HOW TO BUILD A CRIMINALPsychosocial Implications for PreventionGlendon Rayworth, Psy.D., C.Psych.TDSB Psychological ServicesCaring and Safe SchoolsE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO BUILD A CRIMINALStep 1. Find the most disadvantaged childrenin society (E.g. LD/poor/racialized).Step 2. Kick them when they’re down(E.g. Punish them when the LD causes failure)Step 3. Applaud them when they’re down(E.g. Let them fail and/or give them frontpage attention when they do)Step 4. Repeat as necessary.
A Pitch For Progress Do you believe in progress? Do you believe it’s possible to change individual patterns of behaviour? Do you believe it’s possible to change group patterns of behaviour? (e.g. war, crime, etc…)
Or… Do You Believe in‘The Doom of Determinism? ‘ In other words, “Some people are just ‘born to be bad.’”“Determinism is the philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs.” (www.thefreedictionary.com)
Determined by whatantecedents?Genes: Race Gender IQ EQ LDEnvironment: Poverty Parenting
Oh Yeah? Well take this:(Good news…) The Canadian crime rate has been falling steadily since 1973.* The crime rate in Canada dropped 5% in 2010. In Toronto, it dropped even more, by 6 %. Toronto homicide rates in the 1970s were double what they are today. In spite of ‘determinants’ (constant or increasing). Contrary to statistical prediction:(A) Toronto is “Blacker than ever and safer than ever”.(B) Canada is “more Aboriginal than ever and safer than ever”.*Statistics Canada
…Bad news Violent crime in Toronto is more racialized than ever, with 50 % of murder victims being Black males, despite constituting only 4% of the population. Self-fulfilling prophecies at their worst. (The expectation that Black men will fail causes them to fail.)
“The Better Angels of our Nature:Why Violence Has Declined”by Steven Pinker Our era is less violent, less cruel, and more peaceful than any previous period of human existence. In many countries, the chances of being murdered are 1/50th of what they would have been 500 years ago. Regions with “culture of honour” have higher rates of homicide. Norms matter.
Bring Back“Toronto the Good” When did good become a bad word? We are leading the new world in multicultural collaboration, social inclusion, artistic power, and peace. For that we should make no apologies. For that we have responsibility. Let’s honour that responsibility.
The Relationship BetweenCrime and Learning Disabilities Students with disabilities overrepresent the population of students receiving suspensions. Breech of Human Rights?? In order to address this concern, operational procedures have been developed under PR.697, requiring principals to consider mitigating and other factors before suspending a student.
“Mitigating Factors” Pursuant to O. Reg. 472/07…the following mitigating factors shall be taken into account:(a) The pupil does not have the ability to control his or her behaviour.(b) The pupil does not have the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behaviour.(c) The pupil’s continuing presence in the school does not create an unacceptable risk to the safety of any person.
“Other Factors” Pursuant to O. Reg. 472/07…the following other factors shall be taken into account:(a) The pupil’s history.(b) Whether a progressive discipline approach has been used.(c) Whether the activity…was related to harassment.(d) How the suspension…would affect the pupil’s ongoing education.(e) The age of the pupil.(f) When an Individual Education Plan has been developed: (i) …the behaviour was a manifestation of a disability. (ii)…individualized accommodation has been provided. (iii)…the suspension is likely to result in an aggravation of behaviour.
Learning Disabilities: Current Perspectives “Learning Disabilities” refers to a variety of disorders that affect the acquisition, retention, understanding, organisation or use of verbal and/or non-verbal information. These disorders result from impairments in one or more psychological processes related to learning, in combination with otherwise average abilities essential for thinking and reasoning. Learning disabilities are specific not global impairments and as such are distinct from intellectual disabilities.(Adapted from Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario http://www.ldao.ca/ 416-929-4311)
A Practical Definition ofLearning Disability (LD)“Academic underachievement in spite ofadequate intelligence.”LD Flags:-Academic failure-Intelligent (orally and/or hands-on)-Work avoidant-Dismissive of education “this is boring”, etc…-Tires/strains easily (has to work twice as hard to do half as much)-Forgetful-Disorganized-Truancy
Or…As LD Was FormerlyKnown:N.G.I.S.(Not good in school )
‘Specific’ Learning Disabilities(Most Commonly Diagnosed) Reading (e.g., decoding, comprehension) Written language (e.g., spelling, written expression) Mathematics (e.g., computation, problem solving)
‘General’ Learning Disabilities:Verbal Versus Nonverbal1. Nonverbal Learning Disability High Verbal Functioning Low Nonverbal Functioning2. Language Based Learning Disability High Nonverbal Functioning Low Verbal Functioning
Examples of Nonverbal LDBehavioural Manifestations A student with a Nonverbal LD may not be able to interpret the seemingly clear visual sign (see above). His perceived defiance and belligerence towards the staff member who sees the student violating the signage could be a manifestation of the LD. A student with a Nonverbal LD may not be able to decode a simple hand gesture intended to signal the above rule.
Case Scenario: Nonverbal LD Scenario: A student arrives late to class with disheveled school materials. When he is asked for a signed permission slip, the student is unable to find the form. The teacher gives the student 30 seconds to get himself organized “or else” he needs to deal with the VP. Feeling cognitively and emotionally overwhelmed, the student “loses it” and makes some inappropriate comments to and about the teacher. Explanation: The student suffers from a deficit in nonverbal perception which limits his capacity to organize himself in time and space. What looks like non-compliance is non-ability. It’s not that he won’t do it- he can’t do it. He’s still responsible for “losing it”, but less responsible.
Examples of Language-BasedLD Behavioural Manifestations A student may not be able to defend himself verbally towards peers or staff members. Acting out physically may be symptomatic behavior. A student may not understand seemingly basic instructions presented by staff members and appears to be “passive aggressive” in response to the teacher or VP who is demanding compliance. Note to staff – After reading the psychological report if you are still unclear regarding the implications of a learning profile consult your school psychologist.
Case Scenario:Language-Based LD Scenario: A student is seen ‘wandering’ the halls during class time. A teacher confronts the student. The student stares back blankly saying nothing. The teacher escalates the level of confrontation, insisting on an explanation. The student is trying to think of the name of the place where she was (e.g. Resource Room) but she can’t because of a problem with word finding. She rolls her eyes and kisses her teeth in frustration. The teacher raises his voice leading to an escalation of the conflict. Explanation: The student suffers from a deficit in oral expression. It’s not that she won’t answer- she can’t answer. She is still responsible for her conduct, but less responsible.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD)DSM-IV-TR CriteriaInattention Symptoms: Hyperactivity Symptoms:-Careless mistakes -Fidgety/squirmy behaviour-Can’t sustain attention -Failure to remain seated-Doesn’t listen -Inappropriate running/climbing-Failure to finish activities -Loud-Poor organizational skills -Incessant talking-Work avoidance -Constant movement (on the go)-Losing things-Distractibility Impulsivity Symptoms:-Forgetfulness -Blurting out answers -Difficulty waiting turn -Interrupting
Oppositional Defiant Disorder“A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behaviour.”(DSM-IV-TR)-Often loses temper-Argumentative-Active defiance/non-compliance-Deliberately annoys-Blaming behaviour/failure to accept responsibility-Touchy/easily annoyed-Angry/resentful-Spiteful/vindictive
Conduct DisorderA repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviour in which thebasic rights of others/rules are violated. (DSM-IV-TR).-Aggression to people and/or animals and/or-Destruction of property and/or-Deceitfulness or theft and/or-Serious violation of rules (e.g. running away overnight, chronic truancy)
‘Best of the Rest’ Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Reliving/Avoiding (Protecting) (e.g. weapon possession) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: repetitive question asking/apologizing; ritualistic, superstitious, germ-avoidant… Social Anxiety: Sensitivity to rejection, embarrassment, criticism, evaluation ‘overly cautious/avoidant’, ‘overreacts’. Panic Attack:“bolting” behaviour, “hysteria”. Psychosis: inappropriate emotion, internal stimuli (‘voices’). Paranoia: overly suspicious/defensive/edgy. Mania/Hypomania: ‘Too’ happy, confident, active, ideal. Autism: socially inappropriate/’inconsiderate’, poor boundaries, perseveration (inability to shift sets). Depression: hopelessness, loss of interest.
HOW TO BUILD A HUMANStep 1. Treat every child as if they were yourown.Step 2. Set limits when they fail, reward themwhen they succeed.Step 3. Accommodate their deficits, correcttheir defiance (i.e. recognize the differencebetween ‘can’t do and won’t do’)Step 4. Repeat as necessary.
Appendix A: AccommodatingLanguage Based LD Keep communications short and direct. Provide complex directives one step at a time. Make sure you have eye contact before speaking to student. Have student repeat back instructions: “What did I ask you to do?”. Avoid closed ended questions such as “Do you understand?”. Encourage active understanding of instructions by having student fill in the blanks of provided instructions. Teach student to count the number of task steps, tell you the number of steps, and repeat them as he/she touches his/her fingers, one step to a finger. When speaking to the student, face him/her, speak slowly, pause between phrases for processing time, and limit the sentence length and complexity. Apply visual stimuli that clearly illustrate the concept being taught. Examples include computer presentations, pictures, charts, graphs, semantic maps, and videotapes. Apply an Interactive Whiteboard. As indicated, involve the student in tactile-kinesthetic learning experiences which allow him/her to move while he/she learns. Apply a picture dictionary. Apply visual schedules Cue the student to answer questions in complete sentences.
Appendix B: AccommodatingNonverbal LD Encourage the student to verbally mediate (talk through) nonverbal processes. Provide the student with ample structure: – Examples, models. – Templates, outlines, webbing frameworks. – Fill in the blank cues. – Multiple choice formats. – Graph paper. Apply specific oral language guidance/cues. Apply checklists. Provide students with prompts which help them to focus their visual attention. Example prompts include: “Does that look right?”, “What goes here?”, “What is missing?”, “Does that look the same as that?”, and “How are they different?”, etc…. Stimulate spatial functioning by programming activities involving copying, tracing, and drawing. In teaching a task, use the following four-step strategy: (1) model the entire task as you provide a verbal description of what you are doing; (2) break down the task sequentially and, using concrete terms, describe the component parts; (3) guide the students through the task and help them to talk themselves through it; and (d) have them complete the task on their own as they talk themselves through it. In order to help with time management/daily organization, provide a watch based personal organizer, such as the Timex DataLink or WatchMinder. Apply a talking calculator. For further information pertaining to the accommodation of nonverbal deficits, the reader is referred to “Nonverbal Learning Disabilities and their Clinical Subtypes: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Management”, by Maggie Mamen (email@example.com).
Appendix C:Managing ADHD Behaviour -Don’t take inattentive/hyperactive behaviour personally. – Talking out of turn – Failure to stay seated – Failure to finish work – Failure to look/listen/show interest/show respect -Absorb their need to be active/engaged/stimulated. – Let them stand/move while working – Let them listen to headphones/music/self-soothing sounds – Give them a quiet place to work, away from distractions – Let them choose high interest subject matter
Appendix D:Managing ODD Behaviour Don’t take oppositional/disrespectful behaviour personally. – It’s not you. – It’s not your judgement. – It’s not your competence. – Conflict helps them to feel alive and in control. Take it as a compliment- they value your attention. Avoid power struggles. Don’t get bated into arguments. State your position matter of factly “Because that’s the way we do business.” Walk away/change subject. Give them choices. Ask versus tell. Apply collaborative problem solving “How can we solve this problem?” Don’t play into their self-sabotaging need for pride and power-avoid ultimatums and all or none ‘threats’. Avoid shaming them in front of their peers. Watch your tone and timing. Establish respect and build trust proactively. Provide alternative ways of fulfilling the intended function. (e.g. activism, art, etc….) Use language of thinking traps
Appendix E:Managing CD Behaviour -Apply ODD management strategies above. -Avoid playing into criminal justification attitudes: “Make my day.” “Nothing to lose.” “Authority can’t be trusted.” -Program a school experience which conveys a welcoming tone, hope, importance, achievability, etc… -Program an emotionally corrective attachment experience (e.g. helping children with disabilities, caring for abused animals, teaching ESL students how to read, etc...) -Use language of “thinking traps”. -Strike a balance between positive consequences for positive behaviour and negative consequences for negative behaviour.