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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why I Got Out of Bed this Morning

I think the Warden was fully aware of the fact that I was staying in bed purposefully.  I woke up at 5-ish and turned on the lamp, so I could look back over the notes from the stake president's fireside.  I blogged, I looked up Neal A. Maxwell's talk, and I started a personal journal entry about how I was feeling about things--trying to sort things out, so I could see more clearly to solve the problems at hand.

Because he knew I was working something through in my head, he threw an idea at me.

At his school, there is what's known in our district as a Behavior Learning Center.  He has some kids that need some extra help behaviorally.  He's learned some good tricks. 

He brought up the idea of a "carry card."  Basically, it's a card that has a graph on it.  The columns represent periods of time.  In this case, each column is an hour long.  The rows are goals--things this child's struggling with.

For this child, the three goals are "Saying 'yes' the first time" the child is asked to do something, asking permission before walking into the kitchen (this may seem like a strange goal, but it's amazing how many times contention has been caused by this child finding something "amazing" to eat only to find that I have prepared something even more amazing for everyone else), and using the child's body in a good way.

At the bottom of the page it says, "If ____ out of 39 are earned, this child gets _______."  The blanks are there, so we can change the goal of the day as needed.  For today, if the child gets 20 out or 39, the child gets 15 minutes on the computer.

Each hour, we pull the notebook out and assess how things have gone for the past hour.  We put a "+" in a box in which the child's done well and a "-" for a place that needs improvement.  So far, so good.  There was a little trouble with the "yes" thing and the "body" thing between 10 and noon.  Interesting...this is the time there is trouble everyday.  I figure if nothing else, maybe I'll be able to figure out the patterns.

I was warned that the Warden has yet to see a child who uses this kind of system who doesn't try to buck the system and do terribly at some point at the beginning.  Regardless, the point is to be consistent and things will eventually work out.

Bigger rewards can be given for longer periods of time or a certain number of "+"s.  I think we'll hold off on those as this is so new, and I don't want the child to be overwhelmed with long range goals quite yet.

So, am I happy to be out of bed?  I'm actually having a hard time with that.  This has been days of not knowing what's coming next from this child, so I'm not very trusting right now.  I think this one's going to take awhile.  Happiness is not coming easy.  To be honest, if allowed, I'd go hop myself back up into that bed in a heartbeat.

1 comment:

Alyson said...

Well let us know how it turns out. We all have children who go through phases like these, and having another tool in our arsenals would be handy!

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