Generalization and Sustainability in Positive Behavior Support

Function-Based Interventions

Function-based thinking guided the development of Katherine's positive behavior support plan. Katherine's functional behavioral assessment process included functional analysis in addition to indirect and direct assessment strategies. The information gathered was used to determine the most effective interventions for Katherine. These interventions fell into four categories: setting events, antecedent interventions, teaching new skills, and consequence interventions. Each type of intervention is briefly defined below:

  • Setting Event Interventions - Strategies that are used to make changes to what is occurring before or during a problematic behavior or event to eliminate or decrease the likelihood of challenging behavior
  • Antecedent Interventions - Interventions designed to be implemented right before a behavior of concern occurs. These proactive interventions make it less likely a behavior of concern will occur.
  • Teaching New Skills - The teaching of a new skill during a routine occurring in Katherine's home. Teaching communication, social, or emotional skills can replace a challenging behavior with an alternative response that directly addresses the function maintaining challenging behavior and/or helps someone cope with strong emotions
  • Consequence interventions - Consequence interventions are implemented right after a behavior has occurred. Typically, consequence interventions focus on reducing reinforcement for challenging behavior and increasing reinforcement for the new communication skill being taught. Interventions in this category may also focus on de-escalating or preventing a child or adult's challenging behavior.

Katherine's Interventions Across Routines

Setting Event Interventions

Antecedent Interventions

Teaching New Skills

Consequence Interventions

Include tasks with meaningful outcomes and natural reinforcers that follow

Talk about what is coming up to reduce anxiety about tasks, changes, transitions, being alone

Teach Katherine to communicate what she wants

Praise and celebrate Katherine’s use of language, when she waits calmly and accepts changes in routines

Introduce a flexible picture schedule or board for predictability and transitions

Include natural positive consequences

Prompt, model, and reinforce attempts to communicate

Ignore challenging behavior while immediately responding to any attempts to communicate and honor these requests

Promote and support friendships with people in community

Use preferred items, interactions, or activities to help address delays

Minimize reinforcement for challenging behavior when Katherine seeks to escape

Decrease demands and increase reinforcers when Katherine is sick

Match instruction to learning style

Minimize reinforcement for challenging behavior when Katherine seeks out items or activities

Encourage using a signal or cue for Katherine to ask for a break when she looks tired or agitated