- ABC Chart
A tool used in Functional Behavioral Assessment or FBA that records information while observing behavior that includes antecedents, the behaviors observed, and consequences that follow challenging behavior. An ABC Chart is used to develop a hypothesis statement about the function maintaining challenging behavior.
- Active Listening
Concentrating on what another person is sharing in way that makes it clear that you are interested in what a person is sharing. Active listening can include both verbal and nonverbal signals that show a person you are fully attending to what is being said.
To be an ally is to unite oneself with another to promote a common interest. People who are allies share have a common interest with those they desire to help take an acitve role supporting others who are experiencing inequity or racism. In an alliance, both parties benefit from the bond or connection they share.
A stimulus such as a verbal cue, physical prompt, person or event that precedes a behavior.
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.
- Behavior Specific Praise
A positive statement that involves acknowledging a behavior in an observable and specific manner using a sincere and enthusiastic tone that is tailored to the preferrences of that person. For example, "John thank you for holding the door open for me, that makes me feel so valued by you!"
- 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.
- Charting the LifeCourse
A person-centered planning process is a framework with tools that can be used to help people organize ideas, values, and goals in order to problem solve and improve quality of life over time. Parents, case managers, teachers, students, and anyone interested in exploring ways to problem solve, navigate their life, advocate for changes in support can use Charting the LifeCourse.
- Conflict Resolution
A formal or informal process that one or more people use to seek out a peaceful resolution to a disagreement, argument, or dispute.
The stimulus or event that occurs immediately following a behavior.
- Cultural Diversity
When groups of people in a community or organization share different cultural or ethnic backgrounds it is referred to as cultural diversity. A group of people representing a cultural group can share similar traits or interests. Examples include ethnicity, religion, language, sexual orientation, age, disability, health and wellness issues.
- Cultural Responsiveness Strategies
This term refers to the ability of people or organizations to learn about and become more aware of one’s own and other persons’ cultural values in ways that are respectful and contribute to a multicultural community. Being culturally responsive helps people to become more aware of implicit bias and systemic racism and to act in ways that can improve negative outcomes for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color).
- Cultural Values
The core beliefs and ideals that a person has that remain stable and consistent over time. Understanding our own cultural values can explain how and why we may be responding to another person in either a positive or negative manner. Being aware of similarities and differences in cultural values in ourselves and others helps us to become more culturally responsive.
- Culturally Responsive
The ability of people or groups of people to act with humility as they learn about and become more aware of one’s own and other persons’ cultural values in ways that are respectful and contribute to a diverse community. Acting with humility conveys the message that we cannot know everything about another person and their culture and, therefore, we are in a lifelong process of reflection about our own and other cultures. Being culturally responsive means that we help people become more aware of implicit bias and systemic racism and to act in ways that can improve outcomes for Black, Brown, and Indigenous people.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
This practice refers to a type of cognitive behavioral treatment originally used to support people with borderline personality disorder. Over time, this practice has been expanded to support people with a range of issues that are related to self-regulating behavior. People who learn to self-regulate can recognize and cope better with strong emotions. Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT has been used to address a number of mental health issues including post-traumatic stress, binge eating, depression and substance misuse. The main goal of dialectical behavior therapy is to learn four strategies: 1) develop skills to regulate emotions, 2) practice mindfulness skills that help people to live in the moment, 3) increase the ability to tolerate distress, and 4) expand relationship-building skills. Therapeutic settings for Dialectical Behavior Therapy involve working in groups to learn new behavioral skills, meeting for individual therapy, and engaging in coaching sessions.
- 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.
This skill is described as the ability to feel, understand, and sense another person’s emotions. People who are considered high in empathy can imagine what another person is feeling and place themselves in another person’s position and try to experience the same emotions. Three types of empathy include cognitive (knowing how someone feels), emotional (having the same feelings as another person), and compassionate (being moved to help a person if we can).
A person who works with a group of people to achieve an outcome. Facilitators often use agendas to guide the flow of the meeting and make sure that the group stays on task and that everyone has a chance to participate in the conversation.
- 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.
- Function-Based Thinking
A way of thinking about what a behavior is communicating for a person. 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 behavor assessment involving interviews, quesionnaires, and direct observation. A functional analysis may be needed in situations where challenging behavior is complext 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.
- Group Interventions
An approach that involves teaching, practicing, and modeling social and emotional skills with a group of individuals. Examples of group interventions include learning job interview skills, learning relaxation and meditation, attending substance abuse support event, or participating in an exercise or wellness class.
- 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.
- Implicit Bias
Automatic and often unconscious stereotypes we hold about race or other groups based on social learning or lack of exposure, that influence our beliefs, understanding, actions, and decision-making.
- Important For
The term “Important For” refers to those things that are needed to help keep people safe and that ensure mental and physical wellness. Examples of what is “Important For” a person can include: ensuring basic safety at home and in the community, maintaining daily hygiene that prevents serious pain or illness, taking medications that keep a person alive and healthy, using mental health practices that prevent severe mental illness such as depression or substance abuse, and making sure a person is considered a valued part of the community.
- Important To
The term “Important To” refers to those things that make us happy, content, gives us purpose and meaning to our day, and makes life enjoyable. Examples of what is “Important To” us include: favorite items or belongings, places we choose to visit, events and activities we enjoy, a feeling of having social status in our community, the ability to predict and control our day, choosing a preferred rhythm and pace in life, honoring our routines and rituals, and finding and maintaining key relationships.
- Incident Report Data
A record of minor and major events that involve documenting the occurrence of challenging behavior or other problematic events. The incident report is written by the employee who was involved or witnessed the incident. Information is collected about the challenging event, who was there, what preceded the events, when, and where it occurred. When reviewed across an organization, incident reports can provide information that can be used to create intervnetions to promote a positive climate.
- Individual Education Plan or IEP
A document developed to support a child with a disability in an educational context receiving specialized services.
- LifeCourse (Charting the LifeCourse)
A person-centered planning process is a framework with tools that can be used to help people organize ideas, values, and goals in order to problem solve and improve quality of life over time. Parents, case managers, mental health professionals, teachers, family members and friends, and anyone interested in exploring ways to problem solve, navigate their life, advocate for changes in supports can use Charting the LifeCourse.
- 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.
- Mandt Training
The training framework Maryland Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDA) has selected for behavior supports since it focuses on healthy relationships, providing a more person-centered, values-based process that encourages positive interactions. Mandt promotes individual and organizational well-being and safety with both non-physical and physical interactions. Focus areas of the training include de-escalation during the crisis phase, Positive Behavior Supports and trauma-informed care to help direct support professionals in understanding human behavior.
A tool for developing a positive social environment where everyone in the setting works together to identify shared values, lists different types of settings or activities where the values are important, and defines actions that reflect these values. The matrix is used to create a plan for teaching, prompting, practicing and recognizing and reinforcing positive social behavior.
Actively delivering positive messages that are inclusive and convey respect and caring.
A brief interaction that conveys a negative message that another person receives.
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.
- Neutralizing Routine
A preplanned action that can be taken when a vulnerable decision point is recognized that will interupt the immediate response that might be based on implicit bias. Examples include thinking about how you will respond to someone who is angry and throwing items and practice this response in advance.
- Nonverbal Communication
Refers to ways in which people communicate without using talking or using written language. Examples include movements, gestures, or facial expressions.
- 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 nonexampler 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.
- Person-Centered Practices
Three elements of person-centered practices:
- Person-Centered Strategies that everyone can use to help people learn about what brings joy to someone and makes life worth living. These tools are also used to find out what is important to a person as well as understanding their needs for health, safety, and well-being.
- Person-Centered Planning 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.
- Person-Centered Organizational Changes address how services and supports are planned and delivered. Changes that are made include fixing policies, adding ongoing opportunities for learning, and building community supports. Services for people across the lifespan are changed in ways that improve quality of life outcomes.
- Person-Centered Thinking
The foundational value-based skills that change the way in which someone sees another person that makes it possible for person-centered plans to be effective. Tools used in Person-Centered Thinking encourage active listening and relationship building and includes problem solving in ways that supports a deeper understanding of what is important to a person . The goal of person-centered thinking is to understand who someone is by their strengths and abilities, and what they can contribute.
- Personal Descriptions/One-Page Profiles
Information often one page in length that captures important details about a person including sections to organize simple summaries. These sections can include what people like about me, what is important to me, and what you can do to support me. These descriptions have been used to support a variety of people across the lifespan who receive services and to support HCBS staff, county, or state professionals.
- Plan of Care/Person-Centered Plan of Care
A written document developed to support a person needing support to live independently in the community while empowering the person to make their own choices over their daily lives.
- Positive Behavior Support
Positive Behavior Support is 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 using social communication skills while changing social settings to prevent challenging behaviors. Positive behavior support is based on research from areas including biomedical and behavioral science that is driven by person-centered and culturally responsive values and uses the science of implementation to create sustainable and lasting using systems change.
- Power Over
Acting on the person's behalf without that person's input or in disregard for the person's preferences.
- Power With
Sharing decision-making with another person and helping that person navigate questions about boundaries and making choices while fully including the person's input in planning and problem-solving.
- 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.
- Racial Inequity
Refers to imbalances in how power, financial and economic resources, and opportunities to succeed are distributed in American society favoring the dominant white culture and oppressing marginalized groups and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color).
A consequence that follows a behavior and increases the likelihood that this response will occur in the future.
- 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.
- 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.
Taking charge of one's own life and playing an active role in important decision-making processes. Characteristics that have been used to describe self-determination include self-evaluation, personal responsibility, choice, preference, autonomy, self-regulation, psychological empowerment, and self-realization.
- Setting Event
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.
Fixed, over generalized beliefs about a particular group or class of people.
- Systemic Racism
Policies, procedures, structures, and systems that disadvantages marginalized groups. Systemic racism is pervasive and embedded within the core of all major federal, state, and local organizations and institutions in the US.
- Three Tiered Model of 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 1
Universal strategies for practicing and learning social and emotional skills that everyone can benefit from learning including people receiving support, staff, supervisors, human resource professionals, leaders, family and community members. Tier 1 also includes recognizing and celebrating positive social interactions and using data to assess progress over time.
- Tier 2
Monitoring for changes in quality of life or challenges that might be occurring in social interactions and intervening as early as possible to prevent an escalation of problematic behavior. Examples of Tier 2 includes simple function-based strategies and group interventions that provide more opportunities to practice skills and receive positive feedback.
- 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-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Traumatic life experiences such as child or domestic abuse, natural disasters, or other negative life events can have a lasting impact on a person’s health and emotional wellbeing. Trauma-Informed Cognitive Behavior Therapy is an evidence-based practice that addresses this issue. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a positive support that teaches children and adults skills to recognize negative or unhealthy thoughts associated with past experiences and to engage in stress management and coping strategies when these thoughts occur. This approach can also include teaching new skills for parents and caregivers of children involved in therapy. A family therapy approach is used to help recognize family dynamics, teach new parenting skills, support stress management for both child and family members, and work on improving communication skills.
- Vulnerable Decision Points
A concept used in equity work that refers to a situation that is paired with a person's internal emotional state that can increase the likilihood of implicit bias occurring during that social interaction. For example, if a person is very tired or emotional already, they may act in a manner that is biased. Leaders in positive behavior support are conducting research on interventions that help people recognize when they are at a vulnerable decision point and to engage in a planned neutral response to avoid acting in a way that promotes inequity.
- Workers Compensation
A type of insurance in businesses that result in payments made to employees in an organization when they are injured or become sick due to work. Payments are made to cover medical expenses or wages lost due to injury or illness.
- 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.