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Don’t Expel that Child!

by Linda Crisalli
September/October 2006
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/dont-expel-that-child!/5017187/

Most directors of early learning programs have had to deal with children whose challenging behaviors are sources of frustration for teachers, other children, and parents of other children. Too often the assumption is made that a child who is aggressive, disruptive, and/or destructive must by definition have some combination of “an anger problem,” poor parenting, undiagnosed ADHD, or the inability to cope in a large group environment. Unfortunately, once these assumptions find voice, the decision to expel the child from the program is often not much of a leap.

While there is no doubt that anger problems, poor parenting, ADHD, etc., do exist, many " if not most " of these children are being unnecessarily (or at the very least prematurely) disenrolled from programs that could have done a better job of supporting their needs. Sadly, many of these children have been expelled from early childhood programs several times by the time they enter kindergarten, and by then the problem has taken on a life of its own, the impact of which can be devastating for that child and her family.

In taking the time to objectively observe children’s behaviors without making assumptions or projecting preconceived notions of the ...

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