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Skill Building—Strategies for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

February 22, 2011
Two pairs of hands clasped together.

Effectively supporting positive behaviors involves making changes in three areas: the environment, staff responses, and skill building.

We've already shared the first of these three aspects that are key to developing effective Behavior Intervention Plans: 

And when it comes to skill building and PBIS...

Staff who work 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 of PBIS is that if your goal is to extinguish a challenging behavior, that behavior must be replaced with a constructive behavior. 

PBIS emphasizes positive replacement behaviors.

When you focus on these, the negative behavior gets pushed out of the way, as it becomes irrelevant, inefficient, and ineffective for the person in meeting their needs.

Behavior Intervention Plans should 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 you identify the new skill that needs to be developed, it's time to decide how to teach it. Strategies include:

  • Modeling
  • Role-playing
  • Board games 
  • Apps
  • Stories
  • Prompting
  • Cue cards...

...the list could go on forever!

Teaching skill-building in the person's 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? 

Need more resources to help you support positive behavior change?

We've packed our PBIS Resources Guide with some of our best tips for helping someone replace problem behavior with positive behavior. Be sure to download this free eBook for more keys to success with PBIS!

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