Sunday, July 28, 2013

Challenging Behavior Management


One thing that college doesn't prepare you for in special education are the challenging behaviors!! The behaviors of special needs students are accentuated. These students struggle more academically, emotionally, and socially. Sometimes, they simply don't know how to handle the stress. It is up to us (their teachers) to help them manage their challenges and frustrations.

There are four possible reasons for challenging behaviors that have been discovered through Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): avoidance from something the student doesn't like, to gain an object or activity, for attention, or because the behavior itself is reinforcing what they want. I truly believe there is always a reason for every child's action. 

Here are some important steps to take: 

Evaluate - You need to analyze the behavior and collect data. Define the behavior to make sure you have a full understanding of what is going on. Once you've identified the behavior, you can consider what behavior you want to replace the old behavior with. It also helps you to decide how you need to intervene. Once you have determined the behavior and how you want to change it, collect data. Data will help you to see when and how often a behavior is occurring. This could be a big help to find what is actually causing the behavior! When this is complete, consider if the behavior is just frustrating or if it could be harmful to the student or anyone else. If the behavior is harmful, you may be required to start a Behavior Intervention Plan. 

Classroom Management - Check your classroom system. Is the seating arrangement causing issues. Are the routines clear enough and have you practiced them enough? Having a management plan is absolutely crucial in any classroom. 

Behavior Intervention Plan - Sometimes behaviors force you to form an intervention plan. The first thing you would need to do (after evaluating) is conduct a Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA). This will give you the antecedent (what happens before behavior), the behavior itself, and the consequence. A lot of times the consequence can be reinforcing the behavior. An FBA can help determine this. 

Put your plan into action and give it some time before trying anything else.

Thanks for reading my post and I hope you find something in it useful! 

Teaching with TLC, 
Tasha 
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