Maryland Positive Behavior Support Training

What is Positive Behavior Support?

figures of people ranging in age for infant to a person who is aging.

Positive behavior support is a framework that includes tools and strategies for improving quality of life and decreasing challenging behavior. 

The four major elements of positive behavior support include the following:

  1. Outcomes are focused on improving quality of life and social and emotional skills,
  2. Interventions are based on behavioral and biomedical research,
  3. Strategies are proven to work based on scientific evidence and using data to guide decision making over time, and
  4. Changes are made to family and organizational settings to improve the lives of everyone involved.

Positive behavior support can be a simple part of everyday interactions or may require a more intensive planning process driven by the people receiving support and the people who know them well. 

You are already using positive behavior support at work when you create positive and person-centered interactions with other people.

Examples of Positive Behavior Support:

  • Actively listening to what another person is saying
  • Modeling, teaching, practicing, and reinforcing social and communication skills
  • Teaching someone how to recognize strong emotions and learn new ways to cope with these feelings
  • Reinforcing and celebrating the kindness of other people
  • Helping people connect with others and make new friends
  • Changing an activity or task so that it is easier to for a person to succeed
  • Making changes in routines and activities to prevent challenges by increasing predictability and choice


Describe briefly or share with another person how you have recently made simple changes that are positive:

  • At home 
  • At work