Positive Approaches to Challenging Behavior

Positive Approaches to Challenging Behavior

Welcome to Module 2 of the Community-Based Positive Supports Training. This section will be addressing positive approaches to challenging behavior with a focus on positive behavior support . Positive behavior support is one type of positive support strategy that can be used to improve quality of life and prevent or decrease challenging behavior.

Section 2 - Learning Outcomes

  • Provide an overview of the major elements of tier 3 implementation
  • Define positive behavior support and explain how this practice is used to improve quality of life
  • List the common functions that maintain challenging behavior
  • Describe the sources of functional behavioral assessment data
  • Explain how to create a hypothesis explaining why a challenging behavior occurs in order to design function-based interventions
  • Summarize the main features of PBS implementation and planning

In this section you will learn more about how one part of a three-tiered model of positive behavior support (tier 3) is used to improve outcomes when helping to support someone who engages in challenging behavior. These strategies are used whether a child or adult is transitioning out of a hospital or other setting into the community. In fact, they are helpful for everyone who wants to make positive changes in their life.

Three tiered model of support: all people on the bottom, some in the middle, few at the top. Few is circled.

Review of Three-Tiered Framework for Using Positive Supports

Everyone (staff, managers, family members and caregivers, and people receiving supports) works together at tier 1 to select important person-centered values (being kind, respectful, listening to others) and creates a plan to teach, model, practice, and celebrate positive social interactions over time. Consistent responses to challenging behavior are agreed upon and data are used to assess how well tier 1 is implemented.

Strategies at tier 2 are used to monitor quality of life and challenging behaviors. The goal is to intervene early when there are any problems and to provide staff, children and adults receiving services, and others with a little more support to address minor challenges. Examples of simple interventions include opportunities to learn to practice mindfulness in group sessions in the community, attending classes to build employment skills, or to design a tailored plan to improve quality of life.

There are times when people need more intensive and individualized support. These individual plans are used at tier 3 and may include more than one type of positive support. At tier 3, a team forms around a person to help problem solve together. A wraparound or person-centered plan is often a good place to start before beginning positive behavior support.

In the first section, we talked about how universal strategies are important and how you can increase the level of intensity of PBS depending on the needs of each person. This section will focus on the more intensive and individualized Positive Behavior Supports (often referred to as "PBS") planning that occurs at tier 3. However, it is important to know that the logic and tools you learn about in this section can be applied at each tier.

You can learn more about all three tiers by visiting the Module 2 Resources page .