A stimulus such as a verbal cue, physical prompt, person or event that precedes a behavior.
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Applied behavior Analysis or ABA is used to teach skills such as communication, self-care, communication and social skills, and academics. The practice relies on the principles of learning theory to prevent challenging behavior and improve quality of life. Different forms or models of ABA have evolved over time to support children and adults. A few examples include Discrete Trial Training, Pivotal Response Treatment, and the Early Start Denver Model.
- Assertive Community Treatment
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) improves outcomes for people with severe mental illness and may be more likely to be at-risk of hospitalization and other negative life outcomes including possible involvement in the criminal justice system. The practice involves forming a multidisciplinary team including community outreach and action planning.
Using data collected during a period of time before any changes occur in a setting to compare to data collected after a change has been introduced.
- Challenging Behaviors
Behavior that are of concern by the people who are living and working with a person. Everyone engages in behaviors that are problematic at some point in life. A behavior becomes challenging if it interferes with quality of life, health and wellness, or safety.
- Community-Based Positive Supports
Refers to strategies used to improve quality of life and decrease the likelihood of challenging behaviors. Each person is different and may benefit from different types of practices that have been shown to be effective in research studies.
The stimulus or event that occurs immediately following a behavior.
- Contextual Fit
The extent to which a positive behavior support plan is a good fit for the cultural values, needs, skills of people who will implement the plan and whether the resources are sufficient for implementation.
- Direct Observation
Observing an individual to clearly identify when problem behaviors occur, what happens right before a problem behavior, what the problem behavior looks like, and how people respond to the occurrence of problem behavior. Direct observation data are used to develop a hypothesis about why problem behavior occurs and to confirm that a hypothesis is correct.
- Fidelity of Implementation
A process for showing evidence that you are implementing a practice in the way a practice is intended. Tools used to assess fidelity can be used at an organizational level with teams, to evaluate individual plans, and for specific interventions that are put in place to support a person.
- Fidelity of Intervention Implementation
A process for showing evidence that you are implementing an individual intervention in the way a practice is intended. An individual positive behavior support plan includes multiple interventions that are meant to address ways to replace challenging behavior with new skills and to make changes in the environment to decrease, prevent, or eliminate challenging behavior. Assessing the fidelity of an intervention involves creating a list of the steps involved in the intervention and then observing the people implementing to evaluate whether each step involved is being completed correctly. Fidelity of intervention data can help teams understand whether changes need to be made to the plan. If intervention fidelity is low, there may be contextual fit problems because the intervention is too effortful, doesn't fit cultural values, or there may not be sufficient resources to maintain it.
- Function-Based Thinking
A way of thinking about what a challenging behavior is communicating for a child or adult receiving support. People engage in behavior that helps they to achieve something they need. Function-based thinking means that we observe behavior to better understand whether a person is communicating that they need something (such as attention from others, or access to something).
- Functional Analysis
An experimental process that demonstrates the relation between challenging behavior and environmental events. There are different ways to do functional analysis (FA). However, the FA process must be overseen and run by a person with a high level of expertise. Most providers conduct a functional behavior assessment involving interviews, questionnaires, and direct observation. A functional analysis may be needed in situations where challenging behavior is complex and/or the functional behavioral assessment does not result in a clear hypothesis.
- Functional Behavioral Assessment or FBA
A process that involves gathering information to understand why a challenging behavior occurs (its function). The FBA involves indirect methods for collecting information including including interviews, surveys, and record reviews. Direct observation provides objective information about the challenging behavior and confirms a hypothesis statement that includes a setting event, antecedent, a definition of the challenging behavior, and the consequences maintaining the behavior. The FBA is used to brainstorm interventions that everyone uses to create new positive social interaction patterns together.
Generalization in the context of a positive support plan refers to the application of skills, techniques, learning, etc. to multiple settings. For example, if the use of strategies to help reduce anxiety (e.g., use of a visual timer, self-talk scripts, completion of checklists, and advance access to schedules) is successful in a home environment for an individual with autism, then these same strategies can be “generalized” (i.e., utilized) in a work environment.
- Hypothesis Statement
A statement regarding what may be maintaining a challenging behavior that is created as part of a Functional Behavioral Assessment or FBA. This hypothesis statement includes information about the setting events related to the challenging behavior, the antecedents that trigger challenging behavior, a description of the challenging behavior, and the consequences maintaining these challenges.
- Line Graph
A simple visual format for displaying data that is based on representing data in a two-dimensional area formed by the intersection of two perpendicular lines. Each point on the graph represents a relationship between two dimensions described by intersecting lines.
A therapeutic strategy that involves focusing one's awareness on the present moment. Mindfulness helps people to accept thoughts and feelings and observe these thoughts without judgment. Over time, mindfulness can help people manage strong emotions, and decrease anxiety, stress, and depression.
- Operant Learning
Operant learning relies on reinforcement and punishment to increase or decrease the likelihood of a behavior occurring. This type of learning is derived from a functional behavioral perspective and assumes that behaviors are maintained by the environment.
- Operational Definition
Defining a challenging behavior so that it can be measured consistently from observer to observer. An operational definition objective and clearly describes what the challenging behavior looks like, when it begins and ends, and the level of intensity. Sometimes includes examples and nonexample of the behaviors that are considered challenging.
- Outcome Measures
Changes that occur as a result of person-centered and positive support practices. These changes may be captured using quantitative data or qualitative data. Examples include changes in social and emotional skills, increases in staff retention, increases in satisfaction, improvement in quality of life.
- Person-Centered Plan
A person-centered plan is a process that is used to create a plan for a positive and meaningful life for someone by building on their interests and strengths. There are different methods that can be used to help a person create their dreams for a better future. The person who asks for a person-centered plan chooses the people who will attend the meeting, the facilitator, and the location where the event is held. The goal of a person-centered plan is to create a set of actions that will help a person live their best life. There a many planning models that can be used to guide a meeting. However, the best person-centered planning process uses elements from different approaches to meet the needs of each person.
- Positive Behavior Support
A framework used to improve the quality of a person’s life and prevent or decrease challenging social interactions. The tools and strategies used in positive behavior support encourage social and communication skills and involve changing social settings to prevent challenging behaviors. Positive behavior support is based on research from areas including biomedical and behavioral science. Research also guides how positive behavior support is implemented in education and human service settings using a tiered model with interventions that gradually increase based on each person's unique needs. The universal level, or tier one, includes interventions for improving the quality of life and social interactions for everyone within a provider setting. The second tier involves monitoring HCBS data to identify problems that a person might have as early as possible and to intervene when challenges are still minor. The third tier is used to create individualized plans for each person who needs more intense supports.
- Positive Support
Refers to all practices that include the following characteristics:
- Person- centered interventions that demonstrate cultural competence and respect for human dignity
- Evidence- based and promising practices
- Include strategies for ongoing assessment and monitoring at individual and organizational levels
- Are often implemented in combination with more than one practice
Anything that is used as a consequence for a behavior that reduces its future likelihood. Time-out, suspensions, and incarceration are only punishers if behavior decreases following their occurrence as a consequence.
- Quality of Life
This is a term used to describe how a person experiences their standard of health and wellbeing. Quality of life can be broken down into domains: emotional wellness, social interactions, work and employment, financial status, living environment, physical health, intellectual stimulation, and spiritual growth.
Involves reliving emotional reactions that were experienced during a traumatic event when facing a similar experience. Training in trauma-informed support encourages people to become more aware of how our words and actions can re-traumatize someone.
Refers to something that increases the likelihood that a response will occur. Reinforcers can be positive or negative.
- Replacement Behavior
A socially-desirable behavior that serves the same function as the challenging behavior identified in the functional behavior assessment. For example, a person might use a picture card to hand to a supervisory indicating a need for a break. Presenting the picture card to the supervisor is a replacement behavior the person can use instead of walking off the work site without telling anyone.
- Respondent Learning
Respondent learning occurs when someone begins to learn over time to respond to a signal in the environment. When a stimulus that elicits a response (unconditioned stimulus) is paired with a stimulus that does not usually elicit this type of response, over time and with repeated pairings this neutral stimulus begins to elicit the response, becoming a conditioned stimulus. For example, a child may initially view a cell phone as a neutral stimulus. The child’s parents frequently use their phones for work and are often on these devices. Additionally, the child’s older siblings have phones of their own that they use to play games and watch videos on the internet. The child utilizes the phone to watch videos and play games when they are “waiting” e.g., in a store line, in the car, at a restaurant and, as a result, the child strongly wants access to the phone whenever it is in view. When the child becomes a young adult they get their own phone, they automatically associate using the phone to play games, watch shows, etc. with comfort or relaxation. Over time, the once neutral cell phone becomes an item that can illicit anxiety and anger when access to the phone is not available. Further, it evokes a sense of comfort/relaxation when it is present and available for use.
- Scatter Plot
An example of a tool used in Functional Behavioral Assessment or FBA to record observations about when challenging behaviors are more or less likely to occur.
- Setting Events
Social, internal or physiological, and physical events, people and experiences that precedes challenging behavior and changes a person's response to reinforcers and punishers in an everyday routines or settings. Setting events can increase the likelihood that an antecedent event will trigger challenging behavior.
Sustainability refers to the durability and consistent implementation of a plan over time. The efforts taken to keep doing what works in order to obtain the positive outcomes of an effective intervention or entire positive behavior support plan.
- Task Analysis
The act of breaking down a complicated skill into a series of smaller steps in order to make the skill easier to learn.
A theory is an idea created through the scientific method to helps explain the world. All theories are incomplete. Relying on only one method to understand challenging behavior is more likely to fail.
- Three Tiered Positive Behavior Support
A framework for implementing universal strategies for all people in a home, work, or other setting and by providing a continuum of interventions that increase in intensity based on the unique needs of each person. This framework is applied to positive behavior support and other practices that improve quality of life.
- Tier 3
A smaller number of people will benefit from structured, individualized, and intensive interventions. When a Tier 3 plan is needed a team of people form to support a person. A person-centered plan helps create a vision for what the person’s ideal life and dreams are and an action plan is created with steps for improving quality of life. Practices that will help the person are identified including examples such as positive behavior support, cognitive behavior therapy, trauma informed care, and motivational interviewing.
- Trauma-Informed Support
Trauma-informed support is a practice that is meant to help people understand the widespread impact that trauma has had on people and to:
- Teach people to become more aware of signs that trauma may be having an impact on a person
- Understand and support pathways for recovery from trauma for people in need of support
- Recognize signs of trauma in people around us
- Integrate trauma-informed language and supports into organization-wide policies and procedures.
- Wraparound Planning
Parents of children and adults with mental health needs and challenging behavior are often expected to communicate with a number of different service systems. Each of these services require parents to complete forms, attend meetings, and respond to requests related to services. Juvenile justice, children and family services, special education, mental health, and developmental disabilities are all examples of these different services. The wraparound plan is mean to help youth and their parents by improving service coordination. Wraparound planning is a team-based approach that is child-and family-driven. Team members include natural supports (friends, family members, and people who know the child or young person well). Individuals from formal supports might include a parole officer, counselor, psychiatrist, or special education teacher. The goal of wraparound is to assess the child and family strengths in order to build a plan of support that will improve quality of life.
A straight, horizontal line that represents the passage of time and the presence, absence, and/or value of the independent variable. Also referred to as the abscissa.
A vertical line drawn upward from the left-hand end of the horizontal axis. Also referred to as the ordinate.