult for a special needs child who cannot identify or explain the problem.


(10,065 posts)
20. That cross look on Mike Johnson's face is what I refer to as "that constipated look."
Wed Apr 10, 2024, 09:40 AM
Apr 2024

Tucker Carlson also.

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