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Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is an approach to behavior in which individuals are supported in adopting socially meaningful behaviors, avoiding inappropriate behaviors, and learning functional skills as a replacement for problem behavior. Proponents claim that Positive Behavior Support is based on principles regarding the rights of all children to be treated with dignity and have access to educational opportunities. Though some consider it to be a new science, many acknowledge Positive Behavior Support's foundation in behavioral theories such as operant conditioning and Applied Behavior Analysis.

Principles of Positive Behavior Support

PBS implies an understanding that people (including parents) do not control others, but can seek to support others in their own behavior change processes. Emphasis is placed on seeing challenging behaviors as a possible means of communication, and responding appropriately instead of with punishment or coercion. There is a focus on humane changes in the child's life to learn better behavior, instead of using coercion or punishment to manage behavior. Positive Behavior Support involves a commitment to continually search for new ways to minimize coercion and use positive reinforcement instead.

Functional Behavioral Assessment

The Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is the first step in individual Positive Behavior Support. The assessment seeks to describe the behavior and environmental factors and setting events that predict the behavior in order to guide the development of effective support plans. Assessment lays the foundation of PBS. The assessment includes:

• a description of the problem behavior

• identification of events, times and situations that predict problem behavior

• identification of consequences that maintain behavior

• identification of the motivating function of behavior

• collection of direct observational data.

The results of the assessment help in developing the individualized behavior support plan. This outlines procedures for teaching alternatives to the behavior problems, and redesign of the environment to make the problem behavior irrelevant, inefficient, and ineffective.

Behavioral strategies available

There are many different behavioral strategies that PBS can use to encourage individuals to change their behavior. Some of the most commonly used approaches are:

• Modifying the environment or routine

• Tactical ignoring of the behavior

• Distracting the child

• Positive reinforcement for an appropriate behavior

• Changing expectations and demands placed upon the child

• Teaching the child new skills and behaviors

• Modification techniques such as desensitization and graded extinction

• Changing how people around the child react

• Time out

• Medication.

Behavior management program

The main keys to developing a behavior management program include:

• Identifying the specific behaviors to address

• Establishing the goal for change and the steps required to achieve it

• Procedures for recognizing and monitoring changed behavior

• Choosing the appropriate behavioral strategies that will be most effective.

Consequential management

Consequential management is a positive response to challenging behavior. It serves to give the person informed choice and an opportunity to learn. Consequences must be clearly related to the challenging behavior For example, if a glass of water was thrown and the glass smashed, the logical consequence would be for the person to clean up the mess and replace the glass.

Providing choices is very important and staff can set limits by giving alternatives that are related to a behavior they are seeking. It is important that the alternative is stated in a positive way and that words are used which convey that the person has a choice. For example:

Coercive approach “If you don't cut that out you'll have to leave the room.”

Positive approach “You can watch TV quietly or leave the room.”

See also

External links

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