Shortly after Trenton* began his second year in an English Head Start program, he formed a nice relationship with his teacher, Lila Weber, as well as the site director, Nikki Mathern. Unfortunately, Trenton's educational experience began to deteriorate quickly as he began demonstrating aggressive behaviors (hitting, biting, throwing of toys), as well as "zoning off" behaviors.
A Request for Assistance (RFA) was filled out. Then Jessica Niles, early childhood special education behavior strategist at Northwest Area Education Agency (AEA), observed and problem-solved with Head Start staff, as well as consulted with the Head Start nurse and the Spanish-speaking Family Service Worker who began the process of referral for neurological testing. Despite the length of time for all of the medical testing, the team proceeded with suspecting a disability and moved into the evaluation stage while medical testing was underway.
A Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA) and Individual Education Plan (IEP) were written to address Trenton's aggressive behaviors and progress towards his behavioral goals was being made, albeit slowly. Late in the spring, the team learned that Trenton had been experiencing seizure activity. He quickly started on an anti-seizure medicine and everyone started to see clear progress.
According to Trenton's teacher, Lila Weber, Trenton began interacting during work and play times without direct teacher intervention. There were no more biting or hitting incidents during story time, and he was able to sit by himself without a teacher next to him for safety purposes.
"Today, he sat by the library shelf and removed every book placing them on top of each other, but he stayed the whole time," recalled Mrs. Weber. "His Gold scores have improved, and I'm very proud of his hard work."
Although it took the majority of a year, Trenton appears to be blossoming…with the help of a plan and some very dedicated professionals on his side!
*Not his real name.