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Identifying and Serving Students with Behavior and Emotional Disorders

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Identifying and Serving Students with Behavior Problems

Research Examples

School and Classroom-Wide Positive Behavior Support and Principles of Intervention Planning

Test Review


Information source: 


Kerr, M. M., & Nelson, C. M.  (2006).  Strategies for addressing behavior problems in the classroom.  (5th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson. Companion Website, click here.


Culture and Behavior

Culture and Behavior

Behavior:  Disruptive, interferes with learning of child and others.  Very seductive.  Tests rules.  Avoid assignments.  Gain approval.  Attention getters.  Add drama to boring situations.

Behavior is a communicative function.

Interventions include:

  • Environmental (physical room)

  • Teacher

  • Peers (problematic)

  • Self

Environmentally Mediated Interventions can change the classroom environment.

To rule or not to rule?  State rules in the positive.  Put on big poster and everyone sign the poster.  Then teach the rules.  Identify, explain, model, practice.  Identify following rules and not following rules, teaching for 2 weeks.  Refer to the chart.  "You just forgot, right?"

The more ownership, the more likely class will follow.

Develop rules of working as community.

Write down whatever they say!  6 year old--no smoking.  Is this the  Maintain distance.  Never get in a kid's face.  Don't tell the student "look at me."  Honor personal space. same as this?  Which is more important?

If you can't enforce it, don't write it down.

Make movement pattern different.

Do not restrain students in any way.  Maintain distance.  Never get in a student's face.  Don't tell the student "look at me."  Honor personal space.  Discuss what's wrong with the behavior, not the person.

Most kids will do certain things--Make sure first 3-4 requests are those before asking something more dicey.

If just ignore, there's no incentive.

Be careful.

Never identify student information, grades, or tokens on the board.

Token economies don't work well in special education classrooms.

Antecedent cue for behavior consequence:  what happens as result of behavior.  Every behavior has a consequence.  Antecedent cues the behavior.

Classroom behavior strongly influences behavior:  Verbal praise, verbal encouragement, attention, approval.  If pay attention to behavior you don't want, it will reinforce that behavior.

Applied Behavior Analysis:  Good uses, but bad press.  Need to avoid until trained and certified.  Behavior is strengthened or maintained by reinforcement.  Involves shaping very discrete behaviors.  Lovas (Autism spectrum, young children).  Reinforcement, punishment, modeling.  When inconsistent, not fair, what's the point.  Shaping, the more you do it, the more you do it.  When satiated, loses power.

All consequences are not reinforcers.


TEST REVIEW  Information for use by currently enrolled students only, who have purchased the course textbook:  Kerr, M. M., & Nelson, C. M.  (2006).  Strategies for addressing behavior problems in the classroom.  (5th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson. Companion Website, click here.

Review Before Midterm

Classroom Rules and Expectations

Classroom expectations are:

·         Teacher driven because it's your classroom.  The students don't have to like everything, but they do have to comply.

·         Address teacher priorities

·         May or may not be compatible with student priorities

·         may be either stated or implied.

Definition:  Rules are a lawful relationship that can be applied to a large set or behaviors.

·         You need rules because without rules you have anarchy.

·         How do you know if you students know them?  Abide by them, they can say them, tell other kids when the other kid isn't, they can model them.  You taught them!  Kids don't get them by osmosis.

·         What would happen with no rules?

People will remember the one bad thing, not all the other good things before or after.

Be careful to associate with the people who are in favor with the administration.  A very nice person on the outs with the administration will cause you to be disliked and perhaps never able to overcome.

Successful rules:

·         Can be broadly applied.

·         Are stated clearly, accurately succinctly

·         Are observable

·         Compatible with student needs

·         Taught effectively

Students need good instruction, consistency.  If they aren't getting good instruction, they disengage, and behavior problems skyrocket.

Classroom rules may apply to:

·         Respect for self, others and property

·         Following directions

·         Task completion

·         Time limits

·         Social behavior

·         Turn taking

Teaching rules to students

Introduction of topic

·         Ask a question --what would happen if. .. .?

·         Provide examples and nonexamples

·         Student practice of rules

·         Periodically review the rules

How to group kids for cooperative learning:

·         High kid with high or middle

·         Low with low or middle.

·         Best to keep kids with the same level.  There's a lot of learned helplessness.

·         Put nonperformers together and someone will have to step up.

When your expectations are not met and classroom rules appear either inadequate or to be ignored by students, consider the following:

1.      Are there periods of nonfunctional or "down" time?

2.      Are student tasks and materials relevant?  Irrelevance leads to behavior problems.

3.      Are tasks appropriate to the students's abilities?  If the kid can't do it, you will have behavior problems.

4.      Are classroom activities stimulating?

5.      Is student success planned?

6.      Are students failing?  Occasionally?  Often?

7.      What is the ratio of praise vs. criticism?

8.      Are you anticipating improvement vs. perfection?

9.      Are there unexpected changes in procedure or schedules?

Surface Management

Extremely important:  Put Blackberry users along the side so I can go behind them.  Ask everyone to put their cell phone on the desk because it's hard to send one from there.

Surface behaviors may be defined, as are those student behaviors that are distracting or disruptive to a classroom environment and require attention but do not require formal behavior management programs.  These behaviors can often be managed in the course of normal instruction by the teacher or individual in charge.


Antiseptic Bouncing--remove kid from situation without punishment.  Send of troubled pair to get a drink. 

If a kid has a behavior issue that escalates.  Get out of room before out of control.  Talk to other teachers.  Have kid be a messenger and send a folded note scotched taped together a certain color to a teacher, who will know to send it back with a book or something.  The child has been removed, the situation changed.  You have to work it out with other teachers.  Kids like to leave the room or do the teacher a favor.

Defusing Tension through Humor

Signal interference.  Cool and good.  Set up one on one.  Kid starts humming--get eye contact--I touch my eyebrow and he touches his to say he saw me.  Really good for minor behaviors.  Just want to communicate with the kid.


Can minimize conflict.  Ask students so you know relationships.  Put appropriate kids together.  Makes a huge difference in setting up classroom and setting up groups.

Keep emotionally neutral in assigning groups--don't put with best friend or enemy.

Test Review

Chapter 1:  Identifying and serving students with behavior problems.

·         Federal law requires that schools address the post-secondary needs of students with disabilities.

·         It is important to assess general education teachers' expectations before placing students in such settings.

·         Generalization of desired behavior is more difficult when intervention has occurred only in more restrictive settings.

·         Students with EBD are the most likely of any group of students with disabilities to be educated in settings outside the educational mainstream.

·         Social skills training of students with disabilities should take place in generalization settings.

·         Early maladaptive social behavior patterns are predictive of lifelong patterns of social failure.

·         Generalization of behavior change should be planned, systematically taught, and reinforced

·         Improved behavior that occurs across settings is an example of stimulus generalization.

·         To decrease the predictability of reinforcement, an intermittent schedule of reinforcement is recommended.

·         Effective transition plans involve assessment of environmental expectations, assessment of the student's behavior with respect to expectations of the next environment, and teaching the student the skills needed in the next environment.

·         Teaching a student to monitor his or her use of appropriate behavior is an example of using self-mediated stimuli.

·         Response maintenance refers to durability of behavior in treatment settings after the intervention has been withdrawn

·         When using the principle "train diversely," it is important to use a number of antecedent stimuli as discriminative stimuli for the target behavior, include more than one example of the target behavior in teaching, and switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement.

·         Trans-environmental programming is a strategy designed to accomplish the reintegration of students into general education settings.

·         For students with EBD to succeed in mainstream educational settings, it is important that their academic and social functioning has been improved to the point where they can profit from a less restrictive environment.

·         When reintegrating students with disabilities into general education settings, follow-up assessments in the mainstream setting should be conducted to give the regular classroom teacher feedback and support.

·         As a group, students with EBD (a) are the last group of students to be identified and placed in special education programs, (b) have histories of multiple placements in the regular education system prior to their referral to special education, (c) are extremely mobile.

·         The criterion of ultimate functioning addresses the functional skills needed by adults to participate freely in community environments.

·         A primary treatment setting is one in which Interventions are applied directly.

·         Arranging for more than one discriminative stimuli to control the target behavior is an example of using multiple stimulus exemplars.

·         A wraparound plan addresses multiple life domains.

Chapter 2:  School- and classroom-wide positive behavior support

  • Students are less likely to be victims of violence in school than in their own homes.

  • All school staff should participate in setting expectations.

  • Students should participate in establishing school rules.

  • Prompts and cues are useful in promoting good student behavior.

  • Precorrection is a strategy for preventing behavior problems through proactive planning.

  • When establishing whether a behavior problem warrants intervention, it is useful to assess how often other students in the setting exhibit it.

  • Writing a behavior intervention plan for an individual student is an example of a targeted intervention.

  • A predictable classroom structure involves a clear set of rules, consistent classroom routines, and well thought-out physical arrangements.

  • Office discipline referrals should be analyzed to identify problem areas and activities in the school.

  • Precorrection is applied to help students succeed when making transitions.

  • School- and classroom-wide prevention strategies are generally effective with 80-90 percent of students.

  • Catching students being good is likely to be the most effective prevention strategy.

  • Making an example of students who violate school rules is NOT a component of school-wide positive behavior support?

  • According to research, 5%-7% of the student population accounts for over half of the behavior challenges in most schools.

  • Repeatedly removing students from the classroom as a disciplinary measure may exacerbate existing academic deficits, increase the likelihood that they will engage in behavior that results in their escaping or avoiding academic tasks, and lead to patterns of antisocial behavior or maladaptive coping mechanisms.

  • As students advance through a classroom levels system, they are expected to demonstrate greater academic and social proficiency, and are allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.

  • A setting event is a stimulus that precedes a behavior and sets the occasion for its occurrence.

  • The best predictor of when, where, and under what conditions problem behavior will occur is when, where, and under what conditions it has occurred in the past.

  • The following behavior management strategies are likely to be ineffective:  asking students why they act out, comparing a student's behavior with that of other students, and ridiculing students.

  • A good way to evaluate the status of a school-wide discipline system is to collect and analyze office discipline referral data.

  • Providing frequent tangible reinforcers for desired performance is NOT a prerequisite to effective classroom behavior management.

Chapter 3:  Principles of intervention planning

  • Conditioned reinforcers are acquired through learning.

  • Negative reinforcement increases the frequency of behaviors to which it is applied.

  • The Council for Exceptional Children has prepared a statement on the use of punishment procedures.

  • The use of research-validated practices is advocated by the No Child Left Behind Act.

  • Discriminative stimuli signal the student that a particular response made in its presence will be reinforced

  • If withholding a reinforcer that has been maintaining a behavior results in a reduction in that behavior, extinction has been applied.

  • The relationship between a behavior and a consequence is referred to as a contingency.

  • Following a rule to avoid an unpleasant consequence is an example of negative reinforcement.

  • Punishment and extinction alike are alike in that when effective, they both result in the reduction of a target behavior.

  • None of the leading SPED professional groups approve of corporal punishment.

  • The use of seclusionary timeout behavioral interventions is most likely to be legally restricted.

  • Teaching skills through a succession of progressively closer approximations to the desired level of performance is known as shaping.

  • Praise should be delivered to students at least four times as often as reprimands.

  • According to IDEA, the student has brought a weapon to school justifies a change in the educational placement of a student with a disability without first going through due process.

  • Providing reinforcement to a student for a period of time in which zero instances of a targeted undesired behavior are observed is know as DRO.

  • The form of timeout in which a student remains in a position to observe the group without participating or receiving reinforcement is contingent observation.

  • In a token system, the tokens have value because they may be exchanged for back-up reinforcers.

  • As a penalty for undesired behavior, taking away more reinforcers than a student is able to earn in a day is likely to result in a loss of control over the student's behavior.

  • The effects of behavior reduction procedures are greater when high rates of reinforcement for desired student behavior are in effect.

Chapter 4:  Assessment-based intervention planning

  • Rating scales are indirect assessment procedures.

  • All behavior serves a function.

  • When performing a task analysis, it is important to determine the student's initial level of performance with respect to the task.

  • Behavior intervention plans always should include a strategy for teaching and reinforcing a replacement behavior.

Chapter 5:  Monitoring student progress

  • Discrete behaviors have distinct beginning and ending points.

  • Counting the number of times a behavior occurs in a given time period is known as event recording.

  • When observing students' behavior, it is important to have an operational definition of the target behavior.

  • Interval recording does not provide a measure of the exact number of times that a behavior occurs.

  • A discrete learning trial consists of presentation of specific instruction or a model, the student's response, and the teacher's subsequent response.

  • A continuous behavior has no definite starting or stopping point between episodes.

Chapter 7:  Addressing disruptive behaviors

  • The Good Behavior Game is an intervention that involves teams of students competing on the basis of their behavior in the classroom.

  • Ignoring will not work unless the reason for the student's behavior is to gain your attention.

  • When an ignoring intervention is successful, disruptive behavior will increase before decreasing.

  • What you say or do not say may be your most powerful strategy for remedying disruptive behavior.

  • The following are steps for teaching students how to transition from one situation to another: (a) identify the transition behaviors and the times when these behaviors are needed, (b) identify ways to practice and times to practice, and (c) identify reminder times and strategies.
    The following are intervention strategies: environmentally mediated, teacher-mediated, and peer-mediated.

  • DRO is NOT an environmental modification.

  • An appropriate and relevant academic curriculum is an essential prerequisite to effective classroom management.

  • Make your reprimands privately is effective.

  • Humiliating or embarrassing a student may increase that student's resentment, create an unsafe situation, and interfere with learning.

  • Raising your voice repeatedly merely desensitizes students to your reprimands.

  • Reviewing directions with a study partner is a positive incompatible alternative to disruptive behavior.

  • Involving parents (or other persons important to the child) is an excellent way to understand how a student learns best, strengthen a contingency contract, and identify reinforcing experiences and privileges.

  • Peers make good behavioral managers for young as well as older students.

  • Dependent, independent, and interdependent are categories of group-oriented contingencies.

  • One variation of a group contingency, in which one student earns reinforcers for the rest of the group, is called hero procedure.

  • The Good Behavior Game is yet another variation on a group contingency.

  • A possible reason why students disrupt classroom activities is to avoid doing work, to gather information; for example, to test the limits of your authority or to find out whether the rules will be enforced, and to make a boring class more interesting.

Chapter 8:  Improving school survival skills and social skills

  • Meeting deadlines is a critical skill for school success.

  • Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of token reinforcement for improving academic performance.

  • Teachers with higher classroom expectations take more responsibility for seeing that their students learn.

  • Research shows that academic peer tutoring can have a positive influence on peer social interactions, although researchers cannot always document how and why.

  • The peer tutor must be a student who wants to do the tutoring, who may or may not have the content area skills but who can follow teacher directions and learn from a model.

  • Self-mediated strategies can be especially helpful for dependent students who are manipulative or oppositional when confronted with adult demands.

  • Acquisition deficits require direct modeling and teaching of the new skill.

  • The following are assessment approach/es for problems in social skills and school survival skills:  (a) School Survival Skills Scale, (b) Homework Problems Checklist, and (c) Secondary Instructional Support Strategies and Interview Lists.

  • The following are environmental modifications to improve social skills and school survival skills:  homework modifications, managing routines, and instructional modifications.

  • Demonstrating speedwriting techniques to a student improves the student's note taking skills.

  • When a teacher arranges the goals of the classroom to be challenging but predictable, the students then have a sense of control and have a sense of accomplishment.

  • These are components thought to make cooperative learning effective:  (a) positive interdependence, (b) individual accountability, and (c) promotive interaction.

  • Good loser is considered the absence of peer acquisition and negative blaming behavior and the occurrence of positive congratulatory behaviors.

  • Studies have shown that caring relationships and high expectations contribute to improved test scores.

  • Science students score higher when they perceive their teacher as understanding and supportive.

  • Teachers can foster self-determination in students with disabilities by (a) promoting generalization of self-determination skills and behaviors, (b) respecting students' choices and decisions, and (c) supporting students' goals.

  • If a student has suddenly lost skills, you should contact as many other persons involved with the student as possible to see if there is a health or family change that may be responsible for the sudden behavioral change, and remember that many problem behaviors may be the result of anxiety or depression and this may reflect a serious but treatable problem.

  • Raising his or her hand in classroom discussions to say something is a target behaviors suitable for a self-recording intervention for a very shy sixth grader.

  • Self-management strategies to promote social interactions include which of these major components:  (a) a teacher or counselor describes to students examples of social exchanges, including appropriate initiations and responses, (b) students collect data on their own interactions.

  • These criteria should you use to select a peer to intervene with a young socially withdrawn classmate:  (a) regular attendance at school, (b) shows positive social initiation during free play times, and (c) can follow adult directions reliably.

  • The first step in most social skills teaching programs is to introduce students to examples of the social skill.

  • Involving peer trainers is effective with students who are socially withdrawn.

  • An analogue measure includes a role-play and a behavioral rehearsal.

Chapter 9:  Addressing aggressive behaviors

  • A response cost is a fine applied to aggressive acts and behaviors that predict aggression.

  • To reduce aggressive behaviors, a teacher may need to modify and adapt academic instruction.

  • When teachers insist on having the last word with angry students, they contribute to the risk of aggression.

  • A verbal confrontation does not usually escalate quickly into aggression.

  • Teenagers often engage in verbal confrontations to prove that they can "win" with an adult.

  • Research has shown that youth prone to carry guns believe that shame can only be undone through aggression.

  • When using timeout with an aggressive student, remember that it is best (and easiest) to apply it before the child loses control or becomes assaultive.

  •  In an intervention for an aggressive student, peers may take part in a group contingency, learn to ignore or respond in a new way to teasing or threats by the target student, be removed from the situation according to a crisis plan.

  • These can help you to avoid unnecessary verbal confrontations with your students:  suggest a later private conference, avoid needing the last word, and avoid sarcasm.

  • Avoid giving advice unless asked is a good approach with someone who is irrational and angry.

  • A readiness drill helps the classroom teacher to get help without delay and safeguard the other children in the classroom.

  • The following statements regarding in-school suspension is false in-school suspension is considered timeout with reinforcement.

  • When using a token economy to reduce aggression, apply a response cost or fine to aggressive acts, and to behaviors that predict aggression or destruction of property.

  • When completing an "after-the-fact ARC" to analyze a specific incident of aggressive behavior, it is important to interview all witnesses at the same time
    Include information from those who know the student well, even if they were not present at the time and ask witnesses to complete the form independently.

  • Students whose aggression can be attributed to a mismanagement of contingencies can benefit from which of these strategies:  functional behavioral assessment to determine motivators, and token economy or contingency contracting.

  • In a peer trainer intervention, peers learn to assess the situation, choose an appropriate alternative response, and tell the aggressive student how the situation makes them feel.

  • In the closing case study, Ms. Cois introduced the social skills unit by sharing an example of a challenging situation she had encountered.

  • In teaching social skills, Ms. Cois in the final case study ensured that her students had an opportunity to practice their newly learned skills in role-plays.

  • The goal of anger management training is to help students identify the antecedents to their anger and identify their own reactions.

Chapter 10:  Developing alternatives to self-stimulatory and self-injurious behavior

  • Stereotypic behaviors are sensitive to reinforcement from social events or external reinforcers.

  • Perceptual reinforcers are quite durable and not as vulnerable to satiation as other reinforcers.

  • A key to reducing self-stimulatory behavior is controlling the perceptual experiences of self-stimulating individuals.

  • Self-stimulatory behaviors are not harmful in themselves but may, in time, change to self-injurious behaviors through a slight shift in topography.

  • Variables that alter the reinforcing effectiveness of other events are called Conditioned Motivative Operations (CMOs).

  • An SSB individual may not gain access to less restrictive environments or to training programs within the present environment until the "annoying" SSB is reduced or eliminated.

  • No matter how interesting you make your classroom, environmental manipulation alone will not reduce self-stimulatory behaviors.

  •  Stereotypic behaviors are repetitive, frequent, and occur as highly consistent topography, do not cause physical injury, and can move into self-injury.

  • SSB persists because it is highly reinforcing.

  • Individuals engaged in SSB simply may not have other, alternative behaviors in which to engage.

  • Functional analysis refers to techniques designed to empirically demonstrate functional or cause-effect relationships between what a person does (behavior) and where and when they do it (environment).

  • Functional assessment is sometimes used to refer to techniques designed to examine functional relations without manipulation of conditions experimentation. These techniques include descriptive analysis and indirect assessments like rating scales.

  • Motivational condition for self-injury include social attention, tangible consequences, and to avoid a situation.

  • Children with developmental disabilities or autism may experience difficulty in the afternoon as the day wears on.   Actions are more effortful, requiring increased reinforcement.  This could be called fatigue or referred to as the build-up of too many demands, pressures, or distress of unexpected events that are not part of the usual schedule.

  • With respect to motivative operations (MOs), there are two main types of MOs, unconditioned and conditioned.  Both of these MOs are motivational because they increase the likelihood that a behavior will occur and at the same time increase the power of the reinforcer that follows the behavior.

  • Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (DRO) as applied to SSB is true:  The basic notion of a DRO program is the reinforcement of intervals of time during which the SSB does not occur.  The DRO approach might prove helpful in teaching the child alternative behaviors, but it does not seem fruitful as an intervention to eliminate SSB.  The self-stimulatory behaviors return once the DRO is terminated.

  • NCR is the response-independent or time-based delivery of stimuli with known reinforcing properties.  Noncontingent Reinforcement removes the extinction component that is a necessary part of a differential reinforcement procedure.  Staff responsible for its implementation may find it easier to implement with the absence of an obvious contingent event.

  • In a response-reinforcer procedure:  (a) a reinforcer is physically imbedded within the task, (b) the reinforcer becomes immediately available as soon as the student engages in the correct response (completes the task).

  • A sensory reinforcement strategy provides the child with one or more sensory experiences that are deemed desirable to the child is based on research that shows that a sensory reinforcement strategy provides the child with one or more sensory experiences that are deemed desirable to the child.  Tickling, hand clapping, finger tapping, playing music very briefly, and caressing are examples of a sensory reinforcement.

  • Students who engage in self-stimulatory behaviors may incorporate some aspect of the environment as a part of their behavioral syndrome, thus creating a safety risk..

  • Antecedent circumstances that might affect SIB include (a) the demands placed on an individual, (b) available, reinforced alternative activities, and (c) the student's daily routine.

  • Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (DRO) has proven as successful as the "suppression interventions" in eliminating SIB and can be used to teach the student vitally needed alternative behaviors

Chapter 11:  Supporting students with psychiatric problems

  • Interviewing is a good way to learn about a student's psychological problems.

  • Do not promise total confidentiality to a student.

  • Depressed students do not always appear sad or unhappy.

  • "Mark no longer seems to be interested in his favorite activities. He used to enjoy listening to music and being on the swim team but now avoids participating in those activities." This is an example of anhedonia.

Chapter 12:  Extending intervention effects

  • Federal law requires that schools address the post-secondary needs of students with disabilities.

  • Treatment integrity is assessed to ensure that an intervention plan is implemented as designed.

  • It is important to assess general education teachers' expectations before placing students in such settings.

  • Generalization of desired behavior is more difficult when intervention has occurred only in more restrictive settings.

  • Students with EBD are the most likely of any group of students with disabilities to be educated in settings outside the educational mainstream.

  • Social skills training of students with disabilities should take place in generalization settings.

  • Early maladaptive social behavior patterns are predictive of lifelong patterns of social failure.

Identifying and Serving Students with
Behavior Problems

Identifying and Serving Students with Behavior Problems

Adapted from Borreca, E. A., Langford, T. & Stack, E.

The cornerstones of positive behavior support are:

Functional behavioral assessments (FBA)

Positive behavioral intervention planning (BIP)

The 2004 IDEA amendments


positive intervention planning processes

students with disabilities whose problem behavior provokes a change in educational placement, including suspension and expulsion.

Research based

children and youth with MM/CC in public school settings

students with no identified disabilities

Demonstrated effective

reduce discipline referral rates

Student Identification

Serving all students using PBS

identification of some whose needs dictate that special education and related services be provided so that they can benefit from their school experience.

Responsiveness to intervention (RTI)

screening tool to identify students eligible for special education.


Schools today are being challenged to:

meet increasingly higher standards of student achievement,

create safe and effective learning environments, and

meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.


  • Positive behavior support addresses all students.

  • The most important considerations in planning educational services for students with disabilities is their academic and behavioral needs.

  • IDEA requires that students with disabilities be provided with the related services they need to benefit from their educational experience.

Chapter 2     School and Classroom-Wide Positive Behavior Support

Chapter 3     Principles of Intervention Planning



Chapter 2 School and Classroom-Wide Positive Behavior Support

Chapter 3 Principles of Intervention Planning

Adapted from Borreca, E. A., Langford, T. & Stack, E.

Why Emphasize Prevention?

Predicting when, where, and why problems occur enables the creation of prevention strategies

Universal Interventions:

Proactive strategies that reduce the need for targeted interventions for the majority of students

Apply to the "margins" in which the boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable student behavior are not clear

Analyze and structure social environments to minimize problem behaviors

Prevention and Early Intervention

Environmental variables that contribute to misbehavior:

Absence of clear and consistent rules and consequences

Problematic routines

Inadequate supervision of common areas

When the environment is arranged to prevent predictable minor behavior problems, the 7-10% of students who need more intensive intervention can be identified

5% to 7% of students account for 50% of behavior challenges

Implementing School-Wide PBS

Strategic planning to create effective and efficient procedures

Staff Survey Data

Behavior Incident Data

Best predictor of future problem behavior

Analysis of office discipline referrals

For each problem, identify a prevention

Teach rules, adapt/create routines, change physical environment, add supervision

Implementing School-Wide PBS

Communicate and Teach Expectations

Plan ahead

Begin the first day of school

Re-teach, review, remind, regularly


Convey to students what teachers expect

Guide student behavior

Strengthen teacher monitoring and correction of behavior


Implement routines that can prevent problem behaviors

Classroom PBS

Classroom expectations and rules must align with school-wide expectations

Academic success = greatest deterrent to inappropriate behavior

Organize curriculum, individualize instruction, evaluate student learning, adjust instruction

Identify desired student behaviors

Classroom PBS

Effective Instruction and Student Behavior

Research-based Instructional Practices

Brisk instructional pacing

Frequent review of students’ work

Systematic and constructive corrective feedback

Minimize pupil errors

Praise correct responding

Offer guided practice

Model new behaviors

Provide transitions between lessons and concepts

Monitor student progress

Classroom PBS

When classroom behavior problems occur

Examine the curriculum and teaching strategies

Ask if behavior expectations have been both taught and learned

Determine if responses to problem behavior are consistent across time, students, location

Stimulus Control

Stimulus control —relationship in which the antecedent (instruction) causes (cues) the behavior (student response)

Discriminative stimulus —a stimulus that will reliably result in a desired behavior

Example: After teaching the desired behavior, the teacher asks a question (discriminative stimulus) and students raise their hands

Goal of classroom behavior management

Develop stimulus control over pupil behavior

Prevent problem situations from occurring

Classroom Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS)

Modify Tasks

Reduce the amount of effort needed to perform the task

Give student choices


Verbal reminders, re-teaching

Prompts and cues

Gestures, sounds, signals, notes, signs

Hints, suggestions

Opportunities to respond

Increasing response rates

Increase number of correct responses

Increase task engagement

Decrease disruptive behavior

Attention and Praise

Teacher-administered social reinforcement:

Feedback—consequence of a behavior such as following a rule

Weak influence on behavior

Attention—can be nonverbal, positive, negative, or neutral

Strong influence on behavior

Approval—positive verbal behavior

Strong influence on behavior

Conditioned Reinforcer

a consequence that has acquired reinforcing properties through association with previously established reinforcers


a consequence that increases the rate and likelihood that the behavior will occur in the future

Social—feedback, attention, and approval from teacher and/or peers



Extinction - withholding attention (reinforcement) for a behavior as a way to eliminate the behavior

Use only if attention from all sources can be withheld

Will result in an initial increase of behavior

Implement very consistently over time

Apply differential reinforcement

After appropriate behavior attend to, stand near, touch, look at, or interact with student

Use extinction

After inappropriate behavior withhold attention by looking and moving away or calling attention to another child

Classroom PBS

Group Management Systems

Effective instruction

Contingent praise and attention

Reinforcement that comes from student success

Systematic use of antecedents and consequences

Setting Events – those occurring prior to challenging behavior, but not immediately prior, increasing likelihood challenging behavior will occur

Non-classroom examples

Fatigue, hunger, tardiness, not taking meds

Classroom examples:

Rules, routines, physical arrangements

Classroom PBS

Group Management Systems

Using Antecedents and Consequences Systematically

Level Systems—Limitations

Not effective in promoting transition to less restrictive environments

Might violate federal law

Due process


Access to general education treated as a privilege to earn

Not individualized

Classroom PBS
Group Management Systems

Negative Behavior Management Strategies:

Forcing a student to do something that he or she doesn’t want to

Forcing a student to admit a lie

Demanding a confession from students

Using confrontational tactics

Asking students why they act out

Punishing students

Making disapproving comments

Comparing student’s behaviors to others


Engaging in verbal battles

Making unrealistic threats

Ridiculing students

Principles of ABA

Behavior is controlled by its consequences

Behavior is strengthened or maintained by reinforcement

Behavior is weakened by withholding the consequences that have maintained it

Behavior is weakened by punishment

Self-stimulating behavior can be staved, including as a reward.  If interfering with learning, worth trying to stop.  We're not with the student every minute of the day.

To effectively influence behavior, consequences must consistently and immediately follow the behavior they are meant to control.

Behavior is strengthened, weakened, or maintained by modeling.

Behavior is controlled by its consequences

Antecedent—a stimulus that precedes the behavior. It may or may not serve as a discriminative stimulus for that behavior.

Consequence—stimulus that occurs contingent on a particular response

Behavior will be influenced by an antecedent stimulus when there is a predictable relationship between the antecedent and a consequence.

Behavior is under antecedent stimulus control when an individual responds appropriately to an antecedent stimulus without always having to experience a direct consequence for the behavior.

Behavior is controlled by its consequences

Establish Antecedent Stimulus Control

Predictable consequences for students who do and do not follow directions

Systematically apply positive consequences to appropriate responses made in the presence of stimuli


Provide many systematic applications of consequences

Reinforce approximations of desired behavior

Develop a step-by-step approximation of the desired behavior and reinforce successive approximations

Ex. Praise active student for remaining in seat for a few seconds

Behavioral expectations are well above student’s ability to perform the expected behavior

The teacher can settle for a lesser behavior while teaching and reinforcing the successive approximations

Inappropriate for behaviors such as hitting, biting, etc.

Consequences can affect behavior in three ways

Strengthen—increase the frequency or likelihood that the behavior will occur

Weaken—decrease the frequency or likelihood that the behavior will occur

Maintain—do not change the frequency or likelihood that the behavior will occur

Behavior is strengthened or maintained by reinforcement

Reinforcement can be positive or negative

What is reinforcing for one student may not be reinforcing for another

The most effective strategies for increasing a desired behavior are based on positive reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement:

When the application of a consequence maintains or strengthens behavior over time

What is reinforcing for one student may not be reinforcing for another

Negative Reinforcement:

Avoiding or escaping an aversive stimulus that serves to strengthen or maintain a behavior over time

Behavior is weakened by withholding the consequences that have maintained it


works if the consequences that are maintaining the behavior are known and able to be controlled

Inappropriate for use when

Behavior can’t be identified

Reinforcer can’t be controlled

Social interactions between students


Self-stimulatory behavior

Behaviors maintained by intermittent positive reinforcement such as out-of-seat behaviors that are maintained by some peer attention

If you can’t ignore the behavior, don’t use extinction

Behavior is weakened by punishment


Is a consequence

Is defined by its effects on behavior

Decreases the frequency of the behavior when it is applied

Response cost is a form of punishment.

Dr. Linas dislikes, but she's in the minority.  Involves taking away, typically, such as taking away a minute of recess.

Consequences must follow the behavior they are meant to control

Contingency—planned, systematic relationship between a behavior and a consequence

Must be consistent to establish this relationship and increase stimulus control over student behavior

Behavior is strengthened, weakened, or maintained by modeling

Demonstrate expected behavior

Children imitate the behavior of models

similar to them

high status

have been reinforced

If model’s behavior is punished, imitators will suppress their behavior

High status.  Always peer models.  Kids watch other kids.

Systematic Procedures for Influencing Behavior

Behavior Enhancement


Social reinforcement



Reinforcements (activity, token, tangible, edible, tactile, sensory)

Behavior Reduction

Differential reinforcement


Verbal aversives

Response cost



Physical aversives

Time out in room, but can't participate.  Just outside the room.  Intervention package--BIST--School-wide program, with safe seat, buddy room.  Behavior Intervention Strategy Techniques.  Regional around here.  Behavior Plan can't use BIST.  Behavior plan is individual, BIST is general.

Systematic Procedures for Influencing Behavior


Extent to which interventions impinge on students’ bodies or rights

Degree to which interventions interrupt regular educational activities


Extent to which the intervention inhibits students’ freedom to be treated like other pupils

Intervention Packages

Interventions are usually combined in "packages" to increase their effects on behavior Enhancement Procedure:

Self-regulation includes three procedures




Social Reinforcement

Verbal feedback—mild reinforcer

Social attention and approval (praise)


Behavioral Contracting

Formal written agreement between student and other person


the behavior to be increased or decreased

consequences to be delivered

criterion for determining if contract fulfilled

Can make high-probability behavior (favorite activity) contingent on low-probability behavior (difficult academic subject)

Can choose reinforcers from a menu

Types of Reinforcement

Activity—academic tasks, games, art, free time

Token—conditioned reinforcers such as tokens, tickets, points, chips that can be exchanged for backup reinforcers

Tangible—nonedible items such as stickers, stars, toys

Reduction Procedures

Positive reinforcement may need to be used with reduction procedures for students with more significant behavior problems

Use less intrusive and restrictive techniques

Use reductive techniques in the context of systematic positive reinforcement at a rate of four positives for every aversive/negative 

A unobtrusive, as little restriction as possible.

Reduction Procedures

From least to most intrusive and restrictive:

Differential reinforcement


Verbal reprimands

Response cost


Differential Reinforcement

Procedure involves increasing reinforcement for replacement behaviors while reducing or eliminating reinforcement for unwanted behaviors

Term reinforcement means increasing a behavior

Types of Differential Reinforcement

Differential reinforcement of low rates of behavior (DRL)

Differential reinforcement of incompatible behaviors (DRI)

Differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors (DRA)

Apply reinforcement when the rate of the targeted (unwanted) behavior occurs no more than a pre-specified number of times

Example: Reinforce student for talking out less than three times during English class


Works by withholding reinforcement

Weak procedure for severe behaviors

Ineffective if reinforcement is not under control of the teacher

Effective when paired with a differential reinforcement procedure

Sensory Extinction

An intrusive procedure in which the sensory consequences of self-stimulating or self-injurious behaviors are masked so that reinforcement is withheld

Example: covering tabletop with felt so the auditory feedback of spinning an object is withheld

Limitation—more intrusive procedure

Systematic Procedures for Influencing Behavior

Verbal Aversive

Provide immediate feedback that behavior is unacceptable

Serve as discriminative stimuli that punishment contingencies are in effect

Effective with mild to moderate behaviors

Be brief, make eye contact, and deliver privately to avoid unintended reinforcing qualities of attention

Delivered to one student; can make impact on others

When associated with other aversive backup consequences (response cost, time-out), verbal aversives acquire conditioned aversive properties

Response Cost

Loss of a reinforcer (not the one that is maintaining the behavior) contingent on an unwanted behavior

Must give something to take something away

Works well in conjunction with token system

Plan system so that students don’t lose more than they gain

To avoid arguments, make the response cost two items or tokens. When student willingly accepts the loss of two, he/she then earns back one item or token for cooperating with the consequence

Cognitive behavior requires all focus and attention.  One thing at a time.  Associative behavior is something you can do with something else at the same time.

Incompatible behaviors:  If you are sitting in your seat, you can't be walking around the room.


Time-out from positive reinforcement

Planned ignoring

Contingent observation

Exclusionary time-out

Seclusionary time-out

Planned Ignoring

Systematic withholding of social attention for the length of the time-out period

Effective if teacher attention during time-in is associate with positive reinforcement

Contingent Observation

Student can remain in a position to observe the group (and continue to get instruction) but is not participating or receiving reinforcement for a period of time

Exclusionary Time-Out

Student is physically excluded from an ongoing activity

Seclusionary Time-Out

Student is removed from instruction to a specified area such as a time-out room


Student writes on table and has to clear 4 times.  Time intensive, but effective.

Positive Practice—student repeats a behavior as a consequence for displaying an unwanted behavior

Example: When student engages in hand flapping (unwanted behavior), he repeatedly places hand on the desk (positive practice)

Is aversive to students/staff

Research is unclear as to efficacy

Restitutional overcorrection—student overcorrects the effect of the unwanted behavior on the environment

Example: Student tears the papers off the bulletin board (unwanted behavior) and is directed to fix the bulletin board and straighten the classroom (overcorrection)

Is aversive to students/staff

Physical Aversive

Substances having aversive tastes, odors, cold water, and physical aggression have been used to reduce very severe maladaptive behaviors

Professional organizations have policies against these approaches

Corporal punishment is prohibited in most states and some Texas school districts

Lack of empirical studies support its effectiveness

Additional Notes

Chapter 2 (2/6)


Externalizing behaviors are behaviors that are directed outward (outside) the person towards other people or things.  Examples include hitting another person, turning a chair over, aggression.  Can be very aggressive.  More emotional than purposeful.  Yelling.  Aggression.  Breaking down.  Sobbing.  Tantruming.  All have in common that you can see or hear them.  They are all visible.

Hyperactivity for ADHD is a manifestation of the behavior.

Turrets corborarialia verbal tic is “damn” at the top of their lungs.  Usually starts in adolescence.

Behavior:  anger is an externalizing behavior outwardly directed.  Fighting.  Aggression.  Destruction of property.  Aggression against animals. 

Possible behaviors associated with MR:  Screaming.  Yelling.  Overly, inappropriately affectionate.  A lot of aggression.  Big tantrums.  Throwing objects.  Getting into things. 

Externalizing behaviors look like something.

Internalizing behaviors are behaviors directed inward, self-directed behavior (can’t see).  Rage disorders can have a passive appearance.  Depression.  Very withdrawn.  Social isolation.  Anxiety. 

Eating disorder—ultimate internalizing disorder.

Dystimia—pre-depression.  Not quite depression but lasts a long period of time.

Behavior.  Biggest challenge is the identification of behavior.  People had trouble coming up with a discrete description of behavior.  If I’m going to address a behavior, it needs to be pretty specific.  Not raising hand before speaking.  Behavior is something pretty discrete.  If you can’t visualize it in your mind, it’s probably not a behavior.

Environmental variables.  Noise.  Light.  Temperature.  Visual stimulation.  Can be a distraction.  Set off anxiety.  Impact learning and concentration.  Make it tough.


Has to be in place.  Everything we do in classroom has to be compatible for everything in the building.  Has to be consistency across environments.

Plan is aimed at the 90% who do well.  If you can identify the 10%, they need the first rewards.

  1. Identify antecedents.

  2. Gather and analyze data.

  3. Set rules, basically respect self, others, and property.

  4. Teach expectation to all the classes.

Everybody has to talk to everybody.  Everything must fit within the school-wide plan.

 How do you know who to reward when!?!

 Seventh grade team:  School-wide initiative.  Monthly character training.  Take positive

 Sixth graders:

Analyze problem.  Are there new students?  Causes?  Time of day?  Collect data.  Survey faculty.

Physical arrangement-check and moderate temperature.

Mentoring and buddy system.

Review leaning and entering cafeteria and other rules after break.

Cafeteria monitors, more supervising, 8th graders.

Analyze and pick up if needed or slow down the pace if needed.  If finished eating, can check out a book in the library.

6th grade handbook, under school-wide system.  Make sure problem class is behaving and not causing problems for others.

Student posters.

School is cool—check in when first arrive for few minutes with 8th graders or counselor to make sure on time.

Recognition and reward thing is difficult.  There can’t be caps (e.g. 10).  The big 12 or 14 for graduating seniors.


Show expectations in the hallways.

Review after spring break.

Review consequences.

Post expectations.

Have expectations posted in the hallways.

Example rewards:  If all office referrals dropped 10%, then everyone gets a reward (movie).

8th grade gets party at end of semester, 6th end of each quarter, SPED each month.  Needs to be consistent.

Terminology does not have to be consistent, but expectations need to be compatible with school wide system.

Classroom rules and expectations should always be written in positive terminology.  NEVER say no running, say walk.  Never have NO part of a rule.  Hands in pockets instead of no hands on walls.  Or hands folded or in pockets is clear. 


Applied behavior analysis is a step by step discrete process, which should not be attempted unless you are trained, competent, and practiced in it’s application.  You can do real harm. 

Behavior is controlled by consequences.

Behavior is strengthened or maintained by reinforcement.

Behavior is weakened by withholding the consequences that have maintained it.

Behavior is weakened by punishment.

To effectively influence behavior, consequences must consistently and immediately follow the behavior they are meant to control.

Behavior is strengthened, weakened, or maintained by modeling.

If modeled appropriately, people are influenced by people who are valued or respected.

Chapter 7 Disruptive Behavior

EDSP 514

Chapter 7 Disruptive Behavior


Adapted from Borreca, E. A., Langford, T. & Stack, E.


Disruptive Behavior

Interferes with the learning of others

Communicative Function of the Behavior

Attention getters

Gain approval

Avoid assignments

Test rules

Add drama to boring situations

4 Intervention Types

Environmentally mediated interventions

Teacher mediated interventions

Peer mediated interventions

Self mediated interventions

Environmentally Mediated Interventions

Classroom environment






Classroom Design

Environmentally Mediated Interventions

To Rule or Not to Rule

List specific rules in writing.

State all rules in the "positive."

Reformat a "NO" rule by substituting the incompatible behavior.

Situation specific.


Environmentally Mediated Interventions

Use only enforceable rules

Describe appropriate behavior

Engage student input

Environmentally Mediated Interventions

Teacher Movement Patterns

Teacher-student proximity

Increases opportunity for positive reinforcement

Caution: Also increases opportunity for punishment

Teacher-Mediated Interventions

Monitoring Teacher Verbal and Nonverbal Behavior (Positive and Aversive)

Teacher praise increases desired behavior.

Teacher attention increased undesired behaviors

Aversive management temporarily suppresses undesired behavior in target student

Caution: May strengthen undesired behavior in other students

Teacher-Mediated Interventions


Public humiliation increases anger and opposition.

May escalate to an unsafe situation

Physical Interactions

Therapeutic holding requires IEP.

Maintain distance in all other interactions.

Honor personal space.


Teacher-Mediated Interventions

High-Probability Request Sequences

Deliver 3-4 requests with high probability of student follow-through

Immediately follow with request that is generally refused

Praise-and-Ignore Approach

Use for attention-seeking behaviors.

Behavior will increase/escalate before decreasing

Combine praise with ignoring.

Teacher-Mediated Interventions

Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (DRO)

Reinforce for NOT EXHIBITING the target behavior during a time interval

Differential Reinforcement of Low Rates of Behavior (DRL)

Gradually reduce behavior by reinforcing progressively lower rates of the behavior.

Apply to swearing, obscene words, inappropriate questioning, negative verbal statements, teasing behaviors.

Teacher-Mediated Interventions

Public Posting

Post student grades (preserve confidentiality)

"Best Record" Progress of Disruptive Behavior

Contingency Contracting

Mutually agreeable tasks

Negotiate criteria, mastery, and evaluation method

Negotiate reinforce for mastery

Select activities, items, or privileges

Review at frequent intervals

Teacher-Mediated Interventions

Token Economy

Exchange token for back-up reinforcer

Progress from basic compliance to self-evaluation and monitoring


"important" target behavior for class

reinforcers and fines


Deliver reinforcer only as a consequence of the desired behavior

Reduce tokens as program continues

(More work = token, More time on task = token)



Peer-Mediated Interventions

Group Goal Setting and Feedback

Students receives a daily behavioral objective

Students evaluate progress

Students vote on progress to objective

Peer Monitoring

Teacher-appointed captain distributes or withdraws points

Peer-Mediated Interventions

Peer Manager Strategy

Students monitor and note interfering or positive behaviors at select intervals.

Whole-group assessment preferred to avoid punishment ("ganging up")

Teacher asks at planned intervals: "How are we doing?"

Group Contingencies

Dependent Group Contingency

Performance of a select group of students determines consequences of entire class or group

Recommend if NO antisocial behaviors exist within the group



Peer-Mediated Interventions

Independent Group Contingency

Each person receives consequences independent of the group.

Interdependent Group Contingency

Prescribed level of behavior = group reward or consequence

Caution: Avoid Response Cost

Use successive approximation strategy

Self-Mediated Interventions


Student counts behaviors



Training statements to accomplish positive behavior



2/20 Chapter 8 Improving School Survival Skills and Social Skills

Note charts on pages 224 and 226.

First half of chapter is about hidden curriculum.  Child may have little knowledge, never trained, etc.  We assume that the children know how to get there, have supplies, take tests, and so on.  The hidden curriculum is that they are penalized if they don't know school survival skills.

Signal before B flat bell sounds.  Cover speaker.  These are environmental interventions.


Adapted from Borreca, E. A., Langford, T. & Stack, E.

Assessing School Survival Skills

Promote Self-Determination

Evaluate school survival skills

Determine student

Needs to succeed

Alternative appropriate behavior

Training for alternative behavior


Teacher-Mediated Strategies

General Guidelines

Modify pace and scheduling

Allow occasional failure

Review difficulty of assignment

Frequent performance feedback.

Develop, teach, rehearse system for requesting help

Study aids

Managing Routines

State, explain, and demonstrate

Rehearse routine

Reteach and reinforce

Study skills

Time management


Distributed practice

Generalization through homework

Peer-Mediated Strategies

Peer Tutoring

Tasks that are modeled or prompted.

Simple task with simple evaluation.

Tutor partners

Reflective listening

Proactive feedback

No put-downs

Cooperative Learning

communication prerequisites


decision making

conflict resolution

Deficits in social skills:

Doesn't know skill.

Knows skill intellectually, but can't do it well or regularly or totally.

Fluency is she can do it sometimes.

Social Withdrawal

Avoiding/escaping social contact

Maintained by negative reinforcement


Selective mutism

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Psychotic behavior

Ineffective strategies

peer-mediated strategies

do not punish

avoid alone time

maturation does not remediate

Social Skills Deficits




Social Skills Instruction



Cultural sensitivity

Competing behaviors



Performance feedback


Social Skills: Teacher-Mediated Strategies


naturalistic setting

cultural sensitivity

Replacement behaviors

Use models

Role-play target skills

supportive feedback

overlearn skills to generalization

Social Skills: Teacher-Mediated Strategies

Curriculum Skills*(see additional handout)

Psychological Skill Areas

Asking for help

Giving directions

Expressing affection

Expressing a complaint

Responding to contradictory messages

Responding to anger

Preparing for a stressful conversation

Determining responsibility

Setting problem priorities

Dealing with being left out

Persuading others

Following instructions

Social Skills: Teacher-Mediated Strategies

Psychological skill areas (cont)

Responding to the others’ feelings

Responding to a complaint

Responding to persuasion

Responding to failure

Dealing with an accusation

Dealing with group pressure

Social Skills Curriculum

Teach, role-play, rehearse behavioral skills

Cue cards

Link to real-life situations

Published curriculum


Social Skills: Peer-Mediated Strategies

Include peers in the intervention

Peers preferred to adults

Identify pro-social peer group to model and role-play.

Social Skills: Self-Mediated Strategies

Useful for performance or fluency deficit

Identification of social skill

Student collects personal interaction data

Self-reinforcement of skill performance




EDSP 514

Chapter 5 Monitoring Student Progress

Adapted from Borreca, E. A., Langford, T. & Stack, E

Overview of Classroom Measurement

Formative Evaluation

IEP Objectives and Progress

BIP Data Collection

Determine Program Modifications

Summative Evaluation

Students whose programs are systematically monitored and adjusted make greater gains.

Visual Analyses results in even higher student gains.

Overview of Classroom Measurement

Instructional Time vs. Data Collection Time

Results-Based Measurement vs. Instructional Decision-Making Data

Standardized Testing Requirement vs. Data-Based Instruction Requirement

(No Child Left Behind Act, 2001)

Classroom Measurement

Systematic data collection:

Making instructional decisions,

Providing feedback

student/others regarding the effectiveness of instructional and behavior intervention programs

Providing common basis for discussion among parents, teachers, students and

Increasing student performance.

Establish a clear definition of behavior  On task behavior is very difficult, for example, because we can't tell what's going on inside someone's head.


Measure Identified Objectives

  • Measure Social Behavior (Target/Replacement Behavior)

Organize Data (Chart/Graph)

Chart Indirect Measures of Social Behaviors

Counting points is not as effective as counting behaviors


Measuring Student Progress

Monitoring Procedure

Types of measurement

1. Frequency: How often a behavior occurs per time period observed

2. Duration: Length of time of behavior

3. Latency: Delay between prompt and response

4. Intensity: Frequency and duration of a behavior (tantruming)

5. Locus: Location of occurring behavior

Monitoring Format

Direct Measure vs. Indirect Measure

Typical Rates of Target Behaviors

Discrete-- Behavior happens in isolation (once)

Continuous Behavior-- Talking.  Whatever annoying behavior they exhibit that feels like all the time.

Measuring Student Progress

Monitoring Format

2x week monitoring-- Take at twice a week for academic monitoring.  More is too hard.  We don't learn that fast (not much increase on a daily basis)

Daily monitoring for behavior.

recommended for priority social behaviors.  recommended to increase academic achievement.  Might be patterns.  A social behavior, so might miss the one big event. 

Record across settings and activities (gym, bathroom, etc.)

Control observation time (consistent data)

Measuring Student Progress

Recording Strategies


Counting Academic Responses

Counting Number of Trials to Performance Criterion

Duration Recording (out of seat, on task)

Record cumulative time/duration per occurrence

Response Latency Recording (take your seat)

Record time from verbal instruction to compliance

Measuring Student Progress

Interval Recording (stereotypic behaviors) Handclapping.  Only happens at intervals.  If you make big enough intervals, start to see patterns.  A-B-C

Record when behavior occurs in brief intervals.

Time Sampling

You can't teach while you're doing it.

Record at set intervals or variable interval schedule.

Record multiple students and behaviors.

Record each student (10 seconds in sequence).

Dysconesia--Not purposeful movement

Measuring Student Progress

Probably don't want:  Portfolios

Performance by Permanent Product

Collect behavior, academic, metacognitive or strategic learning, language development, cultural, or climate response records.

Correlate to outcomes or standards

Base on teacher analyses or rubric

Compare to IEP Objectives

Measuring Student Progress

Observer Agreement--More than one person taking data.  Evaluate definition of behavior.

Evaluate the adequacy of a behavioral definition--Need matching definition.

Calculate the percentage of inter-observer agreement  We want 85% or better inter-rater reliability.

Event, frequency or rate data, two observers count the number of the target behavior observed

May be observer distraction, observer bias, may be immune to the behavior so don't even see, may be in different parts of the room (so see things differently).

EDSP 514

Chapter 6: Evaluating Intervention Effects

Adapted from Borreca, E. A., Langford, T. & Stack, E

Graphing and Charting

Types of Graphs and Charts

Bar Graphs show progress toward a specific objective

Reinforcing for student

Cumulative kind of thing

Not used for decision making

Frequency Polygon

Reports frequency, rate, or percentage data

Equal interval data

Progress Graph

Chart progress to mastery

Performance Graph

Reports a change of a single behavior

Take baseline data, intervene, then see how did after intervention.

Useful for social behavior, unless using direct teaching method

Graphing and Charting

Graph or Chart Construction

Condition lines designate changes in instruction or intervention


Record at least 3 data points for academic targets, 7 data points for social behavioral targets.  Take data longer for behavioral change.  Get at least three days of data collection.  Anybody can have a great day or a bad day.

Intervention then take more data.

Phase change line

Indicates reinforcement or instructional change

Data-Based Decision Making

Visual Data Analysis (Chart or graph and picture of baseline and intervention data)

Never manipulate more than one variable at a time.

Identify functional relationship between environmental relationships and the target behavior

Manipulate variables one at a time

Curriculum, reinforcers, instruction.  Variables like fire drill may cause problems never expected.

Assess current performance

Measure target behavior on several sessions for preintervention baseline data

Data-Based Decision Making

Analyzing Level Changes

Level change refers to the amount of relative change within (contained) or between (group A and group B) conditions. 

Subtract ordinate values of first and last data points

Note whether the change is improving or decaying

Static movement of data points suggests weak intervention effects (not working)

Is behavior improving or decaying?


Analyzing Data Trends

Trend lines show path of data dependent on condition or intervention (Lines that are not the baseline).  Show if behavior is escalating or decreasing.

Accelerating trend suggests increase in target behavior based on reinforcement

Decelerating trend indicates punishment or extinction is operating

Stable data points following intervention indicates that recurring baseline variables may be treatment variable (i.e. teacher attention was not controlled during baseline).

Overlap between baseline and intervention data suggests weak intervention effects

Delayed accelerating trend followed by a positive change may suggest initial training steps were unnecessary.  The things they had to do initially weren't necessary.  Maybe step 4 is the one that words.

Decision Rule to change intervention if 3 consecutive data points fall below desired aim line.  Change intervention if isn't working.  In some instances it will get worse before it gets better.


Chapter 9

CONDUCT DISORDER (Book is wrong.  Not the same thing as anti-social behavior).

Childhood onset is age 10.  Childhood conduct disorder is resistant to change.  If you have not made significant changes prior to age 11, the best you're going to do is to maintain the behavior at that level.  It is likely that this child will end up in prison or worse.

Typically male, physical aggression, very disturbed if any, oppositional defiant disorder. 

Adolescent--no criteria prior to adolescent.  Grow up to have anti-social personality disorders. 

Severe--many problems or conduct has severe consequences.

State of Missouri has decided that if the child is diagnosed with a conduct disorder that's antisocial behavior and we don't have to provide services.  Missouri is one of very few states.  In Missouri, no kid is ever diagnosed this way.  These kids seem to have a lack of conscience.  They live comfortably with themselves.  They don't get it to get attention, it's just what they want to do.

People under 21 in prison, enormous number of kids in special education or should have been, mild to moderately mentally retarded.


Chapter 9

EDSP 514

Chapter 9 Addressing Aggressive Behaviors


Adapted from Borreca, E. A., Langford, T. & Stack, E.


Aggressive Behavior

Documentation and understanding







Identify student, 2 behaviors, and figure out the antecedents and consequences.  Consequences are not necessarily a bad thing.  Table 9.1 has good tools.and see table 9.5.

Teacher-Mediated Strategies

    Academic Intervention:  Make sure kid has capacity to do the work.

    Verbal De-Escalation: 

    Anger Management Training

    Social Competence Training

    Contingency Management Strategies

    Token Reinforcement


    Time-Out & Seclusion:  Getting a lot of attention in special education--Punishment is controversial.  Time out, seclusion, and restraint will no longer be used.

    Crisis Intervention:  Not popular any more.


  • Academic Intervention

  • Frustration:  Kids act out when frustrated. 


    --academic skills necessary?

  • ability

  • achievement

  • --tolerance--What is the child's tolerance for frustration?  Everyone has a different tolerance for frustration.

    --attention:   The kid who is distractible pays attention to everything.  The kid with a short attention span pays attention to nothing.  Kids with hearing problems hear too much.  What is the kid's capacity for attention?


Verbal de-escalation

Identify the real problem:  What's really wrong?

Choose battles carefully:  Is it really worth going to war on this one?  If you don't think you can win, walk away.  Like planned ignoring.

Always consider

How well you know your students

What is typical development?  normal developmental patterns

Set reasonable limits.  What I think is reasonable may be different from what others think is reasonable.

Hold student discussions privately

Saving face is crucial to adolescents


needing the last word

power struggles:  Don't get into power struggles.  You will lose.  If you lose one power struggle, it will be over.

Sarcasm is never a good choice in a classroom, particularly kids with special needs because they don't get it.

ultimatums  What if you issue an ultimatum and they say "I don't care."  Where do you go from there?  You can't make anybody learn.  No-- "sit down."  Yes--"I would like everyone to sit down."    Think about the fact that you CAN'T make the kid do anything.  Every time you tell the kid to do something and they don't, then you lose.  None of us can make anyone do anything.

Anger Management Training


To help students:

Identify anger antecedents

Identify own reactions

Select good choices/alternatives

Social Competence Training

Social skills deficits

impact aggression

contingency management

generalization across settings

generalization across people

Contingency Management Strategies

Token economies

Contingency contracts

Time out from reinforcement

Pinpoint behavior (operationalize)

Identify antecedents


Change antecedents

Example Antecedent: Teasing

Intervention: 1. Eliminate teaser’s access to student

2. Reinforce competing behavior 

Set up competing behavior!

3. Response-cost


Keep positives to negatives a minimum of 4 to 1!

Token Reinforcement - Response Cost

System of tokens/points for preferred behaviors and fines for undesired behaviors.

Tokens for specific, identified behaviors.

Response cost--lose token every time you use an aggressive behavior.  You have to keep a balance.  Need way more things they can get points for than what they can lose points for.  Can't be set up on a daily basis in case kid loses all points by noon.  Needs to be on a circular basis.  Never allow them to go in a hole.  Critical that the kid never hits zero.  For a whole class, probably not past middle school.  Individually can work at every level--never too old.


System Design

Tie to reinforcement system

Students can never lose more tokens than those earned

Circular in nature

  • Identify target behavior for token reinforcement

  • Implement reinforcement immediately when behavior occurs

  • Reinforce all other appropriate behavior with praise

  • Identify target behavior for response cost

  • Implement response cost immediately when behavior occurs

Be impersonal when points are lost

Be 100% consistent --do the best you can.

Time-Out & Seclusion

Designed as time-out from reinforcement

Used as punishment

Removal from peers

Removal from classroom

Not such a good idea:  in school suspension or out of school suspension

Often ineffective

Removal preferred to attendance

Aversive classrooms


May be considered somewhat controversial

Don't get restraint training--Restraint will be gone.  Time out will be gone soon too.

Crisis Intervention  Find out.

District-wide/School-wide plans

Classroom plan

Teacher roles

Coursework & certification  Don't touch anyone.  Step back, do what's required of you, and let trained people take care of it.

Students with Mental Health Challenges

Do’s:(get quieter, ask one question at a time, stick to current issues)

Stay calm

Keep communication simple, clear, brief

Ask one question at a time

Stick to current issues


Acknowledge what has been heard and expressed (reflective listening)

If appropriate

Help identify feelings (I hear what you're saying and you sound angry.  Is that right?)

Show empathy

Minimize distractions (Maintain privacy, best not to have an audience)

Awareness of nonverbal communication/behavior

Students with Mental Health Challenges


  • Argue, talk down, or yell 

  • Interrupt

  • Personalize

  • Diagnose (name calling)

  • Give advice (The child is not our child.  The child has parents.  Don't give advice in anything other than what we are teaching them.  They are not our and we do not have the right to teach them our values.)

  • Generalize

Peer-Mediated Strategies

Use the student’s peer group to reduce aggressive behaviors

Conflict resolution (Peer Mediation)

Peers meet with classmates and help work out problems


Adult supervision

Peer confrontation

Peers confront the inappropriate behavior

Identify effects of behavior

Joint problem solving

Adult supervision and training

Peers as teachers of anger management

Peer trainers (nondisabled students) instruct classmates with E/BD to control their anger

Scripts, role-play situations

Adult supervision and training

Self-Mediated Strategies

Self-management unsuccessful alone

Interpersonal behavior

Additional methodology

contingency management

alternative behaviors


ABC analysis


Child Behavior Profile Assignment & Grading Rubric -Parts A & B

Part A assignment (4-8 paragraphs)

We did not understand the assignment the way Dr. Linas intended.  Third person.  Formal report.  John appears to exhibit aggressive behavior as demonstrated by. . . .  Abbreviation has to be spelled out first time.  This needs to be about behavior and nothing else.  Academics are not part of this assignment unless as it affects his behavior.

Background History

John is a seventh grade student at x middle school.  He receives special education services. . . Blah, blah.  Family and cultural background tied to behavior.  Connect family to impact on behavior.  Family values may be in place but they are not reinforced.

Interview the child.  Address the issue or explain why the information is not available.  Make connections to behavior.  Developmental history is only important in knowing how we got to where we are.

No school history unless it explains how the student got to where he is.

Strengths and Needs

Looking for behavioral strengths and behavioral needs.  If child is impulsive, but recognizes he shouldn’t have blurted, that recognition is a strength.  May take some thought to find the behavioral strengths.  Then go on to describe the behavior.  He demonstrates ____ on a regular basis by _____.  What the behavior is and how it’s demonstrated.  Avoid stating opinions.

Don’t diagnose in writing.

List all behaviors then list all the supports in place.  There are probably some supports in place designed to help more than one behavior.  Can be schoolwide or classroom, signal system, whatever. 

There shouldn’t be a conclusion yet.  It will come at the end after describe student, done the assessment, evaluated the data, etc.

Chapter 10



A precursor to cutting is drawing /  coloring excessively.  Sometimes the student will draw down pants leg.  Sometimes will draw on arm.  Experimenting with a one time thing, would not classify.  Self-stimulatory behaviors tend to be associated with more serious behavior disorders.


If you have a child engaged in self-injurious behavior, report it to the team.  You are not the one who should take the data and remediate.  This kind of behavior is serious.


Chapter 9 Developing Alternatives to Self-Stimulatory and

Self-Injurious Behavior


Adapted from Borreca, E. A., Langford, T. & Stack, E.

Self-Stimulatory Behavior (SSB) 

Repetitive, frequent and highly consistent behaviors

No apparent positive environmental consequence.  People with more severe disabilities are more likely to have self-injurious.

Do not cause physical injury

AKA: stereotypic or ritualistic

Can become self-injurious

People w/ more severe disabilities

Maintained by perceptual reinforcement that produced

Individual controls the perceptual reinforcement.  If the student really likes the behavior, the student controls how much he or she does.

Perceptual reinforcers are

Student thinks he/she gets something out of it (sound, touch, the release of flapping hands)  Whatever the child gets out of it, has something to do with sensory.  Something in the behavior is very reinforcing.



Not as vulnerable to satiation as other reinforcers

Sometimes hard to differentiate if it's a tick.  Hiccup, cough, throat clearing, etc., and sometimes hard to tell the difference.


Self-Injurious Behaviors


Begins in infancy or before the age of 2

behavior is a strong perceptual reinforcer child learns to skillfully repeat


Chronic, repetitive acts

Hurt/harm the person exhibiting them

Co-occurring with other behaviors

Lots of kids with developmental, neurological, psychiatric, & genetic disorders demonstrate this kind of behavior.

Sometimes done along with something else.  Other behaviors can be in place at the same time.

Self-Injurious Behaviors (SIB)

5 Categories

    Striking oneself

    Biting or sucking body parts for the purpose of drawing blood and causing harm and damage.

    Pinching, scratching, poking, or pulling body parts

    Repeatedly vomiting or vomiting and reingesting food.  Rots teeth.  Similar to bulimia.

    Consuming nonedible substances, pica.  Kids diagnosed with pica typically prefer real food, so provide edible substances as reinforcement for eating nonedible foods.

    Hitting oneself any time, anywhere, but doing it on purpose or repeatedly.

SIB and SSB Assessment and Interventions

Effective programs

increase alternative behaviors


No Aversive techniques until specially told to do by director of special education.

Know:  may be prohibited (state law &/or school district)

When legal

used only as last resort by:

fully trained, adequately supervised caregivers

In writing--parent informed consent

in context of functional analysis

after benign treatments

Avoid spraying water in the face, for example.  Teachers are liable for everything that happens in the classroom.  Join NEA if you set foot in a school.

Putting gloves on a child is a restraint, but not an adversive.


Functional Relations

You have to conduct a functional analysis or assessment to find out what is going on.

Demonstrates cause and effect relationships between the behavior and the environment.  Need A-B-C analysis.  Functional analysis clarifies.

Motivational Conditions -- Hardest part of the chapter.  What maintains behavior.

Behavior maintained

  • Social attention—verbal or nonverbal feedback

  • Tangible consequences (i.e. preferred activity)

  • Avoidance of something disliked (i.e. seatwork)

  • Sensory feedback from the SIB

  • SSB, SIB, and Functional Relations

    Motivational Conditions for SIB

    Behavior is maintained by:

    Social attention—verbal or nonverbal feedback of others

    Tangible consequences (ex. access to play activities)

    Avoidance of a disliked situation (difficult lesson)

    Sensory feedback from the SIB

    Motivative Operations (MOs)

    Establishing Operation -- a setting event

    • Environmental event, operation, stimulus, antecedent or setting event (loud continuous drumming from class next door)

    • Increases reinforcing effectiveness of other events (disliked activity – seatwork)

    • Increases the likelihood of the problem behavior (paper-shredding)

    • Example: frustrating task in the afternoon increases likelihood of SIB

    Motivative Operations

    What Works -

    Functional analysis focusing on identifying EO conditions (setting events) 

    Interventions designed to eliminate setting events associated with low rates of problem behaviors  If you can change the setting event, you are likely to reduce the behavior.

    Assessment of SSB

    Team determination & responsibility

    Determine if behavior warrants treatment

      - interferes with attention to instruction

      - interferes with task completion

      - may become self-injurious


    SSB intervention strategies

    1. Enriching the environment

    2. Social reinforcement

    3. Reinforcing alternative behaviors

    4. Noncontingent reinforcement

    5. Perceptual reinforcement

    6. Stimulus variation

    7. Sensory preferences

    8. Response-reinforcer procedure

    9. Sensory reinforcement

    10. Automatic reinforcement

    11. Sensory extinction

    12. Environmental safety  (critically important.  Many classrooms are dangerous.  Consider how many weapons are available.)

    Assessment of SIB

    Qualified Professionals or Trained Team

  • Identify physiological and or biological factors

  • Analyze the interaction between SIB and environmental variables

  • Design an intervention

  • Monitor the progress of the intervention (what you will be responsible for)

  • Intervention Strategies for SIB

    1. Environmental changes

    2. Differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO)

    3. Interruption and redirection

    4. Extinction

    5. Effort

    6. Restraint

    7. Movement suppression procedure


      Stay away from red tattoos because they are very difficult to remove later.

    Splinter skills:  Student can do one thing very, very well.


    Chapter 4

    Chapter 4: Assessment-Based Intervention Planning

    Assessment-Based Intervention Planning

    IDEA 2004 stipulates that schools must conduct Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA) of students with disabilities whose behavior prompts a change in educational placement, including:



    Assessment-Based Intervention Planning

    Following completion of the FBA, a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) addressing the student’s problem behavior then must be developed.

    Why do assessment-based intervention planning?

    Required by law.

    interventions based solely on punitive consequences are ineffective

    Predicated on the fact that misbehavior happens for a reason

    Knowledge of the reason can lead to an intervention design including both disincentives for problem behavior and teaching/reinforcing desired behavior.

    3 Major Differences

    Conventional attempts to resolve behavior problems & a BIP are:

    A BIP intervention is based on the function of the problem behavior.

    Plans are typically developed by a team

    BIPs are formalized in writing and implemented exactly as written

    BIP Planning Requires (Whole Thing is Data Based)

    Multiple and various levels of assessment

    Data collection must support everything

    Tailoring strategies to

    specific student characteristics

    the persons implementing them (have to be able to do it)

    settings in which they are used.

    Purpose (Reason for the assessment)

    The purposes of the assessments are to:

    Identify problem behavior and determine whether intervention is warranted (is it needed?)

    Analyze the problem in terms of the context(s) in which it occurs

    Develop hypotheses about the factors that may be causing or contributing to the problem (examine Antecedents - Behavior - Consequences)

    Develop potential intervention strategies that address the relevant characteristics.


    Hypotheses are tested by:

    1.  Systematically altering predictor variables (antecedents)

    2.  Observing the effects on the target behavior.  Take data!  Even if you don't know what to do with it long term, take data.

    3.  Educational behavioral assessment involves the evaluation of observable student behaviors across the range of environmental settings in which they occur. (see it in the environment where it happens.  Not assigning intent or purpose.  (NOT traditional mental health assessment of what is underlying the behavior)


    Traditional mental health assessment focuses on internal processes that are assumed to underlie overt behavior patterns.

    Behavioral Contexts

    Behavioral contexts include:

    1.  Settings

    2.  Playground

    Available equipment

    Peer participants

    3.  Single classrooms

    Reading group, science class, etc.  There's so many smells and so much stuff in science classroom.

    4.  Consider

    5.  Differences across behavioral contexts

    Other persons--Who are the other people involved when there's a problem behavior?

    Behavioral expectations

    Amount of structure--How much structure does the student need?

    Likely interactions

    Goals of Behavioral Assessment

    1.  Identify specific interpersonal (who is there, how effectively do you communicate with that person) and environmental variables (too hot, too cold, too noisy, sensory things happening) within settings that influence behavior

    2.  Analyze behavioral expectations of various settings (expectations in art are not the same as language arts or lunch, for example)  What are the different expectations in the different settings?

    3.  Compare expectations and behavior across settings.  Looking for patterns across settings.

    Identifying Problem Behavior

    Standards for social behavior

    --Evaluate the behavior in question relative to the expectations for social behavior in specific settings

    Rule out medical explanations

    --Medical diagnosis/problems may underlie student behavior problems..  Was the student on medication but not any longer?  Ask the classroom or school nurse.   Check IEP.  Can, but be careful about asking parent.  Don't ever say "Looks like your child might have ADHD, you might want to have him evaluated"--the school district becomes responsible forever for the doctor bill, medicine, and follow-up.  NEVER recommend a child be evaluated.  If asked: "Should he go to the doctor?"  "That's up to you."  ALWAYS bump it up to the special education director or someone like that.  YOU WILL BE FIRED FOR SUGGESTING EVALUATION.  Do nothing other than observe.  Check out with administrator before writing a letter.

    Identifying Problem Behavior

    Social validation of problem behavior

    Do significant persons agree that a problem is serious enough to require intervention?

    Behavior problems don't typically exist only in one place if they are real.

    Asking the other persons

    Direct observation

    To validate existence and severity of problem

    Simultaneously observe the target student and a typical peer

    Assess differences between student’s behavior and that of behaviorally typical peers.

    Consider whether behavior is deviant with respect to the standards of student’s cultural reference group.

    Screening (taking a quick look, an overview)  Make sure there's really a problem.

    Screening procedures include: (file, grades, old reports)

    Direct assessment of behavior through direct observation

    Indirect behavioral assessment

    Checklists and rating scales

    Teacher rankings

    Self-report measures

    Sociometric procedures

    #1: Assess the Student’s Behavior

  • What does the problem behavior look like?

  • Under what conditions do problem behaviors tend to occur?

  • Under what general conditions do desired behaviors tend to occur?

  • #2: Propose a Hypothesis CA-B-C Analysis)

  • To identify recurrent patterns, analyze data from

  • Setting events



  • Use results to answer questions about the contexts in which the behavior occurs.

  • #3: Assess the Validity of the Hypothesis

  • This is the process of changing conditions while observing their effects on the target behavior

  • If a systematic alteration of certain events reliably (consistently) increase or decrease a specific behavior, there is a predictable, functional relationship between the event and the behavior.

  • #4: Design an Intervention

  • Successful FBA identifies the function(s) served by the target behavior
    ----------------What the behavior achieves or avoids

  • Successful FBA may identify the desired/expected behavior (replacement behavior) that should occur

  • ----------------Must serve same function (response equivalency)

    outcome or consequence

    quickly, consistently, and w/same quality of maintaining consequence (response efficiency)

  • Successful FBA may identify status of availability of prerequisites (Do I know how to raise my hand?  Do I have the needed skills?) to student acquisition of replacement behavior.  If student doesn't have the prerequisite skills, the replacement behavior will not work.  May need to teach the prerequisite skills.  Teach in sequence and teach steps.

  • #4: Design an Intervention--  How to manage it?  Nonverbal prompt, checklist, etc.

    Reduce instance of Target Behavior:

    Address issue of managing the target behavior

    Regard target behavior as error, not intentional misbehavior.

    Provide an error correction procedure, not punishment.

    Reductive procedures may be required if target behavior poses a risk to the safety or interferes with learning

    Include strategies of crisis management if the target behavior poses danger (go to the building)

    Integrate into the student’s overall program and daily routines (easy on paper, not in practice)

    #5: Collect Data on Effectiveness and Adjust as Needed:  So important.  Take data every day during analysis.  How you make decisions.

    Careful and continuous monitoring (data collection) of the effects of BIP is critical

    Data provides basis for decision-making

    The long-term & intermediate objectives provide a framework for evaluation (required in many districts)

    If short-term objectives not met, reassess intervention

    -look at the data patterns

    -reanalyzing FBA data

    -conducting additional assessments

    #6: Write Long- and Short-Term Intervention Objectives

    Write behavioral objectives that describe the behavioral outcomes to be achieved following intervention.

    A well-written behavioral objective

    -observable and measurable terms the

    -terminal behavior the student is to demonstrate (know where you're going--raise hand before speaking)

    -conditions under which the behavior should occur (100% of the time)

    -criteria for acceptable performance

    Chapter 11


    Psychiatrist diagnosed medical

    EDSP 514

    Chapter 11: Supporting Students with Psychiatric Problems

    Adapted from Borreca E. A. Langford T. & Stack E.


    One in 10 children and adolescents suffers from a mental illness serious enough to impede development and learning (U.S. Surgeon General 2001).


    Fewer than 1 in 5 of these youngsters receives needed treatment.


    It is estimated that between 2.5 million and 5 million children are not learning in school because of these problems.


    Students who are suffering from a mental health disorder or a substance abuse problem are:

    less successful in school

    more susceptible to negative health consequences (shorter life, aches, everything hurts)

    have fewer skills at socializing (don't have social skills, peers avoid because "weird")  An "overly sexualized child" is usually a sign of sexual abuse.

    Mental Health Prevention Services (CARE team, Child Study Team)

    Some kids referred to nurse, counselor, special services.  These teams were originally set up to deal with substance abuse issues.

    Student Assistance Programs

    Different names in different schools

    Initially intended to deal with substance issues

    now used to identify mental health issues also

    NOT intended to diagnose mental illness or addiction but to REFER students for counseling or treatment.

    Teams do NOT diagnose.  Don't write on paper or state orally to parents.  Teachers are not trained, not legally qualified, so just cannot do.  Refer to the principal, school psychologist, school social worker, coordinator.  If a parent is interested--their physician is interested in how child is doing in school--with principal's permission teacher can write a letter describing behavior.  "He is out of his seat considerable time.  Data collected shows. . . "  Don't qualify, judge anything.  Make sure you have data to back it up.  Make sure administrator knows.

    Student assistance team

    group of trained school professionals who meet regularly to identify youngsters in need of help (typically once a week) and to identify the factors that are inhibiting these students from learning and succeeding


    The U.S. Surgeon General (2001) identified these problems as the most serious barriers to learning:

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Worries about being bullied

  • Problems with family or friends (e.g., moving, divorce, family illness)

  • Loneliness or rejection (kids typically start having problems in 3rd grade;  until second grade kids are pretty accepting) 

  • Depression or sadness  (start seeing in four-year-olds and kindergarten -- gets bad in middle school; something is going on they don't understand; some kids get sad when the leaves fall off the trees; schema not fully developed; what they see is what they see; sad after Christmas;  little kids will usually answer questions--age ten probably not going to answer "you look sad.  Has something happened?")

  • Thoughts of suicide or hurting others (typically starts in puberty)  For a mentally ill child can be kindergarten.

  • Concerns about sexuality:  Typically puberty, but happening younger and younger.

  • Academic difficulties (some kids are concerned, some kids pretend not to be but are)

  • Dropping out (Kids with behavior disorders don't complete course work.  Need 23 to graduate, but only have 6 at end of junior year, so why stay because won't graduate.  Dropping out causes other problems.)  School is really painful for a lot of kids because we require they do it all and by our rules.  It's really hard for them.  If they make it through first two years of high school, then can self-select into things they do well.  One of the big problems.

  • Alcohol and substance abuse -- Begins about age 9 or 10.  Today there is more substance available, which is more potent, and available at younger age.  Serious problem.

  • Fear of violence terrorism and war

  • Depression


    most common mental illness among children and adolescents

    interferes with everything in and out of school

    untreated get worse.

    Treatable in 3 ways:

    Counseling, therapy, medication

    Two types of depression

    major depression - DSM-IV

    dysthymia - pervasive sadness, lasts about a year, blanket of sadness (kid does what supposed to do)

    situational depression - dog dies, depressed for a couple weeks, going to end.


    Referral goes to school nurse or school counselor

    Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar is a mood disorder.

    Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder in a separate category from depression (DSM-IV-TR 2000).

    Can look much like depression.

    Children cycle faster than adults.  18 days is fast for adults.  Adults cycle much more slowly than children do.

    Can be aggressive.

    Totally disturbed sleep patterns.

    Characterized by mood swings

    MANIC Unusually happy/energized (manic), almost hyperactive

    DEPRESSED Very sad/irritable, edgy, depressed-looking


    Lots of kids diagnosed in 90s.  May be misdiagnosed, but something is going on. 

    Depression and ADHD combined can look like bipolar.  Can be a personality disorder.


    Always take suicide seriously.  Refer immediately.

    A leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24 (Anderson & Smith 2003). 

    Peak incidence during adolescence


    Kid who is feeding off other people's problems has little ego strength.  Watch that kid carefully.

    Drug and Alcohol Abuse

    Almost 11% of youth ages 12 to 17 are current drug users

    defined as having used at least once in the previous month (Natl. Household Survey on Drug Abuse 2001).

    Enormous amount of alcohol and drugs in high schools.  There are more varieties of drugs, and there's more money around.  World of instant gratification.

    Eating Disorders

    Professionals who work with adolescents need to be familiar with the major eating disorders:

    Anorexia nervosa - staving self to death.  Begins are pretty easy to notice because kids get the big head look.  Eating is one thing a person has total control over.

    Bulimia nervosa - eating or binge eating and purging.  There are kids who can throw up on cue.

    Can kill.

    Has to do with distorted body image.


    Younger children see binge eating more typically.  More common with adolescents


    Prader-Willi is uncontrolled eating, which is different.  No idea what causes.  Look completely normal most of the time, but eating makes them huge.  Weight accelerates their growth.  Get really tall really fast.



    Anxiety Disorders  (ADHD has comordity rate of 70%, which highest being Anxiety Disorder)

    Children and adolescents can experience several types of anxiety disorders including:

    Separation anxiety

    Generalized anxiety

    Social anxiety - Cannot deal with social situations or most relationships

    Obsessive-compulsive anxiety - OCD

    Posttraumatic stress anxiety - PTSD - Besides war, exists in children regularly because of abuse, see something horrific, see a death, fire, drive-by shooting, anything traumatic to that child.  Usually an event. 

    Specific Phobias

    Specific phobia is an intense and persistent fear of a particular object or situation that may involve irrational aversion to certain things or situations such as: (can't be hypnotized or drugged out of it)  Probably no one will tell a teacher about it, but may discover.






    Enclosed places




    Seeing blood


            Writing Behavior Plan.

    The most dangerous time for kids is when unsupervised, free time, down time. 

    What sets off problem behavior.

    School cannot diagnose.

    ROB FBA report example:  Identify antecedents, behavior, and purpose of behavior.  What is the FUNCTION of the behavior?  Avoid things he doesn't want (primary) and attention (secondary).  Hypothesis, then taken data to confirm hypothesis.  Write up confirmation.  Explain recommendations.

    Behavior Intervention Plan that goes with Rob example.

    Based on Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)

    Problem Behaviors (State in observable terms)



    "I'm going to read #3, then Mary Ann, I'm going to call on you."  Prepare student for what is going to happen so they are likely to be able to answer correctly.

    Put at front at the end, no one in front of him.  Not where he can see the door or windows or clock.  Make sure he doesn't have a lot to play with.  Appropriate peer models.  Too distractable to be in the middle of a bunch of kids.

    Social skills group, autopsy concept, role play to teach appropriate things to say when angry.

    Okay Rob, that's what you said.  What else could you have said.

    Teaching a strategy of waiting to get individualized adult attention.  Use that attention as a reward to teach him a new strategy.

    The more you talk to him--regardless of what you're saying--the more attention and thus reward he gets.

    Clear list of consequences for inappropriate behaviors.  Bullet statements instead of narratives.



    Interesting Web Resources



    About: Parenting of K-6 Children. (2006). Parents' index to childhood emotional and behavioral disorders. Retrieved February 21, 2007, from http://childparenting.about.com/cs/disorders/a/childdisorders.htm


    Behavioral Consultants


    Council for Children with Behavior Disorders. (2006). Retrieved February 21, 2007, from http://www.ccbd.net/

    Council for Exceptional Children

    Educational Agencies & Corporations

    JABA: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

    Keller, E. (2006). Strategies for teaching students with behavioral disorders. Retrieved February 21, 2007, from http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/behavior.html 

    MSLBD: Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders

    National Center on Learning Disabilities

    National Center on Student Progress Monitoring

    National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

    National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (1996). Educating students with emotional/behavioral disorders. Retrieved February 21, 2007

    National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support

    NICHCY Connections...to Behavior Assessment, Plans, and Positive Supports

    Office of Special Education Programs Technical Assistance Centers

    Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights. (2006). Emotional or behavioral disorders. .

    Positive Behavior Support

    Reponse to Intervention Policy Considerations and Implementation:  www.nasdse.org

    Social/Behavioral Blueprints for Violence Prevention

    The International Campbell Collaboration

    The Promising Practices Network

    The What Works Clearinghouse

    The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction

    US Department of Health and Human Services (2006). Children's mental health facts children and adolescents with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Retrieved February 21, 2007

    ·  Conduct systematic reviews of interventions linked to evidentiary support

    Research Examples:  Communication and Social Skills Strategies for Students with Disabilities


    Research Examples: 

    Conclusions about Communication and Social Skills Strategies for Students with Disabilities:  Effective communication strategies are crucial to everyone, but for learners diagnosed with emotional or behavioral disorders, communication interactions take on special significance.


    Beebe-Frankenberger, M., Lane, K., Bocian, K., Gresham, F., & MacMillan, D. (2005). Students with or at risk for problem behavior: Betwixt and between teacher and parent expectations. Preventing School Failure, 49(2), 10-17.

    This article makes a case for teaching social skills to high school students diagnosed eligible for special education services.  When it comes to teaching students appropriate social behaviors for the classroom, parents and teachers may gain insight from the research of Beebe-Frankenberger, Lane, Bocian, Gresham, and MacMillan (2005). Parents rated self-control and responsibility as essential for success, but teachers rated cooperative behaviors as essential for success in school. In another study of K-12 teachers, Lane, Wehby, and Cooley, 2006 found that teachers considered a student’s self-control essential for success. In fact, high school special education teachers rated self-control higher than did other teachers.

    These findings seem particularly important, given that students who exhibit “confrontational and disruptive behavior patterns. . . often exhibit some combination of oppositional, noncompliant aggressive, inattentive, impulsive, or hyperactive behaviors” (Gresham, Lane, & Beebe-Frankenberger, 2005, p. 721). Four behavioral expectations appear crucial to K-12 teachers, which require student behavioral compliance:

    1. Produces correct school work.

    2. Ignores peer distractions when doing class work.

    3. Easily makes transition from one activity to another.

    4. Finishes class assignments within time limits.

    In addition, secondary teachers also value the following:

    1. Attends to your instructions.

    2. Uses time appropriately.

    3. Complies with your directions.


    Dwairy, M. (2005). Using problem-solving conversation with children. Intervention in School & Clinic, 40(3), 144-150.

                Relatively few researchers have focused on using conversation to facilitate more effective student social skills (Dwairy, 2005, p. 144). Problem-solving conversation may be used successfully with students who have behavioral or emotional disorders. The procedure of this kind of conversation training has steps reminiscent of Dewey’s reflective thinking and other standard problem-solving communication procedures. Perhaps the key is actually teaching a step-by-step process instead of assuming that students diagnosed eligible for special education services know how to follow these steps.

                In this case, the idea is to use these steps when adults communicate with students who have special needs, but the steps also could provide ideas for a sequence of communication skills that can be used to teach the student how to solve problems with others.

    1. Listen to the other person. A comfortable environment, positive nonverbal communication, and using I statements (“I heard that . . . “) may support the listening process.

    2. Use probing to re-evaluate the problem. Directness, reframing, and interpretation can support this stage.

    3. Explore alternatives. Brainstorming about the logical sequence of consequences may support the exploration. Feedback, directives, and advice from the adult may be helpful.

    4. Set up a plan. The responsibilities of each person need to be clarified as part of the plan.

    5. Follow up on the success of the plan can be accomplished at another time.


    Forgan, J., & Gonzalez-DeHass, A. (2004). How to infuse social skills training into literacy instruction. Teaching Exceptional Children, 36(6), 24-30.

    Forgan and Gonzalez-DeHass (2004) suggested that social skills instruction can improve student social skills, but most teachers believe there is too little time to focus on behavioral instruction. Instead, teachers feel pressured to focus on academics. This need prompts Forgan and Gonzalez-DeHass to suggest combing behavioral and academic instruction together for students with special needs. Children’s literature can, in fact, give students an opportunity for bibliotheraphy by providing scenarios for problems and language use models. Students can discuss the literature examples regarding appropriate communication behaviors as part of social skill training. Harriott and Martin (2004) also found success in using literature to teach social and communication skills. The same strategy can be used through television program and film examples.


    Keen, D. (2003). Communicative repair strategies and problem behaviours of children with autism. International Journal of Disability, Development & Education, 50(1), 53-64.

                Children with disabilities typically have more difficulty communicating, greater likelihood of communication breakdowns, and fewer strategies to repair their communication problems. Relatively little research has addressed the need for teaching communication repair strategies to students with disabilities (Keen, 2003, p. 53). To repair a communication breakdown, students need intentionality (goal directedness), perspective-taking (empathy), and effective verbal and nonverbal (word and non-word) responses. One might expect students with behavioral or emotional disorders to protest or abandon attempts their repair communication. Teachers and parents may be able to use this model of communication repair as a way of offering students communication strategies.


    Maag, J. (2005). Social skills training for youth with emotional and behavioral disorders and learning disabilities: Problems, conclusions, and suggestions. Exceptionality, 13(3), 155-172.

    Students who lack social skills are at risk for other problems, such as aggression, peer rejection, poor academic achievement, isolation, difficulty with employment, mental illness, and incarceration (Maag, 2005). Unfortunately, social skills training often meets with little behavioral change in the student. In his meta-analysis of research on the topic, .Maag suggested three key problems: (a) lack of appropriate behavioral assessment, (b) training needs to match the reasons for social failures, (c) peer acceptance is needed to achieve social competence. Although the generalizability of Emotional and Behavior Disorder (EBD) research appears problematic, the use of instructions, modeling, rehearsal, role playing, and reinforcement seem to have value when teaching students diagnosed with disabilities (Maag).


    Miller, M., Lane, K., & Wehby, J. (2005). Social skills instruction for students with high-incidence disabilities: A school-based intervention to address acquisition deficits. Preventing School Failure, 49(2), 27-39.

                Students with disabilities who have problems with social skills face an array of potential difficulties, including mental health problems, peer or teacher rejection, and low academic achievement. Miller, Lane, and Wehby suggested that a key problem in the lack of success in teaching social skills is failure to assess what the student’s problems and strengths and determine where skills or motivation are missing, before teaching the appropriate social skills. Social skills curriculum exist, and students can learn through modeling, practice, and coaching, which may be effective.

    Whatever the social skills instructional strategy, appropriate feedback is essential. In their study, Miller, Lane, and Wehby (2005) observed a decrease in inappropriate behaviors after social skills training. Children with emotional and behavioral disorders are more likely to demonstrate social skills that negatively affect their interpersonal relationships with peers, teachers, and parents. Strained interpersonal relationships may exacerbate a negative educational experience because social skills are crucial to effective work and learning.  Further, students with disabilities need to learn how to negotiate relationship.  In this study, although students generally improved their social skills, many students failed to show positive behavioral changes, while others actually showed negative changes. A possible explanation for the disappointing results might be a need for more individualized instruction that is geared to the individual student’s specific needs.  Teachers may need to be very careful about talking about negative communication. When talking about negative communication behaviors, for example, a student lacking appropriate skills or motivation might actually learn additional negative communication strategies.  This finding suggests that teachers may want to model behaviors to ensure that only positive modeling happens during the learning process.


    Pierce, C., Reid, R., & Epstein, M. (2004). Teacher-mediated interventions for children with EBD and their academic outcomes. Remedial & Special Education, 25(3), 175-188.

                The focus of this article is to review the literature on the topic of using teacher interventions to improve learning in students with emotional or behavioral disorders. It seems logical that interventions that worked would be published, while interventions that failed would have more difficulty being published. Perhaps a lack of comparative data is not such a problem for teachers who are looking for new strategies because through the interventions supported by research in this research review, teachers have a repertoire of interventions they can use. The interventions are as follows:

    Successful Intervention Strategies (Pierce, Reid, & Epstein, 2004).


    Academic contracting

    Adjust task difficulty

    Adjusting presentation and point delivery rate (faster rate)

    Bonus contingency in token program

    Child choice of task

    Choice making opportunities

    Contingency reinforcers

    Incorporating student interest

    Individual curricular modifications

    Inter-trial interval duration (short & immediate intervention)

    Life space interviewing

    Mnemonic instruction

    Modeling, rehearsal, and feedback

    Personalized system of instruction


    Rate change—slow or fast-presentation during taped words

    Sequential prompting

    Story mapping

    Structured academic tasks

    Structured instructional system about school survival skills

    Taped words and drill instruction

    Teach test-taking skills

    Teacher planning strategies

    Teacher vs. child control of choice of task & reinforcement

    Time delay strategy

    Token reinforcement system

    Trial-and error strategy

    Use of free time

    Verbalize math problems

    Written feedback


    Ryan, J., Reid, R., & Epstein, M. (2004). Peer-mediated intervention studies on academic achievement for students with EBD. Remedial & Special Education, 25(6), 330-341.

                This article discusses peer-mediated interventions that may be used with students who are diagnosed with emotional or behavioral disorders. The following research-based peer-mediated strategies were found to have positive learning effects.


    Class-wide Peer Tutoring

    Cooperative Learning

    Cross-Age Tutoring

    Peer Tutoring

    Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies

    Peer Assessment

    Peer Modeling

    Peer Reinforcement


    Research suggests that all types of peer-mediated interventions can have positive outcomes for students diagnosed with emotional or behavioral disorders.


    Salend, S., & Sylvestre, S. (2005). Understanding and addressing oppositional and defiant classroom behaviors. Teaching Exceptional Children, 37(6), 32-39.

                Students who exhibit oppositional and defiant behaviors for six months typically show a consistently manipulative or noncompliant pattern. Behaviors may include angering easily, arguing with others, becoming annoyed easily, blaming others, cursing, feeling frustrated easily, losing temper, refusal to comply with rules, seeking attention, seeming to enjoy annoying or bothering others, showing poor self-esteem. Labeling these students suggests the problem lies in the student instead of the education system and may limit the way others interact with the student. Communication strategies that may enhance the student’s learning are improved family collaboration and communication, social skills instruction, attribution training, relationship building, and increased awareness of verbal and nonverbal communication. In addition, educators may benefit from perceiving family members as a resource as they share important information about the student. For example, “an effective intervention for students who exhibit opposition and defiant classroom behaviors is a home-school contract in which teachers communication with the student’s family regarding behavior in school and families reinforce the child’s improved behavior” (p. 33).

                Social skills instruction can help students collaborate in groups, respond to others, and make friends. Role-playing, feedback, student reflection, social skills curricula, bibliotherapy, and practice, for example, are potentially effective research-based interventions.

                Attribution theory suggests that when something goes wrong for a person, the individual tends to blame circumstances. When the individual observes that something goes wrong for another person, however, the individual tends to blame the person involved. Teachers can help students to use attribution more appropriately through dialog pages and helping students to understand the consequences of their behaviors. Teachers can talk with students about how effort affects performance, how failure is a step in learning, and how taking responsibility for mistakes is a valued social skill.

                The authors discuss the importance of relationship building between the teacher and student.  To enhance rapport and relationship building with students, research suggests:

    • Complimenting students.

    • Discussing topics of interest to students.

    • Greeting students by name.

    • Informally interacting with students.

    • Recognizing special events, such as birthdays.

    • Sharing teacher interests.

    • Showing emotional support.

    • Showing interest in a student’s personal life.

    • Showing kindness.

    • Using activities where students excel.

    Vaughn, S., Kim, A., Morris Sloan, C., Hughes, M., Elbaum, B., & Sridhar, D. (2003). Social skills interventions for young children with disabilities. Remedial & Special Education, 24(1), 2-15.

                In their analysis of research studies, Vaughn, Kim, Morris Sloan, Hughes, Elbaum, and Sridhar (2003) divided interventions into the following categories:

    • Prompting.

    • Rehearsal or practice.

    • Play-related intervention.

    • Free-play generalization.

    • Reinforcement of appropriate social skills.

    • Modeling of social skills.

    • Social skills related to storytelling.

    • Direct instruction.

    • Imitation.

    • Time out.

          “In general, interventions that included modeling, play-related activities, rehearsal/ practice, and/or prompting were associated with positive social outcomes for children with disabilities” (p. 12). For young children, the best results seemed to come when social skills interventions were combined with general education instruction. Modeling, practice, and prompting appeared crucial to student success. Children with disabilities need clear instruction through explicit modeling of what and how to use social skills, systematic prompting, and extensive practice.



    Gresham, F., Lane, K., & Beebe-Frankenberger, M. (2005). Predictors of hyperactive–impulsive–inattention and conduct problems: A comparative follow-back investigation. Psychology in the Schools, 42(7), 721-736.

    Harriott, W., & Martin, S. (2004). Using culturally responsive activities to promote social competence and classroom community. Teaching Exceptional Children, 37(1), 48-54.

    Lane, K., Wehby, J., & Cooley, C. (2006). Teacher expectations of students' classroom behavior across the grade span: Which social skills are necessary for success? Exceptional Children, 72(2), 153-167.



    Artiles, A. J., Rueda, R., Salazar, J. J., & Higareda, I. (2005). Within-group diversity in minority disproportionate representation: English language learners in urban school districts. Exceptional Children, 71(3), 283-300.

    Baca, L. M. & Cervantes, H. T. (2003). The bilingual special education interface. (4th ed.) New York: Prentice Hall.

    Beebe-Frankenberger, M., Lane, K., Bocian, K., Gresham, F., & MacMillan, D. (2005). Students with or at risk for problem behavior: betwixt and between teacher and parent expectations. Preventing School Failure, 49(2), 10-17.

    Berk, M., Berk, L., & Castle, D. (2004). A collaborative approach to the treatment alliance in bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorders, 6(6), 504-518.

    Case, R. E., & Taylor, S. S. (2005, January/February). Language difference or learning disability? The Clearing House, 127-130.

    Chakrabarti, S. & Gill, S. (2002). Coping and its correlates among caregivers of patients with bipolar disorder: A preliminary study. Bipolar Disorders, 4(1), 50-60.

    Deshler, D., Mellard, D., Tollefson, J., & Byrd, S. (2005). Research topics in Responsiveness to Intervention: Introduction to the special series. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(6), 483-484.

    Dwairy, M. (2005). Using problem-solving conversation with children. Intervention in School & Clinic, 40(3), 144-150.

    Eisenthan, S., Emery, R., Lazare, A. et al. (1979). ‘Adherence’ and the negotiated approach to patienthoood. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 36, 393-398.

    Forgan, J., & Gonzalez-DeHass, A. (2004). How to infuse social skills training into literacy instruction. Teaching Exceptional Children, 36(6), 24-30.

    Galambos, N., & Leadbeater, B. (2000). Trends in adolescent research for the new millennium. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24(3), 289-294.

    Gresham, F., Lane, K., & Beebe-Frankenberger, M. (2005). Predictors of hyperactive–impulsive–inattention and conduct problems: A comparative follow-back investigation. Psychology in the Schools, 42(7), 721-736.

    Harriott, W., & Martin, S. (2004). Using culturally responsive activities to promote social competence and classroom community. Teaching Exceptional Children, 37(1), 48-54.

    Harvard Graduate School of Education. (2001). Harvard studies find inappropriate special education placements continue to segregate and limit educational opportunities for minority students nationwide. Cambridge: Harvard University. Retrieved October 12, 2006, from http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/features/speced03022001.html

    Heru, A., Ryan, C., & Vlastos, K. (2004). Quality of life and family functioning in caregivers of relatives with mood disorders. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 28(1), 67-71.

    Jobe, T., & Harrow, M. (2005). Long-term outcome of patients with schizophrenia: A review. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 50(14), 892-900.

    Keen, D. (2003). Communicative Repair Strategies and Problem Behaviours of Children with Autism. International Journal of Disability, Development & Education, 50(1), 53-64.

    Kerr, M. M., & Nelson, C. M. (2006). Strategies for addressing behavior problems in the classroom. (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

    Kerr, M. M., & Nelson, C. M.  (2006).  Strategies for addressing behavior problems in the classroom.  (5th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson.

    Lane, K., Wehby, J., & Cooley, C. (2006). Teacher expectations of students' classroom behavior across the grade span: Which social skills are necessary for success? Exceptional Children, 72(2), 153-167.

    Lewis, L. (2003). Recognizing and meeting the needs of patients with mood disorders and comorbid medical illness: A consensus conference of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Biol Psychiatry, 54, 181-183.

    Maag, J. (2005). Social skills training for youth with emotional and behavioral disorders and learning disabilities: Problems, conclusions, and suggestions. Exceptionality, 13(3), 155-172.

    Miller, M., Lane, K., & Wehby, J. (2005). Social skills instruction for students with high-incidence disabilities: a school-based intervention to address acquisition deficits. Preventing School Failure, 49(2), 27-39.

    Overton, T. (2006). Assessing learners with special needs: An applied approach. (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

    Pierce, C., Reid, R., & Epstein, M. (2004). Teacher-mediated interventions for children with EBD and their academic outcomes. Remedial & Special Education, 25(3), 175-188.

    Robertson, P. & Kushner, M. With Starks, J. & Drescher, C. (1994). An update of participation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education: The need for a research and policy agenda. The Bilingual Special Education Perspective, 14(1), 3-9.

    Ryan, J., Reid, R., & Epstein, M. (2004). Peer-mediated intervention studies on academic achievement for students with EBD. Remedial & Special Education, 25(6), 330-341.

    Sage, R. (2001). Supporting primary and secondary pupils with communication and behavior problems. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 36, 423-428.

    Salend, S., & Sylvestre, S. (2005). Understanding and addressing oppositional and defiant classroom behaviors. Teaching Exceptional Children, 37(6), 32-39.

    Vaughn, S., Kim, A., Morris Sloan, C., Hughes, M., Elbaum, B., & Sridhar, D. (2003). Social skills interventions for young children with disabilities. Remedial & Special Education, 24(1), 2-15.

    Wagner, M., Kutash, K., Duchnowski, A., Epstein, M., & Sumi, W. (2005). The children and youth we serve: A national picture of the characteristics of students with emotional disturbances receiving special education. Journal of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders, 13(2), 79-96.



    Lish, Dime-Meenan, Whybrow, Price, and Hirschfel

    D'Imperio, R., Dubow, E., & Ippolito, M. (2000). Resilient and stress-affected adolescents in an urban setting. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 29(1), 129-129.

    Lingam, R., & Scott, J. (2002). Treatment non-adherence in affective disorders. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 105(3), 164-172.

    Nelson, J., Benner, G., Neill, S., & Stage, S. (2006). Interrelationships among language skills, externalizing behavior, and academic fluency and their impact on the academic skills of students with ED. Journal of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders, 14(4), 209-216.


    COPYRIGHT to this material presented at the MSLBD conference belongs to the authors. 

    Mitchell L. Yell, Ph.D.

    Antonis Katsiyannis, ED.D.

    Carl Smith, Ph.D.

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Evidence-based Interventions and Students with EBD

    Evidence-Based Practices

    EBP is a term, widely used in medicine, education, the health professions, and psychology, that refers to interventions and practices that are supported by research evidence as most likely to produce positive outcomes

    A mature profession makes judgments constrained by quantifiable data, objectivity, and evidence based on scientific inquiry

    Carnine, D (2000). Why education experts resist effective practices: And what it would take to make education more like medicine. Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Available at http://www.edexcellence.net/institute/publication/publication.cfm?id=46

    An immature profession is characterized by expertise based on the subjective judgments of the individual and trust based on personal contact rather than verifiable evidence

    Carnine (2000) citing Theodore Porter, a history professor at UCLA

    Evidence-based Practices in Education:
    Where are we?

    (The failure to rely on evidence to inform practice) is so well entrenched in American education that up rooting it will take time and concerted effort, probably with significant government involvement.
    Slavin, 1989

    Slavin, R.E. (1989). Pet and the pendulum: Faddism in education and how to stop it. Phi Delta Kappan, 70, 752-758.


    Examples of Evidence-Based Practices in the Field of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders


    Direct instruction

    High rates of teacher praise

    High rates of opportunities to respond

    High rates of correct academic responding

    Formative evaluation


    Applied behavior analysis

    Positive behavior support

    Functional behavioral assessment

    Function-based interventions

    Cognitive behavioral interventions


    How educators can be supported in their use of evidence-based practices

    What the U.S Department of Education Will Do

    The Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 created the Institute of Education Science (WWW.IES.GOV) in the U.S. Department of Education

    Funds educational research

    Funds evaluations of promising innovations

    Funds technical assistance & capacity building efforts


    Lewis, Hudson, Richter, & Johnson (2004). Scientifically supported practices in emotional and behavioral disorders: A proposed approach and brief review of current practices. Behavioral Disorders, 29, 247-259.

    Report of the Commission on No Child Left Behind.


    This webpage has no affiliation with any organization, school, or institution.  Much of this page's content is based on EDSP 514 classroom lectures from Dr. Maura Linas, University of Missouri - Kansas City, Spring, 2007 and the course's required textbook: 

    Kerr, M. M., & Nelson, C. M.  (2006).  Strategies for addressing behavior problems in the classroom.  (5th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson.


    To cite this page:

    Aitken, J. E.  (2007).  Identifying and serving students with behavior problems.  Kansas City, MO:  JoanAitken.org.  Retrieved month day, year, from http://JoanAitken.org/behavior

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