Positive behavior support is a scientifically tested way of addressing negative behaviors. By using specific functions, negative behaviors are eliminated and subsequently replaced with positive, pro-social behaviors that help the individual fit into the world in which they live. Positive behavioral interventions and supports help to target the destructive behaviors, determine the best solution to break the patterned behavior and then replace it with positive behaviors that allow a person to be more outgoing and socially accepted.
Negative behaviors are those that, in some way, have a negative impact on the person and individuals who interact with them on a regular basis. Negative behaviors include those that are directly and indirectly related to bullying and various types of abuse. In some people, the behaviors may be fairly minor and any harm that stems from those behaviors are considered to be self-destructive or only harmful to the person exhibiting the signs.
Other negative behaviors may lead to overly aggressive bullying attacks that can result in the bodily injury of another student, faculty member or family member. Once these behaviors have been identified through psychological testing and observance, the individual can be treated using positive behavior interventions and supports that not only break the old, negative patterns, but help to instill new, more positive behaviors.
School Wide Positive Behavior Support
Bullying and verbal abuse are common in most school settings. No matter how hard the faculty tries, interaction between specific students is inevitable. Positive behavior intervention support that is implemented on a school wide basis, helps students be an active part of the solution. In some instances, negativity can feed upon itself and create a devastating cycle of arguments, fighting and verbal assaults that can cause harm that will last throughout a student’s lifetime. By implementing a positive behavior support plan throughout the school setting, students are better able to identify and cope with bullies that present themselves.
Functional Behavioral Assessment procedures are designed to help faculty members understand what causes specific behaviors and how best to address them. Each case is different and how a student performs on the FBA will determine what procedures are implemented and to what extent the rest of the student body is involved. These assessments evaluate students on an individual basis, allowing each student to get the exact level of help they need.
Positive Behavior Support Strategies
Once the assessment has been performed, faculty and mental health professionals are better able to create a positive behavioral support plan that meets the needs of the student. Students are monitored, evealuated and reassessed to determine what they need to do to eliminate the negative patterns they have created and replace them with positive patterns and goals.
School psychologists work hand in hand with faculty members in re-evaluating and strategizing possible programs. When a student exhibits negative patterns, his or her parents, school counselors, teachers and any other person in authority are brought together to brain storm the situation. They take their ideas and begin to create a positive behavioral support plan that applies to not only the school but other areas of their life as well. By considering every person’s individual insights, the student is provided with a fully functional and focused plan of action. Every educator knows each student in a different way. While some may be more helpful than others, they are all valuable pieces of the puzzle.
The Benefits of Positive Behavioral Supports
Students who are allowed to continue acting out and displaying negative behaviors are more likely to group up and become lifelong criminals. By utilizing positive behavioral interventions and supports, the poor behaviors are addressed and dealt with at an earlier age, thus preventing them from continuing to evolve as the student ages and the patterns become more engrained in their actual personality.
Schools who have implemented programs like PBS, have fewer instances of students misbehaving or bullying other students and peers. Without programs like PBS, teachers and faculty members are forced to take measures into their own hands. Teachers do not have the proper training in the field of psychology to address situations like this and, in the long run, may actually do more harm than good. The tactics used by the teachers and other instructors may not be approved by mental health professionals, leaving the students vulnerable to continued poor behavior.
The majority of schools in which the PBS programs were implemented reported a dramatic reduction in the number of reports of poor behavior. With the continued use of the program and its strategies, some schools reported that they no longer had any instances to report.
With PBS programs, much of the stress and responsibility associated with it, is divided up amongst all of the adults in the situation. For example, a student who exhibits negative habits and behaviors will be evaluated and both the school faculty as well as the parents will work together to create an effective strategy and support system which puts equal amounts of responsibility on all parties involved. Parents, teachers, counselors and students all play an active role in reinforcing positive behavioral patterns after the negative ones have been eliminated.
Positive behavioral intervention support offers students a scientifically proven plan of action that can be implemented in both the school as well as the home. Instead of students being placed in detention, they are given opportunities to improve themselves either through working or studying. Different techniques will be used in treatment plans.
PBS was originally designed to be used with students who were diagnosed with developmental and other forms of disabilities. As the program continued to evolved, it began to be used in every grade to see if changes implemented at a younger age would remain intact as the student advanced through high school and eventually through college.
Because of its varied use of different teaching styles and the individualization of each program to the student, PBS can be used for almost any type of developmental disability or handicap. The use of specific curriculum, commands involving certain tasks and individual, one on one attention, each student makes themselves readily available for every student.
The key idea behind the PBS program is breaking the pattern of positive reinforcement for negative behavior. Students quickly learn that there is no place for negative behavior, and if it does occur, it will not be rewarded. By gradually taking out the negative aspect of the student’s behavior and replacing it with more positive, constructive behaviors. When the school is included in the process, there are fewer reports of detention or being kicked out of class. Once the new protocols and techniques begin to finally sink in, the student will be less likely to cause or be the instigator of negative behaviors that are used to hurt or upset others.