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Wednesday 22 Nov 2017

Parent Implementation of Positive Behavior Support


Research, and personal experience, has shown repeatedly that parent-professional collaboration in the development and implementation of positive behavior supports is the most effective in terms of immediate, long-term and generalized positive effects. I recently read three articles about this topic (see references below). There are several important components of this process to maximize effects.

Functional Behavior Assessment and Functional Analysis

The first step to this process is for the parents and professionals to work together to conduct a functional behavior assessment (FBA). This includes an interview which helps identify the problem behaviors of concern, when they’re likely to occur and when they’re unlikely to occur. The product of and FBA is a hypothesis of the function of problem behavior. Here is an example of a behavioral hypothesis: Donovan is likely to engage in physically aggressive behavior (i.e. hitting self and others, swiping materials off surfaces, pushing over tables and chairs) when demands to complete non-preferred tasks (i.e. do homework, clean room) are presented to escape/avoid having to complete the demand. This hypothesis may need to be confirmed through the completion of a functional analysis.

Behavioral Intervention Plan Development

The second step is to develop a behavior intervention plan. Prior to developing this plan, it is important for the professionals to discuss the family ecology with the parents to determine those family variables (e.g. family goals, strengths, resources and social supports, and sources of stress) which are likely to enhance or impede intervention efficacy. The behavior intervention plan needs to include four components: setting event strategies, antecedent strategies, teaching strategies and consequence strategies. When parents and professionals work together to develop the intervention plan, then the likelihood that the intervention strategies are a good fit for the family is increased because they were a part of the decision-making process.

Collect Baseline Data

The third step is to identify contexts in which the behavior intervention plan will be implemented. This will assist the parents and professionals in fine-tuning their intervention strategies and will direct when and where data should be collected. Part of this step is to collect baseline data within the contexts identified. Getting a baseline measurement of the problem behavior (i.e. how frequently a problem behavior is occurring) is important because that is the only way to determine the efficacy of the BIP once it has been implemented. For instance, if the behavior is measurable by a frequency count, he team will be able to see if the number of instances of behavior decreased following implementation of the behavior intervention plan.

Parent Training and Support

The fourth step is for the professionals to train the parents to implement the behavior intervention plan. This training should consist of activities such as “in-vivo modeling and coaching, behavioral rehearsal, parent self-monitoring, problem solving discussions and fading of support” (Lucyshyn, et. al.). The goal for the professionals should be to ensure the parents are able to implement intervention procedures correctly and flexibly (i.e. problem-solve in the moment). After initial training, it is important that there is continuous follow-up and support to ensure the parents are able to continue implementing interventions correctly across contexts.

On-Going Data Collection and Generalization Probes

To ensure that behavior change is to the extent predicted and sustainable across contexts and time, it is important for the parents and professional to continue collecting data across activities, people, setting and time. This will help the team decide if or when to begin fading out or modifying intervention procedures to increase independence an long-term maintenance of behavior change.

All of these components are necessary for development and implementation of a positive behavior support plan. For more information, the articles listed in the resource section are recommended.

Resources:
Blair, K. C., Lee, I., Cho, S., and Dunlap, G. (2011). Positive Behavior Support Through Family-School Collaboration for Young Children with Autism. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 31(1), 22-36.

Lucyshyn, J. M., Albin, R. W., Horner, R. H., Mann, J. C., Mann, J. A., and Wadsworth, G. (2007). Family Implementation of Positive Behavior Support for a Child with Autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Support, 9(3), 131-150.

Marshall, J. K., and Mirenda, P. (2002). Parent-Professional Collaboration for Positive Behavior Support in the Home. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 17(4), 216-228.

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