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Lost at School
Cover of Lost at School
Lost at School
Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
From a distinguished clinician, pioneer in working with behaviorally challenging kids, and author of the acclaimed The Explosive Child comes a groundbreaking approach for understanding and helping...
From a distinguished clinician, pioneer in working with behaviorally challenging kids, and author of the acclaimed The Explosive Child comes a groundbreaking approach for understanding and helping...
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  • From a distinguished clinician, pioneer in working with behaviorally challenging kids, and author of the acclaimed The Explosive Child comes a groundbreaking approach for understanding and helping these kids and transforming school discipline.

    Frequent visits to the principal's office. Detentions. Suspensions. Expulsions. These are the established tools of school discipline for kids who don't abide by school rules, have a hard time getting along with other kids, don't seem to respect authority, don't seem interested in learning, and are disrupting the learning of their classmates. But there's a big problem with these strategies: They are ineffective for most of the students to whom they are applied.

    It's time for a change in course.

    Here, Dr. Ross W. Greene presents an enlightened, clear-cut, and practical alternative. Relying on research from the neurosciences, Dr. Greene offers a new conceptual framework for understanding the difficulties of kids with behavioral challenges and explains why traditional discipline isn't effective at addressing these difficulties. Emphasizing the revolutionarily simple and positive notion that kids do well if they can, he persuasively argues that kids with behavioral challenges are not attention-seeking, manipulative, limit-testing, coercive, or unmotivated, but that they lack the skills to behave adaptively. And when adults recognize the true factors underlying difficult behavior and teach kids the skills in increments they can handle, the results are astounding: The kids overcome their obstacles; the frustration of teachers, parents, and classmates diminishes; and the well-being and learning of all students are enhanced.

    In Lost at School, Dr. Greene describes how his road-tested, evidence-based approach — called Collaborative Problem Solving — can help challenging kids at school.

    His lively, compelling narrative includes:

    • tools to identify the triggers and lagging skills underlying challenging behavior.

    • explicit guidance on how to radically improve interactions with challenging kids — along with many examples showing how it's done.

    • dialogues, Q & A's, and the story, which runs through the book, of one child and his teachers, parents, and school.

    • practical guidance for successful planning and collaboration among teachers, parents, administrations, and kids.

    Backed by years of experience and research, and written with a powerful sense of hope and achievable change, Lost at School gives teachers and parents the realistic strategies and information to impact the classroom experience of every challenging kid.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Introduction

    The wasted human potential is tragic. In so many schools, kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges are still poorly understood and treated in a way that is completely at odds with what is now known about how they came to be challenging in the first place. The frustration and desperation felt by teachers and parents is palpable. Many teachers continue to experience enormous stress related to classroom behavior problems and from dealing with parents, and do not receive the support they need to help their challenging students. Half of teachers leave the profession within their first four years, and kids with behavioral challenges and their parents are cited as one of the major reasons. Parents know there's trouble at school, know they're being blamed, feel their kids are being misunderstood and mistreated, but feel powerless to make things better and are discouraged and put off by their interactions with school personnel.

    School discipline is broken. Not surprisingly, tightening the vise grip hasn't worked. A task force of the American Psychological Association has recently concluded that zero-tolerance policies, which were intended to reduce violence and behavior problems in our schools, have instead achieved the opposite effect. A review of ten years of research found that these policies have not only failed to make schools safe or more effective in handling student behavior, but have actually increased behavior problems and dropout rates. Yet public elementary and secondary schools in the United States continue to dole out a whopping 110,000 expulsions and 3 million suspensions each year, along with countless tens of millions of detentions.

    Behind the statistics, behind each expulsion, suspension, and detention, are human beings -- kids, teachers, parents -- doing the best they can with the tools they have. Dramatic changes are needed to help them. And my experience suggests that these changes won't be as painful and difficult as many fear. We cannot keep doing things the way we always have and continue losing kids on a scale that is truly astounding. This book is about doing things a different way.

    I interact with hundreds of challenging kids every year. These kids would like nothing better than to be able to handle the social, emotional, and behavioral challenges being placed on them at school and in life, but they can't seem to pull it off. Many have been getting into trouble for so long that they've lost faith that any adult will ever know how to help them.

    I work with hundreds of teachers every year, too. The vast majority care deeply about kids and devote massive amounts of time and energy to the kids they teach. But most readily acknowledge that understanding and helping challenging kids wasn't a major part of their education, and that they could use some serious help with some of these students and their parents. And most are so caught up in the daily demands of teaching and all the new initiatives imposed on them that they simply don't have time to reflect on how to better help the challenging kids in their classrooms.

    I also work with hundreds of parents of challenging kids every year. Most are eager to work with school personnel in addressing their kids' challenges in an effective and compassionate way, but they aren't exactly sure how to make it happen.

    Ten years ago I published a book called The Explosive Child that was primarily geared toward parents. Since then, the model I described in The Explosive Child -- called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) -- has been implemented not only in thousands of households but also in dozens of inpatient psychiatric units,...

About the Author-

  • Dr. Ross W. Greene is the author of Raising Human Beings, Lost and Found, Lost at School, and The Explosive Child. Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over twenty years, and is now founding director of the nonprofit organization Lives in the Balance (LivesintheBalance.org), through which he disseminates the model of care—now called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions—described in his books. Dr. Greene's research has been funded by the US Department of Education, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Stanley Medical Research Institute, and the Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. He speaks widely throughout the world.

Table of Contents-

  • Introduction

    1. School of Hard Knocks

    2. Kids Do Well If They Can

    3. Lesson Plans

    4. Let's Get It Started

    5. Bumps in the Road

    6. Filling in the Gaps

    7. Meeting of the Minds

    8. School of Thought

    9. Lives in the Balance

    Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (ALSUP)

    Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) Plan

    Sources

    Books Cited and Other Recommended Reading

    Acknowledgments

    Index

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 20, 2008
    Psychiatrist and Harvard professor Greene follows up The Explosive Child with an in-depth approach to aid parents and teachers to work together with behaviorally challenging students. Greene's philosophy is driven by the recognition that "kids who haven't responded to natural consequences don't need more consequences, they need adults who are knowledgeable about how challenging kids come to be challenging." Greene's "Plan B" system, which is fully and clearly explained in the course of the book, emphasizes identifying challenging behaviors-acting out, hitting, swearing, poor performance in class-and then working with students to find actual, practical ways to avoid them. Helpfully, Greene uses a fictional school for examples, devoting several pages to illustrative anecdotes in each chapter, greatly increasing the material's accessibility. Greene's technique is not fail-proof, principally because it requires the good will and hard work of all participants; a section on implementing Plan B in the face of real disagreement or apathy would have been helpful. However, Plan B has all the qualities of accessibility, logic and compassion to make it a solid strategy for parents and educators.

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Lost at School
Lost at School
Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
Ross W. Greene
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Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
Ross W. Greene
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