9. Positive Behaviour Support Challenging Behaviour

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Dealing with Challenging Behaviour:

Positive Behaviour Support Dealing with Challenging Behaviour

From the person’s perspective…..:

Functional: It does something for them Effective: It works for them Learnt: It is a consequence of previous experiences. Only means for successfully influencing their environment.** Communicative: Only means of communicating their need. From the person’s perspective…..

Positive Behaviour Support:

Positive Behaviour Support An individualized approach to developing effective interventions for people with severe challenging behaviour Developed from behaviour modification (Skinner) Interventions are based on understanding the purposes of the challenging behavior Use of positive strategies to support the person in achieving meaningful long term outcomes

Positive Behaviour Support:

Positive Behaviour Support The goal in PBS is not to eliminate behaviour. Rather, it is to understand the behaviour's purpose so that the person can replace it with new, prosocial behaviours that achieve the same purpose (Carr et al, 1994; Horner et al., 1992). PBS uses multiple approaches to reduce challenging behaviours: changing interactions, altering environments, teaching skills and coping abilities.

How does it work?:

Step 1: a team of individuals who are concerned and knowledgeable about the person Step 2: gather information about the person’s behaviour ( functional assessment ) Step 3: Develop a behaviour support plan Step 4: Implement and evaluate the success of the plan How does it work?

Functional Assessment:

Used to understand the purpose or function of a specific problem behaviour. Team members observe the person and write down what happens before, during and after the person’s challenging behaviour. Interview teachers or carers and family members about the nature of the behaviour, what the person might gain through the behaviour, what predicts the behaviour, etc. Functional Assessment

What is Included in the Behaviour Support Plan?:

Procedures for teaching new REPLACEMENT skills. Strategies for RESPONDING so that new skills are maintained and acknowledged. Strategies for modifying the curriculum, environment, activity, or interactions to PREVENT the occurrence of the behaviour. What is Included in the Behaviour Support Plan?


Prevention strategies reduce the likelihood that the person will need or want to use the challenging behaviour. How can the environment be changed to reduce the likelihood that the behaviour will occur? What procedures can I select that fit in with the natural routines and structure of the home, classroom or family? How can I build on what works? What can be done to help the child deal with or avoid behaviour triggers? Preventing


Teach alternatives to challenging behaviour - find a behaviour that serves the same function as the challenging behaviour but helps the person achieve THEIR objective in a more socially acceptable manner than the challenging behaviour Replacement skills must be efficient and effective (work quickly for the person) Consider skills the person already has Make sure the reward for appropriate behaviour is consistent Replacing


What will be done when the challenging behaviour occurs to ensure that the challenging behaviour is not reinforced and the new skill is learned. A good basic strategy is to redirect the person to use an alternative skill or a new skill. Make sure rewards for appropriate behaviour equal or exceed the rewards for challenging behaviour. Responding

Examples of responding:

Redirect the person to use replacement skill. Praise/reinforce when replacement skill is used. State exactly what is expected. Examples of responding

Case Study:

Heather is 5 years old with moderate cognitive impairment (learning disability) and autism. The teacher notices that during break time Heather is socially withdrawn and spends most of her time spinning the wheels on a toy truck or jiggling items in her hand (pop bead chain, doll by hair, etc.). A functional assessment has shown that she does this for sensory stimulation. What would be a possible replacement behaviour for Heather that addresses her sensory needs but also helps her to engage with other children? Case Study

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