Positive Behavior Supports, Functional Assessment & Analysis Office of Special Education and Supports 2010-2011
The Importance of Identifying and Addressing Challenging Behavior • Even if the behavior is identified as challenging, for the student the behavior is in fact functional and effective; it produces an outcome that is desirable for the student (Carr, Langdron, & Yarbrough, 1999;Foster-Johnson & Dunlap, 1993).
Defining Challenging Behavior • Interferes with the student’s learning or the learning of others & restricts from educational opportunities/LRE • Hinders positive social interactions and relationships/ others may imitate behaviors • Harms the student, peers, adults, or family members (Bailey & Wolery, 1992)
Behaviors are Supported By the Current Environment • A functional assessment perspective assumes that most behaviors are triggered by the current environmental events and are strengthened or weakened by the consequences that follow the behavior (Kazdin, 2001; Repp, 1999;Zirpoli & Melloy, 2001).
Behavior Serves a Function! • Directs us to WHY a behavior occurs • Challenging behavior occurs because it produces a desired outcome for the student
Functions of Behavior • Get/Obtain (positive reinforcement) • Attention • from peer or adult • Desired object/activity/tangible • Sensory stimulation • Escape/Avoid (negative reinforcement) • Demand/request • Task/activity • Person
Additional Considerations • Behavior is affected by internal events such as physiological condition and emotional state • Sickness • Depression • Puberty/hormones • Sensory • Behavior is also influenced by factors outside the immediate context • Setting events/antecedents • Misunderstood communication
The ABC’s of Behavior • Antecedent • an event that precedes behavior • Behavior (response) • Any observable and measurable act of an individual • Consequence • Any event which follows a behavior
A-B-C Positive Reinforcement (Get or Obtain) • Antecedent • Teacher attends to peers • Behavior • Student uses profanity • Consequence • Teacher reprimands the student • Presumed Function • attention from teacher
A-B-C Negative Reinforcement (Avoid/ Escape) • Antecedent • Direct instruction with teacher (aversive task) • Behavior • Student hits, kicks, attempts to bite • Consequence • Time out • Presumed function • escape from task
A-B-C Sensory Stimulation/Regulation • Antecedent • Recess on playground • Behavior • Hits peers, squeezes • Consequence • Gains sensory input • Presumed Function • Sensory stimulation
Define Target Behaviors • A behavior identified for change because it interferes with learning and/or safety • Describe what it looks like • Use concrete and measurable terms • Must be observable • Describe the intensity
Assessing the Current Environment and Obtaining Information • Collect information through interview • Collect information about events that influence problem behavior • Helps identify settings, events, and activities that can be targeted through direct observation • Collect information through direct observation
Direct Observation • Essential part of functional assessment process • Used to validate and clarify summary statements about what predicts and maintains problem behaviors • Collect data until clear patterns emerge • May need between 15-20 occurrences of the targeted behavior or 2-5 days
Observational Recording Systems • Anecdotal Reports • Do not identify a predefined target behavior • Provide complete description of student behavior in a particular setting • Used to determined what behaviors need to be targeted • Sometimes not practical/time consuming
Observational Recording Systems • A-B-C • A method of recording the antecedents and consequences of specific target behaviors • Identify events that “set off” the behavior • Identify events that “keep behavior going” • Analyze patterns
Developing a Hypothesis for Behavior Change • Why does he do that? • Your best guess about the relationship between environmental events or conditions and a person’s challenging behavior • Similar behaviors can have different functions
Assessment vs. Analysis • Functional Assessment • Is a set of information gathering strategies and instruments • We learn what precedes and follows behavior • Patterns are identified and hypothesis formulated • Functional Analysis • Strategy of manipulating the student’s environment and observing the effect on behavior • Implementing interventions
Setting Event Changes • PREVENTION! • Alter/withdraw “triggers” in the environment • Reduce “downtime” • Structure environment (schedules, lists, clearly defined areas and activities) • Provide calming and sensory activities • Provide expectations in a way that student will understand
Antecedent Changes • REDUCE WAITING! • Effective and efficient transitions-as short as possible-provide needed stimulation • Add movement to activities and movement breaks • Increase/decreases pace of instruction • Structure environment and provide predictable schedules • Teach appropriate behaviors that result in student’s desired sensory stimulation • Provide choices • Make more interesting (incorporate interests) • Use preferred activities to reinforce participation in non-preferred activities or tasks (first/then) • Provide multi-sensory stimuli/input
Increase Desirable Behaviors • Make current behaviors inefficient! • Must address the function of the behavior • Incompatible with challenging behavior • Teach adaptive social/communication skills
What else can we teach that: • Results in the same result (desired outcome for student)? • With shorter delay to reinforcement? • With greater consistency? • Requires less effort?
Teach Replacement Behaviors! • To indicate that they do not want to begin or participate in an activity • To request alternative activities, tasks, materials, people, or location • To request breaks • To request end of an activity, interaction, task
Change Consequences • Tell the student what TO DO versus what not to do! • Provide more reinforcement for appropriate behavior than for challenging behavior • Provide positive reinforcement to peers who engage in the appropriate replacement behavior • Reinforce partial task completion • End an activity on a positive note • Ignore challenging behavior
Crisis Intervention • Arrange environment and practice procedures to prevent crisis/emergency situations • Inform principal and parents of “crisis” behaviors • Incident report • Emergency use of restrictive interventions
Nonverbal Prompts • Limit verbal prompts: use visual, gestural and/or physical prompts • The first or second time we give a verbal direction it can be considered an initial cue. • After the initial cue, anything else we do to get the child to elicit the behavior we desire, is considered a prompt.
Why do you need to limit verbal prompts? • It helps ensure that we are not reinforcing off task behavior with undue attention. • It does not call attention to the child in a negative way socially. “Wow, that kid never listens to his parents.” • Fading verbal prompts is very difficult. Fading other types of prompts is easier. • The child needs to see the connection between being told once to do something and doing that task. • It limits the disruption to those around you and your child. Major disruptions could be socially isolating for your child. • Increases independence.
What Motivates a Child? • That all depends on the child. Could be videogames or it could be a piece of string or an editable. An interest inventory would tell you. • Knowing what a child desires will make a reward system work. (What is the most powerful?) • Test their likes and dislikes. • Allow them to change their minds. • If you offer it, you had better have it ready and available. • Always couple the tangible reward with verbal praise (for internalization)
Reward or Incentive Systems • Two of the most commonly used systems are: First/Then Token Economy • First/Then systems are just as the name implies. You let the child know that when they first exhibit the behavior you want, they then will get a desired item or activity. • A token economy is a system where a child knows what he/she is working for and earns chips or tokens to later turn in to “buy” their reward.
Benefits of Incentive Systems. • It can cut down the avoidance behavior. If the reward is stronger then the child’s desire to get away from a task then he/she will stay at the task. • It can also help cut down on the need for verbal prompts. If we teach a child how to use this system then after awhile we need only to walk by and gesture toward the picture or word(s) representing the reward to get them back to work. • Using different levels of reinforcement for different levels of difficulty or undesirability (Powerful Rewards)
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency! If we do it only sometimes then students will not trust the reinforcement system or learn to wait you out for attention.
Keep Data on Your Behavior Goals! • Interventions should be conducted for 4-6 weeks (roughly 1 quarter) • Examine your data to see if the intervention is helping to produce more appropriate behaviors • If so, continue and fade intervention slowly • Make sure to still keep data • If not, revise your intervention http://www.polyxo.com has an array of data sheets available