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Positive behavioral support is a general term that refers to the process of applying positive behavioral interventions as well as systems to help in achievement of socially important behavioral changes. The concept of positive behaviour support or PBS implies to a process that leads to an understanding as well finding ways of resolving the problems of children by basically basing on the values and the empirical research. The process offers an approach that facilitates a development of an understanding on reasons that makes a child to engage in problem behaviour as well as devising of strategies that prevents the occurrence of the problem behaviour during the new skill teaching process for the child.
The process includes the application of behavior based systems approaches to enhance the capacity of the communities, homes and schools to designing effective environments that help in improving or linking between the research validated practices with the environments that learning and teaching processes occur. Positive behavior support combine the following together: the valued outcomes, the behavioral and biomedical sciences, the validated procedures and finally the systems change to help enhance the quality of life and reducing of problem behaviors.
Initially positive behavior support was developed as an alternative to the aversive interventions that were used with the students characterized with significant disabilities like engagement in extreme forms of aggression and self injury. But with the advent of advanced technology a wider range of student behavioral contexts have been successfully applied to the process of positive behavior support. This has therefore allowed an extension from the individual student approaches to the intervention approach applicable to the entire school system. In the positive behaviour support focus is directed towards creation of and sustenance of school environments that help in the improvement of lifestyle results regarding to personal, social, recreation, work and health of all youth and children by making the positive behaviour support efficient, effective, relevant thus making desired behaviour more functional. In addition to that, problem behaviour also lays an emphasis on appropriate cultural interventions in the process.
Key features of positive behavioral support
At the core of behaviour problem support is the integration of the following key features: behavioral science, practical interventions, and social values and finally the systems perspective. first and fore most the feature of behavioral sciences a key feature in the process of positive behavioral support existing science has linked human behaviour to cognitive, bio-physical ,developmental and physical environmental factors. Behavioral science is very important because human behaviour is affected by the above factors hence its association to unintentional learning opportunities. These factors affected both the development and durability of the dangerous and disruptive human behaviours which are observed in school system as can be traced to unintentional behaviour in students, peers, and teacher exchanges. In addition to that despite the complexity and continuity of leaning and teaching processes some initial behaviour are not learned but eventually much of human behavior can be learned and changed as it it's controlled by environmental factors. Therefore understanding of behavioral science enhances teaching of socially appropriate and functional behaviors in schools.
Second key feature of positive behaviour support is the practical interventions which are developed from the understanding of behavior science and include strategies that help in preventing and reducing the problem behavior. These strategies include the functional behavioral assessments that are used to develop behaviour support plans, interventions that emphasize on environmental redesign, curricula redesign, and removal of rewards that help in inadvertently maintaining of problem behavior. In addition to that, use of teaching forms the central tool used for behaviour change and research validated practices are given an emphasis coupled by the making of decisions that t are data based.
Third feature is the lifestyle outcomes which dictate that every behaviour change must me significant socially; comprehensive, relevant and durable hence PBS programs should enhance the living and learning options of the students. Therefore PBS procedure should be socially and culturally appropriate and its applications must occur in a restrictive natural setting, procedure for educators, families and students should be contextually appropriate and finally the interventions used should be non -aversive.
Final key feature of PBS is the systems perspective which should ensure that the quality and durability of the support given are directly related to supports offered by the hoist environment hence implementation of practices and decisions are driven by policy. In addition to that emphasis is laid on a preventive and sustained use of effective practices which is attained through a team based approach and an active administration involvements, consideration of multi systems and a continuum behavior support is also emphasized.
Relationship between functional assessment and positive behavioral support
Functional assessment form a the foundation of the behavioral support system as it allows the caregivers to design environments that work well with students who have the problem associated with communication and behavioral challenges. In this model of behavioral problem the student who in this case with challenges ,the teacher who know the student best and the positive behavior team trainer who is well equipped with knowledge regarding the behavioral analysis all collaborate and develop a plan that will help them meet the challenges presented by the problem behavior of the student.
Functional assessment methods try to look at behavioral support wants of the people who show the full range of behaviors which are challenging for instance hitting and biting, self injury, disruptive behaviors like tantrums and screaming, property destruction and violent and aggressive attacks. Therefore individuals exhibiting challenging behaviors are labeled as those having developed disabilities, mental retardation, autism, behavioral or emotional disorders, mental illness traumatic brain injury and sometime carry no formal diagnostic labels. These patients require varying support needs as well as abilities to communicate and take part in their own behavioral support.
Therefore information on the various reasons of occurrence of the challenging behaviours help in the building of an effective as well as efficient behavioral support through planned strategies that make behaviors improve. The laws and regulations mandates that individual with behavior problems be subjected to functional assessments before permitting any significant behaviour interventions hence observation made during the assessment may hint the inappropriateness of the behaviour strategies as individuals challenging behaviors may be caused by medical causes likes allergies, menstrual cycle effects, infections, chronic constipation, medications and toothaches.
Finally the conduction of functional assessment yield information that is used to create situation that reduces, eliminates or even provokes challenging behavior to test hypotheses used. Therefore this is the only approach in which demonstrations regarding the relationships between challenging behaviors and environmental events hence the processes are closely related in terms of their contribution to positive behavior support system.
Characteristics and outcomes of a functional assessment
Functional assessment involves collection of meaningful and relevant information about a student and it maybe related to both academic and non academic behaviors. Purpose of colleting data is to answer questions on student functioning in particular settings and be used for individual interventions, write appropriate goals and to make educational and intervention decisions.
Some of the characteristics of functional assessment include the following: first is the is the ability to conduct and yield information o n relevant assessment through collection of data that is specific to identified behaviours and to question and hypotheses generated from a consultative problem solving collaboration. Second characteristic is the direct assessment of student behaviors relating to environmental factors through assessment by direct observations in certain settings. Third characteristic is the formative assessment using procedures which help in formation of interventions. Assessment data is consistent across all decision making stages hence consistent data is able to be collected during different times.
The assessment can be used to evaluate on the effectiveness of certain interventions. In addition to that functional assessment is multi dimensional and involves collection of data across diversified settings utilizing multiple sources of information. Also, functional assessment is frequent and repetitive in nature as procedures used allows for a regular and frequent collection of data and the data analysis examines trends over a given time span hence making it possible to evaluate the progress towards set goals. Finally functional assessment is individually focused and procedures used lay an emphasis on individually t-referenced comparisons which continue even when peer referenced comparisons are considered. The individually focused assessments plays critical role when it comes to development of intervention planning.
Implementation plans and success of a positive behavioral support plan
Implementation plans are developed to enable a successful implementation the positive behavior system and there are various types of plans involve din the implementation process. Various plans are developed by the team members to be used across all the environments. Such plans are consistent in nature across a diversified environment hence the increased likelihood of being effective hence promoting learning of news kills and consequent generalization.
Involving all the stakeholders in the development of the implementation plan in the positive behavior system goes along way to ensuring that the system becomes successful. Stakeholders that should contribute in the development stage include, the educators, therapists, family members, extended caregivers, resource professionals administrate staff, program consultants and medical professionals. This serve to ensuring that every individual knows their duties and the roles they play in the program.
Secondly, implementation plans that involve the family members help in garnering for their support thus are able to implement the plan with fidelity. In addition to that the plans help parent to develop support strategies that ensures that their child is able to move to new settings or situations. The plans to involve family in collaborative status play a critical role in success of the program as they provide the basis and much needed information regarding the suspected reasons responsible the behavior problem of the child in the program hence strategies can be developed by the team to promote successful in implementation of the program.
Implementation plans also ensure that the positive behavior program fits into the routines, activities and the values of both the family and the staff thus helping in creation of collaborative action plan which will contain information on critical issues that will promote easy implementation of the program with fidelity e.g. checklists and tip sheets. It enables routine activities of the child to be addressed specifically.
Finally the plans ensure that the program is successful by considering the following: building of rapport and respect, sensitiveness to the context, commitment the evolving growth and change, mutually shared goals and finally team wok.
Importance of evaluating positive behavioral support plan
Evaluation of positive behavioral, plan forms a critical part of positive behavior system because of it s results to various benefits to the positive behavior system. First ,evaluation process allows the implementers of the system or the team to collect information that serve to enabling the them to accurately judge on whether the positive behavior support plan is yielding a positive impact on the life of the student or not. Secondly evaluation process has results on the important outcomes of the Positive behaviour system of decreasing the problem behaviour while increasing on the student's positive social skills as well as the quality of their hence indication of successful implementation process of the system.
In addition to that evaluation of the positive behavioral support plan ensures that appropriate and reliable data on the progress of the positive behaviour system is collected and summarized hence minimizing the chances of the team overlooking any slow progress in the system. Also evaluation of support plans helps the team in spending time and resources on the various system interventions that are having a positive impact on the student's behavior while eliminating waste of resources on interventions that have lees or no impact on the behavior of the students. Finally evaluation of positive behaviour support plans helps the team in determining on whether the time already invested in the implementation process of the positive behavior plans has been worth while or not hence helps in making of decision regarding the future activities of the team.
Interventions involve redesigning the environment
The concept of redesigning entails the changing of the settings under which the program is run to promote durable and meaning changes in the problem behaviour of the students and this may be achieved through various intervention of redesigning. Some of the intervention involved in the redesigning of the environment in which positive behavior system is undertaken include the change in the curriculum that the students take is also the concept of teaching new skills. Second intervention of environmental redesigning is the change of the physical environment lays some emphasis on the setting like classroom and the material or resources used in the program implementation. This intervention to redesigning is the modification of the teacher, adult as well as the student behaviour in the positive behaviour system. Finally intervention resulting to redesigning is the removal of behaviors that maintain problem behaviour leading to new setting of the program implementatio.
Basic goals of a consequence intervention
A consequence intervention involves use of a stimulus that follows a certain behavior contingently and it involves the use of strategies that help in addressing of the target stimuli. There are two types of consequence intervention strategies that can be used especially when a behavior occurs more frequently and these include the reinforcement for the desirable behavior and the reinforcement when engaging a problem behavior. Generally some of the basic goals of consequence intervention include the following: minimize reinforcement for the problem behaviour, increase reinforcement for a desirable behavior, redirecting of the student towards an alternative response and finally provision of strategies that promote health and safety for both the student and others.
In addition to that normally before any functional assessment strategies are used, the consequence interventions are often used to promote punishment of the problem behavior and help in the reinforcement of the positive behavior of the students.
Therefore the concept of understanding the functions that promote maintenance of problem behaviours like the consequence interventions helps both the student and the team member to developing positive strategies that contribute to prevention of the problem behavior hence increasing the quality of their lives thus promoting building of positive relationships. in addition another basic goal of consequence intervention is to immunize the use of punishment as a means of problem behavior as research has shown that using punishment frequently with limited positive interventions leads to increased problem behavior therefore underrating of the causative factors of a problem behavior promotes development of strategies that teaches new replacement skills that ensures that similar outcome is achieved.
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