Thursday, August 05, 2004

August Meeting: Positive Behavior Intervention and Support

Many of us have seen that our children learn best, and some of them exclusively, through a method called Applied Behavior Analysis. Positive Behavior Support takes some of the key principles of ABA and translates them to tactics to managing problem behavior and encouraging positive behaviors throughout the day at home and in the community.

At my house, this has been no miracle, but a framework for replacing my naturally occuring "frustration parenting" tactics that don't work with behavioral ones that eventually do. One rule of thumb under PBIS is to deliver 5 positive statements (good sitting, nice quiet voice, etc.) for every correction. I rarely accomplish that ratio, and have yet to observe anybody who consistently does, but I think it is a useful target to keep in mind.

Research and training programs on Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports are supported by the federal Dept. of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, and PBIS professional training facilities throughout New York State, including one for New York City are funded by VESID (new grantees under the expanded program will be announced soon, the request for proposals for the training centers closed in early July). This is good news, because many of us have observed teachers (even in some ABA programs) using the same frustration tactics, like yelling, that never work with our kids.

The University of South Florida's Center for Autism & Related Disorders has a very nice overview handout (pdf) on PBIS that we used for our discussion.

We also looked at materials from the Rehabilitation Research & Training Center for Positive Behavioral Support, one of several OSEP funded programs, to discuss a range of PBS "practices", including: Proactive Support Strategies, Teaching Replacement Skills, Positive Consequence Strategies, and the Competing Behavior Model. We found the Competing Behavior Model a little too complicated, but many gave examples of the importance of teaching more appropriate or adaptive replacement skills, of preferentially rewarding positive behaviors, and anticipating especially challenging transitions and providing extra support to get over those bumpy spots.

And, we had two new faces at this month's meeting. Welcome Valerie and Maria!

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