When Hayden came to us, he displayed severely self-injurious behaviors, (hitting his head with his fists, banging his head against any hard surface near him, making statements such as, “I want to die”). He was also aggressive toward staff when he was asked to complete a task (hitting, kicking, scratching, etc.), and would shut down and withdraw for hours on end. In fact, on his first day with us, he refused to come out of the break area and hid under a blanket. This behavior went on for many weeks.
Over time, I and the classroom staff were able to slowly build rapport with him and gain his trust (he was a foster child and had been placed at many different school sites before). His self-injurious behavior and aggression decreased significantly. Although, when he was presented with a difficult task (e.g., reading), he would still put his head down on his desk and not respond or move for a long time. Eventually, this behavior also began to decrease, and he was able to ask for help more often. He became very talkative with staff members, and always wanted to help around the classroom.
By the end of the school year (he was with us for almost one full year), he was able to transition to a district mild-moderate functional skills classroom. He has been in that classroom for about 7 months, and it has been reported that he will be transferring to a less restrictive special day classroom in the district that is more focused on academics at this time because he has done so well. It has also been reported that the district anticipates that he will soon be able to transition to a general education classroom (with necessary supports) in plenty of time before middle school.