XX Strategies for Managing Challenging Behavior by Levone


									Successful Interventions: Getting to Function

Terrance M. Scott, Ph.D. University of Louisville

Function is a does “Function” Mean? What statement of predictable relationships between a behavior and the environment 1. Behaviors are related to the environment • Something signals it to occur and not to occur
(environmental events are antecedent signals)

• Something maintains it
(environmental events are responses that keep it going)

2. We can change behavior to the extent that we control the environmental antecedent signals and maintaining consequences.

Antecedent manipulations are most efficient as the focus of intervention

Do the least amount necessary to facilitate success • Control antecedents • Deliver instruction • Control consequences

Considered in light of function

Control Antecedents
(Arrange Environment)
1. Environmental Arrangements (distal)
• • •
• • • • •

Schedules and routines Physical arrangements Proximity
Prompts and cues Choice Behavior momentum Task difficulty Proximity

2. Contextual Modifications (proximal)

Environmental Arrangement
• The physical environment includes:
– Design and placement of furniture and activity areas within the classroom – Design of materials within activities – Lighting, temperature, & noise levels of the classroom – Accessibility, appropriateness, and availability of books, materials (toys), bathroom passes, paperwork, coats, hats, etc…

• • • • • • Arrival Times Consistent Times Sequencing and Length of Activities Planned Clean-up/Transitioning Routine Productive Learning Times Early Explaining Changes

Advance Organizers
9:00 - 9:30 spelling -page 23 9:30 - 9:40 restroom break 9:40 - 10:30 math -workbook p. 19 10:30 - 11:15 music -walk quietly 11:15 - 11:25 wash hands 11:25 walk to lunch 11:30 - 12:30 lunch and recess

• Public display • Consistency • Prompts

Physical Arrangement
• Seating
– Teacher‟s desk – Students‟ desks

• Sight lines
– Teacher positions

• Traffic Flow
– Associated activities (e.g., pencil sharpening, getting water, using the bathroom, beginning and end of day)

Consideration of the teacher‟s placement in the room in relation to the students.
• Movement
– Continue moving around room and maintain frequent close proximity to all students

• Approach
– Hovering near to a particular student or area

Contextual Modifications
• Contextual modifications include:
– Predicting problem behavior by specific time, location, activity, grouping, etc. – Creating changes in the environment immediately prior to times when problems are predictable - for purpose of prevention

Non-Verbal Prompts and Cues
• Signals that set student up for success
– Proximity Control - move to student – Facial Expressions – Hand Signals/gestures

• Implemented before behavior • Less intrusive than verbal cues • They can be used as rule reminders, and advanced organizers (schedules). • Make them part of the routine and systemteach children what they are and what purpose they serve.

Verbal Prompts and Pre-Correction
• Verbal Prompts
– Clear statements that act as reminders – Delivered in contexts where failure is predictable – Use the smallest necessary to facilitate success “Remember to raise your hand.”


– Clear question that acts as reminder – Student is required to respond – Teacher praises or corrects student response “What will you do if you need my help?” “Raise my hand.” “Exactly, good for you!”

Behavior Momentum
• A strategy for increasing the probability of compliant behavior by asking a student to do two or three things they typically want to do and then following these requests with a request for a behavior the student typically does not want to do. Normal
Johnny, you should get your project finished this morning NO!

Behavior Momentum

Johnny, can you help me with these books?

Johnny, will Johnny, you OK you sharpen should get my pencil your project finished this morning

Using Choice
• Students are provided opportunities to independently make decisions between two or more options that affect their daily routine.


Johnny, you should get your project finished this morning

Bite Me!


Johnny, I want you to make a choice you get to decide. You can either get your math project done or you can get started on your writing assignment. It‟s totally up to you - which one?

Math project

Modifying Task Difficulty
• Students‟ problem behaviors are often a result of frustration with academic work. By re-adjusting a student‟s curriculum to less challenging work, students experience success and problem behaviors decrease. Normal Behavior Momentum
Johnny, you should get your project finished this morning. As if!

Johnny, I want to show you how I‟ve OK set your project up so that you‟ll really be able to do awesome on it . . .

*This is one step in facilitating success - need to fade back into normal task *Student must be able to perform fluently at level presented

Deliver Instruction
(Effective teaching)
1. Replacement Behavior
• • • • • Functional fair pair Modeling Opportunities to respond Feedback Errorless learning techniques
Chaining, shaping, etc.

2. Teacher behaviors

3. Instructional Design

Teach Replacement Behaviors
What do we want the student to do instead of the problem behavior under the same circumstances? • Relevant, Effective, Efficient
– Must meet the same function as problem behavior – Must do so at least as well as problem behavior

• Fair pair
– Appropriate for both student and teacher (environment) – Dead man‟s test (do something rather than nothing)

Show and tell students what it is that is expected under specific circumstances. Do not assume that they know and can.
• Use verbal prompts along with physical demonstration
– “Watch me, notice how I use a quiet, inside voice when I say this „excuse me’.” – “Right now I‟m thinking that I need to do something smart because I‟m feeling mad - so watch me take a deep breath and walk away.”

• Use natural models
– “Did you notice how Billy held that door open for Ben? That was very responsible.” – “Remember how we talked about ignoring loud noises? Look at Andrea right now - that‟s great because she‟s focused on her work.”

Opportunities to Respond
Providing students with opportunities to be engaged with instruction
• Asking questions
– Group (choral) or individual responses – Closed or open ended questions – W

• Requests for student behavior
– – – – Raise hand to indicate agreement Create and share Demonstrate Tell story (relevant)

What if the replacement behavior is something they already know how to do?
If the behavior is already in the student‟s behavioral repertoire then the focus of instruction is on context (when/where) and function (why) • Context
– When will hand raising work and when will it not work? – How will I know when it is a time that I should raise my hand?

• Function
– Why is this way better for me? – What will happen if I continue to use the negative behavior?

Errorless learning Strategies
Developing instruction to preclude (or minimize) incorrect responses


– – When students are not learning effectively and efficiently with other procedures When teaching complex skills effective positive teacher/student interaction fewer inappropriate social behaviors students learn little from repeated errors


1. 2. 3. 4.

Reinforcement of successive approximations of a desired terminal behavior. Used when students are unable to master any of the components of a complex behavior. • Start with a simple behavior and teach/model variations that look progressively more like what it should be in the long run.
– Lots of reinforcement for each demonstration at first – Fade reinforcement over time and require more behavior

Reinforcement of combinations of simple behaviors that are already in the repertoire of the individual to form more complex behaviors. • Sequence
– Task analysis of a behavior – Teacher models all steps – Teacher prompts student to do first step
• Reinforce student success

– Teacher guides through remaining steps – Gradually have student add steps until all are done together as a chain – Can also be done backward

Control Consequences
(Be Functional)
1. Provide function for appropriate behavior
• • Reinforcement Type II punishment

2. Block function for inappropriate behavior

Functional Consequences
• All positive consequences must either
– Meet the same function as the problem OR – Provide a consequence that is larger and more reinforcing than the function of problem behavior

• All negative consequences must
– Deny the same function as the problem OR – Provide an aversive that is more powerful than the function that the student receives

Consequences that Do Not Work
• • • • • • • • Yelling Getting angry Disgust Ignoring Becoming emotional Belittling Unrealistic threats Unconditional praise

• Praise
– Immediate, social, vicarious – Not good for students who don‟t want attention – Prone to quick satiation of not varied

• Privileges
– AM break, Recess, Kids Choice Lunch – Related to the curriculum (things that we already do) – Can‟t always be immediate

• Tangibles
– Food, toys, materials, etc. – Powerful but expensive and unnatural – Not easy to use with high frequency

• Menus
– Allow an array of possible choices – More complex to establish

Token Economy
A system in which students earn symbolic reinforcers (tokens) in exchange for specific, appropriate behaviors. These tokens can then be exchanged (or spent) on preferred tangible objects or time doing preferred activities. • Characteristics
– Students can be reinforced very frequently without satiation – Points spent at teacher-designated time – Points that are not spent can be banked and used for an auction or special event on Fridays – Must be faded over time in favor of more natural consequences

A Scaled-Down Token Economy (for older students)
• With older students (Grade 8 and above) the token economy cannot be as intensive • Script or tickets (e.g., “Bonus Bucks”)
– An intermittently delivered reinforcer that qualifies student for a chance to earn privileges. – Students receive ticket for pro-social behaviors, they write their name on the ticket and at the end of the class period there is a quick drawing to earn a reinforcer (reduced homework, sit at the teacher‟s desk for the following day, etc…) – The more tickets, the better the chance for reinforcement.

Ignoring (extinction)
The teacher identifies the functionally maintaining reinforcer and simply makes sure it is not available in the case of misbehavior • Only works if the withheld stimulus is functional
– If not functional it will be reinforcing of misbehavior

• Likely to result in more behavior before less
– Extinction burst

• Must be able to control environment to prevent reinforcer
– May not get attention from teacher but increased misbehavior may get attention from peers

Response Cost
• Response cost is a punishment intervention strategy in which the student loses a pre-defined amount of an earned reinforcer based on demonstrating an inappropriate behavior.
– These reinforcers may be tokens, previously awarded stickers, or other earned item – Used in conjunction with a token economy – It typically avoids confrontations with students and it can be effective more quickly than other behavior reduction procedures (e.g. planned ignoring) – Especially effective when points are abstract (on paper) rather than teacher actually having to physically remove a token.

Differential Reinforcement
Systematic manner of providing student with functional consequence for appropriate behavior and making certain that same is not available for negative behavior. • Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (DRO)
– Anything but…(that behavior)

• Differential Reinforcement of Incompatible or Alternative Behavior (DRI/ DRA)
– Do this (a specific desired behavior), Not that (a maladaptive behavior).

• Differential Reinforcement of Low Rates of Behavior
– A little of this is ok but too much is not

Time Out
Removing access to opportunities for reinforcement contingent upon the problem behavior.
• Considerations
– – – – Approximately 1 minute per year of age - not to exceed 10 min. Avoid escape from aversives (will reinforce problem behavior) Must truly remove access to reinforcement Debrief quickly afterward and set goals

• Contingent observation
– requires the student to move to another location in the classroom so that they can still observe other students‟ appropriate behavior and its reinforcement – Time Out Ribbon (for young children) - they do not move but there is a signal that they are isolated

• Time out works best under two conditions:
– Using it consistently – The environment has a lot of reinforcement available (it‟s more fun to be there than in time out)

Behavior Contracts
A formal written agreement of behavior expectations between the teacher and student which specifies
– – – – – (1) clear behavior objectives (2) positive and negative consequences (3) goal (4) review dates to evaluate performance (5) The contract is signed by the teacher, student, and others who participate.

• Conditions
– Establish a meeting time and place to create – Write the contract using age-appropriate wording and a form of an “If…then…” statement. – For the first contract, modify the criteria so that the student is more likely to have initial success. – Mutually determine an appropriate reinforcer for meeting the criteria – Specify the criteria in writing so that the student and teacher are clear on expected behavior, rewards and duration of the contract.

Students are made to either practice a correction or perform restitution for their misbehaviors • Positive Practice
– repeated practice of correct form of relevant replacement behavior that results in a decrease in future responding – Running in the halls- go back and walk 10 times

• Restitutional
– correcting the environmental effects of an inappropriate act to a condition better than it was before the act that results in a decrease in future responding – Making marks in their textbook- Erase stray marks in all of the textbooks

Doctoral Program In Behavior Disorders

Terry Scott College of Education and Human Development University of Louisville Louisville, KY 40292 t.scott@louisville.edu (502) 852-0576

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