Maryland Positive Behavior Support Training

Understanding Behavior

Diagram that shows progression from predictable to positive to consistent.

All of us have engaged in a behavior at some time in our lives that is considered challenging from someone else’s point of view. Sometimes these behaviors are minor and do not cause too much trouble. In other situations, the actions taken might become a danger to ourselves or to someone else. When a challenging behavior is complicated, it can be helpful to find someone to facilitate a problem-solving session that will result in a positive behavior support plan.

Completing this module does not provide you with everything you need to know to help facilitate the problem solving that leads to a positive behavior support plan. Instead, think about how the information you are learning will help you recognize and work with other people trained in positive behavior support planning.

At times, the reason or function of a challenging behavior may be due to internal or biological issues within a person. This can occur when someone experiences a mental health crisis or engages in behavior triggered by internal physical factors. In many cases, however, challenges arise due to social interactions between one or more people. Even when a challenging behavior occurs due to a physical or mental health related cause, the way in which we respond to someone experiencing these events can increase or decrease challenging behaviors.

Positive behavior support provides a way for people to build reinforcing and supportive everyday routines and settings while sharing the same core values described in person-centered practices including:

  • Building positive and meaningful relationships,
  • Changing the ways in which staff respond in everyday routines and settings, and
  • Empowering people to make choices, problem solve, and achieve their ideal life outcomes.

The goal of positive behavior support is to create predictable, positive and consistent home, work, and community settings.

  • People receiving support
  • Staff members
  • Supervisors and leaders of organizations
  • Family members and guardians
  • The greater community