The what, how and when of behavior intervention plans

Parents and teachers working with students whose behavior challenges are impeding learning can breathe a little easier knowing there is an effective strategy to help. 

According to Mrs. Rusi Sukenik and Mrs. Ellah Orevi-Greenberg of REACH, changing one’s behavior is possible. They agree that it’s difficult and challenging to achieve, but when following the ABC steps (The Antecedent Behavior Consequence Model), it is attainable.

Change is possible – The ABC’s of behavior 

In a recent interactive workshop, Mrs. Sukenik and Mrs. Orevi-Greenberg discussed the step-by-step process of identifying a behavior of concern and how to modify it. The first step is to recognize the antecedent to the behavior, the trigger that sets off the problematic behavior. This requires that teachers describe the behavior using observable, nonjudgmental language rather than subjective language. 

The consequences then reinforce the behavior itself. Positive behavior results in a positive response from others. In order for this to be effective, the response needs to be universal and appropriate – otherwise the child is receiving mixed messages regarding the desired particular behavior.

Following are some possible functions of behavior: 

  • the child wants something
  • the child wants to escape/protest a situation
  • the child wants attention
  • the child has sensory issues (the child likes/does not like a particular feeling)

Understanding these is useful in helping teachers consider options of how to change antecedents and consequences. 

Awareness of our responses to our children’s behavior is paramount to successfully helping them change a disruptive behavior. 

Understanding the A, B, C’s of Behavior can be an important and valuable tool to a teacher’s strategy toolbox.

Data collection tools and methods to change a student’s problematic behavior

When it comes to helping a student overcome a challenging behavior, collecting data to first understand that behavior is a key step in the end goal of improvement.

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