The best intervention is prevention.  Before attempting any reactive strategies, try using as many positive behavior supports (preventative strategies) that you can. Give the interventions some time to work.  They will not work without commitment. Positive behavior supports for the home and school can be found on this site on the Positive Behavior Supports and Preventative Supports page.

Intervention Ideas

After you have identified the function or at least have a good idea of what you think the function of the behavior may be, then it will then be time to come up with some solutions to addressing the target behavior.  Depending on the function of the behavior, your response will be different.

For example, if the student’s behavior is maintained by gaining attention for the behavior, you and your team will have to stop providing attention for that inappropriate behavior.  Another example might be if a student is using a behavior because he wants to escape a task, you and your team may have to figure out a way to make the task easier and provide him with a break (escape) before he takes it upon himself to take the break.  You can always add on more time or work gradually.  For sensory maintained behaviors, talk with the Occupational Therapist to see if they have some ideas for you.  If not, you can provide the input the child needs on a regular basis throughout the day.  If a student’s function is determined to be their access to a tangible item that they want, you and your team can work with the student to learn to request the item in an appropriate manner opposite from the inappropriate way of behaving.

Each of these suggestions is only one of many possible solutions for a Behavior Intervention Plan.  Please know that this is only a small portion of what there is to know regarding interventions. With any Behavior Intervention Plan, it will be important to inform other staff members in the school and family members about the techniques you will be using, so that they are not inadvertently hurting the plan.

A Few More Intervention Ideas

If the Function is

Try one of these options.

Escape or Avoid a Situation

· Put in place Positive Behavior Supports and Preventative Supports

·  Provide a scheduled “escape” before the student engages in the behavior

·  Decrease the difficulty of the activity, then gradually increase the difficulty

·  Teach the student to request a break appropriately

·  Do not stop the activity because of the behavior

Attention from Others

·  Put in place Positive Behavior Supports and Preventative Supports

·  Do not provide attention for inappropriate behavior (no eye contact, no verbal comments, neutral body language)

·  Assist the student into a safe situation without verbal comments

·  Provide an over abundance of attention on a scheduled basis for appropriate behavior and reward for appropriate behavior

Gain Access to a Tangible Item

·  Put in place Positive Behavior Supports and Preventative Supports

·  Teach an appropriate way to ask for the item or activity

·  Teach the student to “wait” using a wait card, timer, or first-then board

·  Use visual supports to show the student when he or she will get the item or activity or to show the item is no longer available

Sensory Input Gained from Behavior

·  Put in place Positive Behavior Supports and Preventative Supports

·  Talk with an Occupational Therapist

·  Provide appropriate sensory input before the student needs it or provide it on a regular basis

·  Provide an alternate behavior that may give the student the same type of sensory input

Click here for Writing a Behavior Plan.