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When a child’s disability leads to behavioral problems in school

All children act out at one point or another. However, children who are coping with a disability may experience more behavioral issues in school because of the disability itself or as a reaction to their disability.

As a parent, it can be difficult to be informed of these struggles without being offered a resolution. It’s important to know that your child has a right to their education, despite the challenges their disability may present.

Setting behavior goals

All children have a federal right to receive an education that sets appropriate goals, given their capacity. One education goal that is central for all students is practicing good behavior. For most students, that means adhering to etiquette standards, such as standing in line and raising their hand to speak.

Students with intellectual disabilities, ADHD or autism may have difficulty recognizing and practicing some of these behavior standards. Other children with disabilities may act out to gain social acceptance from peers or out of frustration with their disability. It’s important that teachers recognize the behavioral issues a student is experiencing and respond by helping the child set and reach good behavior goals.

Responding to bad behavior appropriately

Teachers should set goals for good behavior or reward students for reaching them. However, school officials often struggle with knowing how to discipline bad behavior. It’s most common for them to fall back on standard types of punishment.

However, the penalties that other children receive may not be appropriate for a child with disabilities. Instead, the school’s staff should learn to recognize why the child is resorting to this behavior within the context of the child’s situation.

By discovering why the behavior is being triggered, teachers can help students work through the root of the issue.

Rights against suspension and expulsion

One of the “remedies” of bad behavior school officials often choose is suspension or expulsion from school. Many scholars believe that this disciplinary measure often does more harm than good for any student.

For students with a qualified disability, it’s usually the case that suspension or expulsion is a violation of their right to an appropriate education. If you find yourself in this situation, the law office of Meagan Nuñez can help you fight for your child’s right through a manifestation determination hearing.

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