Behavior Support is most likely one of the main types of support educators, parents and family members are researching when they have an individuals that has challenging behaviors. Behavior Support is complicated and should be highly individualized to the needs of the individual. Many times you will need to get to and identify the root cause or function of the behavior behavior in order to develop a meaningful way to intervene. Antecedent Based Interventions strive to change the environment ahead of time to avoid the behaviors in the first place. Other methods many attempt to provide a communication method that takes the place of the behavior's message and says the same thing without the individual using the challenging behavior. Sometimes teaching appropriate behavior related skills can be a way to address the topic globally.  In either case, a clear understanding of what the behavior is, why the behavior occurs and what the plan is to address the behavior is needed. 

Behavior Support Links 


Social Stories Link #1

Social Stories Link #2

Comic Strip Conversations Link #1

Comic Strip Conversations Link #2

Power Cards Link #1


Power Cards Link #2

Functional Behavior Assessment


Identifying the Target Behavior


Ways to Help with Identifying the Function of the Behavior


Strategies to Respond to Each Function


Writing a Behavior Intervention Plan



Positive Behavior Supports

Class structure- needs to be in place for real, not just in theory

Consistent routines for all activities throughout the day

Pre-made and prepared activities w/all materials present

Pre-assigned roles and responsibilities throughout the day for staff members

Pre-determined areas for activities (so that students will know where to go)

Limited auditory distractions-  limit music playing in the background

Limited visual distractions

Proximity control

Visually label areas of the classroom

Make expectations clear by using PCS

Use visual schedules for various activities

Individual student schedules to allow for independence and ownership

A daily class schedule which promotes movement throughout the day

Neutral voice tone

Tone of voice -try whispering to calm someone

Few/limited words to express what you want them to do

Gesture/model along with verbal language

Provide visual cues along with verbal language

Premack Principle (less favored activity first, then a highly preferred activity)

Relocate the activity or people if a problem behavior keeps happening in the same area with the same person

Provide highly motivating activities to help the child make it through a difficult activity

Remove problem items before the student enters the room

Be prepared, have materials ready and organized

Remove items which are known to encourage inappropriate behavior

Change to positive body language- try not to stand over the student or present negative body language

Be aware of sensory issues in the child’s environment and be respectful that the sensory input may be causing a problem

Decrease difficult tasks by decreasing in numbers (i.e. instead of 7 math problems, give 3)

Decrease the amount of time expected (i.e. waiting or working)

Decrease in difficulty (i.e. a  5 piece puzzle vs. a 20-piece)

Decrease in requirements (i.e. student is expected to get dressed putting on 6 items, reduce to 3 items.)

Give a slight physical prompt (i.e. student having trouble picking up spilled blocks, or joining fastener on coat)

Make the task easier

Time schedule-  provide attention/an item every X amount of time for positive behaviors

Social rewards, verbal praise, high fives, pats on the back, tickles, etc.

Access to highly preferred items (toys, sensory items, food, magazines, etc.) for positive behavior


Use of visual cues to show the child what reward they will get for positive behavior

A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP or BP) is a written list of strategies and supports for an individual which encourages appropriate behaviors and discourages inappropriate behaviors.  A Behavior Intervention Plan is created AFTER a Functional Behavior Assessment is conducted which helps identify the function of the behavior.  A BIP or set of strategies should be written for each behavior.  This is because each behavior may serve a different function or motivation for the student, therefore, your response should vary based on the function of the behavior. The BIP should include the child’s name, the specific target behavior, the predicted function (based on your data collection from your FBA), strategies to increase appropriate behaviors, strategies to decrease inappropriate behaviors, materials and supports needed to implement the BIP, and skills to be taught to the student in order for him or her to demonstrate appropriate behaviors.


To highlight the components again, the BIP should include:

*the child’s name

*the specific target behavior,

*the predicted function,

*strategies to increase appropriate behaviors,

*strategies to decrease inappropriate behaviors,

*materials and supports needed to implement the BIP,

*skills to be taught to the student.


Some Data collection sheets and a Behavior Intervention Plan “Planner” are available as downloads on’s Free Teaching Materials Page.



Click here for Intervention Ideas.