Designing and Implementing Effective and Efficient Behavior Intervention Plans
You now are familiar with the student's strengths and interests and have a good hypothesis about which setting events, triggering antecedents, and maintaining consequences are contributing to the problem behavior or why it is occurring. You are now ready for the final three steps of the process: designing a behavior intervention plan based on this information, testing and confirming the functional behavioral assessment hypothesis by determining whether the behavior improved, and monitoring the behavior plan over time and adjusting it as needed.
Step 4: Design a Behavior Intervention Plan Based on the Functional Behavioral Assessment
A behavior intervention plan has these essential components:
- A definition of the acceptable or desired replacement behavior that serves the same or similar function as the problem behavior and other important target behaviors—that is, what you want the student to do instead
- A plan for directly teaching these behaviors
- Prevention strategies that remove or modify the influence of each identified setting event and triggering antecedent or provide additional support
- Planned, systematic reinforcement for the student when he or she exhibits the desired behaviors
- Logical undesirable consequences for the student if he or she continues to exhibit the problem behavior
All of these components should sound familiar: they provided the framework for and are focused on in detail in the previous chapters. Now the goal is to organize them into a written, usable framework. Reproducible 10 provides a template for creating behavior intervention plans.
Step Five: Monitor and Adjust the Behavior Intervention Plan as Needed
This step involves collecting data on levels of the problem and/or replacement behavior over time and comparing them to baseline levels in order to confirm the hypothesis about the function(s) the problem behavior is serving. This process of confirming the hypothesis is much more complex in school settings than in clinical settings, because variables are constantly changing and therefore problem behaviors and their functions can also change. Too often, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) team meets once a year, develops the behavior intervention plan, and then does not review it again until the next IEP cycle twelve months later. In order to test and confirm the hypothesis, the following two questions must be answered on a regular basis. (1) Was the plan implemented as written? (In clinical settings, this is referred to as fidelity.) (2) Did the plan result in an improvement in behavior (testing and confirming the initial hypothesis), and did this improvement continue over time (progress monitoring)?
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