I attended an IEP this week where the discussion focused mainly on the student’s off task behavior; there are a variety of reasons why a student will exhibit this behavior. The difficulty is identifying the exact reasons why or what triggered the off task behavior. I think we as parents and educators of children with special needs must keep in mind that in order to determine the cause of off task behavior, we must acknowledge all the areas of need first. Most children with special needs have multiple disabilities, so it’s imperative to look at each area as a possible trigger for off task behavior.
1. Is the task being performed a non-preferred task?
Most students have an easier time attending to classroom assignments when the subject is interesting and they enjoy doing it, but they still have to do the tasks they have no interest in. Teachers and parents can establish a reward system for when the student accomplishes a non-preferred task and reward them with a preferred task.
2. Is the task being performed to challenging?
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