If you have a child whose behavior is sometimes difficult, you've likely come to that point in many a school year when you think: Aren't these school people trained to handle behavior? Shouldn't special educators be able to do behavior analysis? You send the detailed notes about what works and what doesn't and why your kid does what he or she does, but you know it would be more meaningful coming from other professionals than from the mom-who's-making-excuses. Before that cycle pops up again this year, read The Behavior Code, a book for teachers about handling kids with challenging behaviors, particularly anxiety, oppositional, withdrawn, and sexualized. The kind of thing the school is going to tell you they're not prepared to handle. Yet the authors -- a behavior analyst and a psychiatrist -- have plenty of suggestions for how schools can do just that. Fill it full of highlighting and sticky bookmarks and pass it on to the teacher at your first classroom meeting.
Image and text by Terri Mauro