Postive Behavior Supports
Persistent, challenging behavior is a way that some children communicate that something is not right or that their needs are not being met. The behavior serves a function for the child. Any time that a child uses a behavior that is successful in meeting a need, the behavior is likely to be repeated. Punishment often does not change a challenging behavior because it does not teach a child an appropriate replacement behavior or skill that will meet their need. Instead a child must be taught positive behaviors that serve the same function as the challenging behavior. Positive Behavior Support (PBS) focuses on the function that a challenging behavior serves for a child.
PBS is a process that provides teachers and families with a way to understand and address a child’s persistent challenging behavior. Support plans focus on proactive and educational approaches to change behavior. The positive strategies used to change behavior include teaching new skills, preventing the occurrence of challenging behavior, and supporting the child in achieving meaningful, long-term outcomes.
PBS always involves-
- Decisions based on data.
- Using functional behavioral assessment (FBA).
- Proactive and positive teaching of appropriate behaviors.
- Monitoring the impact of interventions.
PBS is the only approach to addressing behavior that is specifically mentioned in federal law. IDEA states, “almost 30 years of research and experience has demonstrated that the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by—(F) providing incentives for whole-school approaches, scientifically based early reading programs, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and early intervening services to reduce the need to label children as disabled in order to address the learning and behavioral needs of such children.”
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires a FBA whenever a child with a disability has his or her current placement changed for disciplinary reasons. Behavior intervention plans are not exclusive to discipline.
The evaluation requirements of IDEA make it clear that children must be evaluated in all areas related to the suspected disability. This means that if your child has problem behaviors that are not improving, your child may need an evaluation to examine the behaviors more closely.