Do you have a student that is your puzzle child this year? You know there is an issue with him or her, but you can't seem to put your finger on what that is. When we teach reading we teach our students to find just right books. Up until now, you haven't been able to find the just right label of what is happening with this student. He or she may have some characteristics of autism, ADHD, or other labels but these are not a perfect fit. Although we know a student is more than a label, we need the label so we'll know what strategies to use to help him or her reach his/her full potential.
A few years ago I had a student that was my puzzle kid. His previous teacher spoke to me before the year began about her observations. She knew there was an issue but wasn't quite sure what it was.
I soon saw what his previous teacher observed the year before. Anytime my students worked in small groups, there was friction with his group. It didn't matter how many students I put in his group or who was in his group, at some point I knew a student from his group would be reporting to me that there were problems.
My SLP stopped by to see me one day about another student during center time. One of the students from his group reported there were problems (again). My SLP began to watch the group. She thought the issue might be pragmatic language disorder. I spoke to the parents about having him tested for this and they agreed. He was tested, diagnosed, and received support that year. Within a few months of support the dynamics of my center time completely changed for the better. My SLP was my new best friend!
Do you have a student who:
-has difficulty getting along with other students
-does not read body language
-does not read social cues
-says inappropriate things for his/her age
-does not understand personal space
If so, read more about this topic: