IF YOUR CHILD'S BEHAVIOR IS A CONCERN
Parents and Teachers Working Together to Improve Student Behavior
An analysis of a child's
behaviors and the learning environment followed by the use of appropriate
interventions can reduce challenging behaviors and increase more acceptable
We must see behavior as a child's way of communicating his needs and a red flag that changes in instructional expectations or the learning environment may in order. A positive home/school team approach is essential in dealing with discipline problems. It is important that parents and educators work together to identify and address academic deficits and/or develop a positive behavior intervention plan when students display behavior problems.
Steps to Take in Developing a Positive Behavior Intervention Plan:
Collaborate with Your Child's Teacher to:
STEP . Identify your child's academic deficits (eg., reading problems) and challenging behavior (in observable, measurable terms) that need to be addressed.
STEP . Collect data on the behavior through a "functional behavior assessment" to determine the antecedent (what happens before the behavior) and consequences (what happens after the behavior - what the student gains or avoids). Identify educational skill deficits related to behavior (academic skill deficits such as reading, communication and/or social skill deficits, sensory processing skill deficits). This may include a "Functional Assessment Checklist for Teachers and Staff (FACTS)", an efficient strategy for initial functional behavioral assessment, to be completed by people who know the student best (teachers, family, clinicians). Also, see Functional Assessment Interview Forms (parent and student).
STEP . Develop a hypothesis (best guess) about the reason for the behavior (task is too difficult, to avoid taunting by peers for skill deficit, seeking approval of peers, etc.).
STEP . Determine interventions to help change the behavior.
Prepare a written Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP) with your child's
school team. The plan should be provided to all staff who work with your child
and should include:
a.) assessment summary (present levels, including educational skill deficit(s),
b.) Annual goals and short term objectives,
c.) Antecedent (prevention) strategies,
d.) Replacement behavior (acceptable behavior to address the reason for or "function" of the behavior of concern),
e.) Consequence strategies (reinforcement of replacement behavior or withholding reinforcement/punishment for behavior of concern),
f.) Data collection for progress monitoring,
g.) Long term antecedent (prevention) strategies (e.g., remediation of academic deficit(s) related to the behavior of concern.
A brief staff meeting to explain the plan to all of your child's teachers (not just the IEP team) is important to insure that everyone is "on the same page."
The following web sites may be helpful: