Effectively supporting positive behaviors involves making changes in three areas: the environment, staff responses, and skill building. This post is the last of three in a series that addresses these key aspects to consider when developing Behavior Intervention Plans.


The final posting in our series on strategies for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) focuses on skill building.


Staff working with individuals who exhibit challenging behavior can get frustrated to the point that they devote all their energy to the extinction of that behavior. However, a major lesson we have learned from PBIS is that if your goal is to extinguish a challenging behavior, it must be replaced with a constructive behavior.


PBIS emphasizes positive replacement behaviors. By focusing on these, the negative behavior gets pushed out of the way, as it becomes irrelevant, inefficient, and ineffective for the person in meeting his needs.


Behavior Intervention Plans need to address the type of skill building that will help an individual make positive changes such as learning to take turns, using common courtesies appropriately, and applying enhanced communication skills. Once the new skill is identified, we need to decide how to teach it. Possibilities include modeling, role playing, and using computerized or board games resources, stories, prompting, cue cards . . . the list could go on forever!


Teaching in natural environments is valuable, since a plan for generalizing the learned behavior to a variety of environments and people is a necessity.


What types of skill building have you done with individuals you support to help them meet their communication and sensory needs?


Read more about Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support on our Knowledge Base page.