If a student is having significant behavioral problems in school, then apart from any academic testing or psychological assessment you refer the student for, the three things you should investigate or inquire about are sleeping, homework, and organizational skills. The answers you get to your inquiries may help you understand why the student is having behavioral difficulties.


Many children with neurobehavioral conditions have a sleep disorder that their parents may not think to mention to you, and yet sleep disorders are commonly linked to academic and behavioral dysfunction. See the sleep disorder section of this web site for more information and where you'll find a simple sleep survey you can send home for the parent to complete, and a handout you can give the parents to help them establish a healthier sleep routine for their child.


Homework is often a battleground and may create tremendous stress for the family. As part of your plan for the school year, why not find out what's going on at home by asking the parents of all your students to complete a homework survey after the first six weeks of school? And if you haven't already surveyed them on homework, do be sure to inquire about homework if a student is having significant behavioral difficulties in school.


Is that student forgetting to bring in his homework?  Is he always losing his papers and belongings? Do you have the feeling, "He could do it if he just tried harder?" See the executive functions section of this site, because that student may have neurocognitive deficits that are responsible for the behavioral difficulties you're encountering.


All too often, we think we know the cause of a student's misbehavior. Before even thinking about any interventions for the behavior, be curious about it.








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