Webinar | Reaching and Serving Students with Disabilities in Juvenile Justice

infographic saying Kids with disabilities are entering the juvenile justice system at a rate 5 times than youth in the general populationA webinar for the Parent Center Network


Webinar Date:
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)
The National Resources for Advocacy, Independence, Self-determination and Employment (RAISE) Technical Assistance Center


Kate Burdick, Esq.
Juvenile Law Center

Peg Kinsell, Co-Director
RAISE Center


Hosted by the RAISE Center and the Center for Parent Information and Resources, this webinar  offers information and strategies for advocacy and outreach for students with disabilities in juvenile justice systems.

Kate Burdick from the Juvenile Law Center provides a policy perspective on how the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) addresses this group of vulnerable students, the barriers to appropriate supports, and the challenges faced for successful reentry. PTIs and CPRCs also share their experiences and expertise in supporting these youth and their families, as well as their systems advocacy efforts, especially where their states have engaged them in the self-assessment processes outlined in the State Correctional Education Self-Assessment (SCES) found at:

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Download the Webinar’s Slideshow Presentation

Download the webinar’s PPT (i.e., as a PowerPoint file, 1.6 MB)

Download a PDF of the webinar’s slideshow (PDF, 1.8 MB)

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Additional Resources

Handout | Reaching and Serving Students with Disabilities in Juvenile Justice
This online handout expands upon the information provided in the September 20, 2016 webinar on reaching and serving students with disabilities in juvenile justice. Here, you’ll find connections to resources from: federal agencies, centers on juvenile justice, Parent Centers, and other organizations and entities.

Search the Hub library for additional resources on juvenile justice

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Go to the Webinar Archives, to listen to and view other webinars in the CPIR series.

Handout | Reaching and Serving Students with Disabilities in Juvenile Justice

Front of a court buildingSeptember 2016
A handout to accompany  RAISE and CPIR’s webinar on Students with Disabilities in Juvenile Justice

This handout expands upon the information provided in the September 20, 2016 webinar on reaching and serving students with disabilities in juvenile justice. Here, you’ll find connections to resources from:


Federal Agencies First!

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
U.S. Department of Justice | OJJDP collaborates with professionals from diverse disciplines to improve juvenile justice policies and practices. It also administers a Formula Grants Program to support state and local efforts to prevent delinquency and make juvenile justice system improvements. You can find contact information for your state representatives and organizations that administer many OJJDP programs.

Correctional Education in Juvenile Justice Facilities
U.S. Department of Education | Come to this landing page at ED (linked above), and you’ll find a wealth of information to explore, including (but not limited to) such resources as:

Letter to Chief State School Officers and State Attorneys General
December 8, 2014 letter on the importance of providing high-quality correctional education.

Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings
Part of a guidance package that identifies promising practices for improving education programs in juvenile justice facilities, as well as areas in which federal legal obligations apply.

Fact Sheet on the Correctional Education Guidance Package
A 2-page brief outlining the contents of the Correctional Education Guidance Package, with quick statistics on the importance of providing education services to youth in confinement. Also available in Spanish.

Dear Colleague Letter on IDEA for Students with Disabilities in Correctional Facilities
Clarifies state and public agency obligations under IDEA to ensure the provision of FAPE to eligible students with disabilities in correctional facilities.

Dear Colleague Letter on the Civil Rights of Students in Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities
Clarifies that those juvenile justice residential facilities that receive federal funding, like all other public schools, must comply with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, and disability.

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Centers on Juvenile Justice

National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability
Offers such resources as:

Pathways to Justice—Start the Conversation.
The package begins with the Pathways to Justice 4-minute video (linked below), which highlights challenges faced by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the criminal justice system and the need for effective disability-related training at the state and community levels. There’s a Conversation Guide (suggestions for starting the conversation with law enforcement and others) and the Pathways to Justice Model.

There is a lot more available at the National Center, of course, so it’s sure worth exploring. Among the things you’ll find are:

Juvenile Law Center
Juvenile Law Center plays a leadership role nationally and in Pennsylvania in shaping and using the law on behalf of children in the child welfare and justice systems to promote fairness, prevent harm, secure access to appropriate services, and ensure a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood. Lots of resources and connections here, including What the Every Student Succeeds Act Means for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System.

National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition
A collaborative array of youth- and family- serving, social justice, law enforcement, corrections, and faith-based organizations, working to improve public safety by promoting fair and equitable practices and programs for youth involved or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. You may be wish to join the coalition and may be interested in their resources, such as: Promoting Safe Communities: Recommendations for the Administration. The 29-page report looks at the current state of juvenile justice and offers detailed  recommendations for reform.

National Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Neglected or Delinquent Children and Youth (NDTAC)
NDTAC serves as a national resource center to provide direct assistance to States, schools, communities, and parents seeking information on the education of children and youth who are considered neglected, delinquent, or at-risk. The education of youth involved in the juvenile justice system is a primary focus of the Center. On NDTAC’s website, you’ll find lots of information about legislation (especially Title I, Part D of the Every Student Succeeds Act), publications such as Key Considerations in Providing FAPE for Youth with Disabilities in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Facilities,  current issues, and contacts in your state.

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Resources from and for Parent Centers

Parent Centers have much to offer on the involvement of youth with disabilities in juvenile justice–and they have a need for materials they can use and share with the youth and families they serve. Any of these interest you?

Juvenile Justice Program (in MN)
This PACER Center project is a good place to find parent-friendly materials on the many facets of youth with disabilities involved in the juvenile justice system. Much of the information is specific to Minnesota, but there are numerous links to documents and tools that other Parent Centers can readily use.

O.P.E.N. Court Video Series and Resource Guide
The “O.P.E.N. Court – Orienting Young People with Exceptional Needs about Court” website provides videos for youth with disabilities and a resource guide for school personnel, families, attorneys, juvenile court personnel, and social-service professionals to engage in best practices to help young people gain the skills to navigate the process. A series of videos follow Henry, a young man with autism, who finds himself navigating the juvenile justice system. The materials are designed to help address challenges often faced by young people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who become involved in court.

What Youth Need to Know if They Are Questioned by Police:  Tips for Parents to Prepare Their Youth with a Disability.
A 2-pager from PACER Center.

Be Safe | Video and curriculum for people with autism and related disabilities
BE SAFE The Movie and BE SAFE Teaching Edition are teaching tools that include actors with autism and related disabilities showing effective ways to interact with real police officers, modeling safe words and actions. Lessons in the Companion Curriculum offer materials to reach a wide range of learners. We regret to say that these materials aren’t free, but check out the 5-minute movie trailer explaining the package, which is also available in Spanish.

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Other Resources to Consult

Juvenile Justice
Another fabulous resource page from Wrightslaw.

Get Involved: A Collection of Juvenile Justice Resources
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has been working to improve outcomes for youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Its Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and work to reduce youth incarceration focus on creating systems that use proven family-oriented interventions and lock up fewer kids. Check out this collection of resources and join the Initiative.

Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Students with Disabilities
From the National Council on Disability. NCD concludes that IDEA can and should be an important part of the solution to the School-to-Prison Pipeline crisis. Thus, the recommendations in this 2015 report focus on ways to improve existing special education delivery and enforcement systems to better meet the needs of students with disabilities who risk entering the Pipeline.

Making the Right Turn: A Guide About Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System
This guide provides professionals with well-researched and documented facts, offers evidence-based research, highlights promising practices, and provides the Guideposts for Success for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System, in addition to pointing out areas requiring further attention by policymakers and identifying promising practices.  From NCWD/Youth.

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National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Useful to Parent Centers, educators, service agencies, and families working with individuals with disabilities who have experienced trauma.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 2000 as part of the Children’s Health Act, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has grown from a collaborative network of 17 to over 150 funded and affiliate NCTSN centers located nationwide in university, hospital, and diverse community-based organizations, with thousands of national and local partners.

Mission of NCTSN |  To  raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families and communities throughout the United States.

Website of NCTSN

Information and Connections Offered by NCTSN | There is an enormous amount of information on NCTSN’s website for Parent Centers, families, and service providers working with traumatized children and their families. Of particular interest to Parent Centers are the following:

Types of Trauma | Extensive learning and resource sections on 13 different types of trauma (community violence, complex Ttrauma, domestic violence, early childhood trauma, medical trauma, natural disasters, neglect, physical abuse, refugee trauma, school violence, sexual abuse, terrorism, and traumatic grief).

Resources for Parents and Caregivers (Understanding Trauma, Parents Can Help, Trauma Treatment, Resources)

Resources for School Personnel (such as Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators / Caja de Herramientas Para Educadores Para el Manejo de Trauma Infantil)

Resources for the Juvenile Justice System

Culture and Trauma

Información en Español 

Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma | With indepth sections for military and veteran families; service systems; podcasts; special populations (adolescents, homeless youth, refugees); clinical training.

Empirically Supported Treatments and Promising Practices | Multiple  fact sheets offering descriptive summaries of some of the clinical treatments, mental health interventions, and other trauma-informed service approaches that the NCTSN and its various centers have developed and/or implemented as a means of promoting the network’s mission of raising the standard of care for traumatized youth and families.

Buzz from the Hub | September 2016

Cute child paint using hands

Theme: Preventing Suspension and Expulsion in Early Childhood Settings

Welcome to the September 2016 edition of Buzz from the Hub, the newsletter of the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR). This month’s Buzz focuses on resources related to the many guidances and letters being released by the U.S. Department of Education: behavior, homelessness, how to prevent young children from being suspended or expelled from early childhood settings.

All our best to you, as always,

The CPIR Team | Debra, Lisa, Nolan, and Myriam



New Resources in the Hub on Homelessness

Here are recent additions to the Hub library, both of which pertain to assisting and serving children and families who are experiencing homelessness.

Non-Regulatory Guidance: Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program.
The U.S. Department has issued this guidance to provide states and LEAs with information to assist them in meeting their obligations to address the needs of homeless individuals and ensure educational rights and protections for homeless children and youth under the McKinney-Vento Act and under ESSA. The guidance is accompanied by a fact sheet called Supporting the Success of Homeless Children and Youths: A Fact Sheet and Tips.

Webinar | Supporting Young Children Who Are Experiencing Homelessness.
This 2016 webinar profiles the impacts on young children and families experiencing homelessness, highlights relevant laws and federal programs, and identifies strategies that have been effective in supporting the unique needs of young children and families who find themselves homeless. From the link above, you can listen to the webinar, download a PDF of the webinar slides, and download a PDF of the a summary of the webinar’s content.

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Spotlight on…Preventing Suspension and Expulsion in Early Childhood Settings

Recent data indicate that expulsions and suspensions regularly occur in preschool settings. These practices warrant immediate attention from the early childhood and education fields.

What the Feds have to say.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education jointly issued a policy statement on expulsion and suspension policies in early childhood settings. Visit the link above to read the statement, listen to the webinar series on the subject, find out what states are doing to reduce these practices, and locate your state and regional contacts in early childhood development.

Visit ECTA’s resource-loaded page.
Connect with a spectrum of resources on reducing suspension and expulsion in early childhood settings, including many more tools from the Feds.

What is the Pyramid Model? | Video
This 11-minute video will give you an overview of the Pyramid Model for Promoting the Social-Emotional Competence of Infants and Young Children, which is a framework of evidence-based early childhood teaching practices that promote social and emotional skills of all children, aim to prevent challenging behavior of children at risk of challenging behavior, and guide individualized interventions for children with persistent challenging behavior. Much more information is also available on the model from the Pyramid Model Consortium.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

Here are several resources you can share with the families you serve.

Managing Diabetes at School Playbook | In English and Spanish.
Getting back into the routine of school takes a little more preparation for kids with diabetes, but it pays off over and over as the weeks and months go by. And since kids spend nearly half their waking hours in school, reliable diabetes care during the school day really matters. From the CDC.

Sickle Cell materials in Spanish and French.
The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities recently translated key sickle cell fact sheets into Spanish and French. Topics include getting screened, supporting students with sickle cell disease, tips for preventing infection, and more.

Answering Frequently Asked Questions about Adapted Physical Education.
This useful guidance document developed by SHAPE America includes great information and answers to common questions about providing physical education services for students with disabilities.

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Resources Just for Parent Centers

The work that Parent Centers do covers so many topics, it’s mind-boggling. How do you keep up with such a broad range of priorities? Here are several resources you can use on topics of continuing importance.

Trauma-Informed Approach and Trauma-Specific Interventions.
SAMHSA’s 6 key principles of a trauma-informed approach and trauma-specific interventions address trauma’s consequences and facilitate healing.

CCSSO Guide for Stakeholder Engagement in ESSA.
CCSSO has released a stakeholder engagement guide, Let’s Get this Conversation Started, to help states engage with stakeholders to develop and implement their ESSA plans. Parent Centers can use this guide to partner with their state education agencies in ensuring that the voices of parents, especially parents of students with disabilities, are included in the important decisions that states make about the implementation of ESSA.

Writing a fund-raising email? Focus on these 3 things.
People receive hundreds of emails each day, and they don’t feel obligated to open your fundraising messages. As you craft your campaign think about what will make someone stop and read an email rather than delete it. Focus on 3 elements to get a donor inside your email.

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Logo of the Center for Center for Parent Information and ResourcesThe CPIR hopes that you’ve found useful and relevant resources listed in this month’s Buzz from the Hub. Please feel free to write to the editor, Lisa Küpper, at to suggest the types of resources you’d like to see in the future. CPIR’s listening! Your input is extremely valuable to helping us to craft newsletters that support your work with families.

Debra, Myriam, Lisa, and Nolan
The CPIR Team


This eNewsletter from the CPIR is copyright-free.
We encourage you to share it with others.

Center for Parent Information and Resources
c/o SPAN, Inc.
35 Halsey St., Fourth Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

Subscribe to the Buzz from the Hub.

Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement H328R130014 between OSEP and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN). The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the Center for Parent Information and Resources.

Behavior at School

Picture of a student facing the wall.

There are better strategies than this for managing problem behaviors at school.

Links updated, September 2016

Behavior at school. What a gigantic topic, for families and schools alike. NICHCY is pleased to connect you with resources for helping children with disabilities with respect to behavior at school.

School presents a unique challenge for children with behavior issues. Teachers need tools to use to help provide support and guidance.  Administrators need methods for creating a positive learning atmosphere within the entire school. Parents need information on how to work with school staff to address their child’s behavior challenges in the school setting. We’ve included resources below that, hopefully, will give teachers, schools, and families the tools they need to create safe and positive learning environments for all children, while providing the informed and positive behavior support that many students need to flourish.


Using Positive Methods for Change

Don’t miss this quick training on behavior problems in school.
You’ll love the brief overviews on topics such as, “Behavior Problems. What’s a School to do?” Check out the fact sheets on behaviors like Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), and Conduct Disorder. You’ll also find tools and handouts, model programs, and additional resources.

Arm yourself with this knowledge and stop problem behaviors before they start.
This 65-page guide helps teachers anticipate common problems throughout the year and plan prevention and early intervention to minimize them. Suggestions provided on a monthly basis.

Play at being good: The good behavior game.
This is one fun way to involve the whole class in supporting positive behavior. Especially good for elementary students demonstrating early high-risk behavior.

Fair and effective discipline for all students: Best practice strategies for educators.
From the NASP Center, the National Association of School Psychologists.

Dodging the power-struggle trap: Ideas for teachers.
A conflict requires two people. If a teacher remains cool and calm, a conflict can often be avoided. This guide offers practical advice for disengaging, interrupting, and deescalating problem behavior, and gives specific examples of how to react in different scenarios.

From the experts on positive behavior supports in schools.
From the PBIS center, this document includes (1) Top 17 Classroom Management Strategies that should be emphasized in every classroom, (2) Effective Teaching Strategies, (3) Promoting Positive & Effective Learning Environments Classroom Checklist, (4) Effective Classroom Plan, and (5) an environmental inventory checklist.

Check out Intervention Central.
The link below will take you to the Intervention Central’s Behavioral Resource page, where you’ll find a rich hub into topics such as classroom management, bully prevention, rewards and motivation, special needs, and challenging students.

Teaching children to manage their own behavior.
What Works briefs from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) summarize effective practices for supporting children’s social-emotional development and preventing challenging behaviors. This 4-pager describes practical strategies for helping children learn to manage their own behavior and provides references to more information.

More of What Works.
There are plenty of other What Works briefs at CSEFEL to help teachers deal with behavior problems in the classroom. See if the long list of possibilities holds info relevant to your classroom concerns. Three example titles are: What are Children Trying to Tell Us? Assessing the Function of Their Behavior (Brief 9), Positive Behavior Support: An Individualized Approach for Addressing Challenging Behavior  (Brief 10), and Using Choice and Preference to Promote Improved Behavior (Brief 15). And they’re available in Spanish, too, on the same page!

Just for teachers.
The link below will take you to a wealth of resources, tips, tricks, and classroom tried and true strategies to help identify and curb inappropriate behaviors.

Download the Classroom Behavior Report Card Resource Book.
This resource book contains pre-formatted teacher and student behavior report cards, along with customized graphs, for common types of behavioral concerns in the classroom. It was designed to give teachers and other school professionals a convenient collection of forms for rating the behaviors of students in such areas of concern as physical aggression, inattention/hyperactivity, and verbal behaviors.

Create daily and weekly behavior report cards online.

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Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans

FBA and BIP, for short. When students with disabilities exhibit challenging or disruptive behavior, it may be time to conduct a functional behavior analysis to find out what may be triggering the behavior, when, and why. Using information from the FBA, the student’s IEP team can develop a behavior intervention plan to support the student in school and, hopefully, keep the behavior from recurring. Learn more about FBAs and BIPs via the resources below.

The ABCs of behavior analysis.
One of the components of a functional behavior analysis (FBA) or any systematic study of behavior is to note what happened prior to the event, what the behavior looked liked, and what happened after the behavior. The acronym “ABC” in this case stands for “Antecedent, Behavior, Consequences.”

Practical strategies for teachers: Tools for developing behavior support plans.

More on FBAs.
Visit another page in this Behavior Suite, and you’ll find lots of links to info on FBAs–how and when to conduct them, how to interpret them, what major benefits they can bring.

More on BIPs.
Again, we recommend visiting another page in the Behavior Suite. Again, you’ll find lots of links, this time to info about BIPs.

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Behavior and Specific Disabilities

Watch out for these behavior plan pitfalls!
This 3-page guide gives descriptions of 12 common mistakes in implementing behavior plans, then offers solutions.

AD/HD and behavior.
If you have a student with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), you’ll find a lot of useful info for teachers at CHADD.

AD/HD, impulsivity, and behavior.
The title of this article is How to Help and Support Impulsive Students.

Asperger syndrome and behavior.
How to support appropriate behaviors in a student with Asperger syndrome.

Autism, schoolwide discipline, and individual supports for behavior.
From the Autism Society of America, published in Principal magazine in 2008.

Autism and positive behavior supports.

Behavioral disorders and behavior plans.
Public school administrators and special educators are required to assess and evaluate the need for behavior intervention or modification plans for students with disabilities whose behavior impedes their learning or the learning of classmates. The link above will take you to an introduction to assessing negative behavior and creating interventions to correct negative behavior in the classroom.

Bipolar disorder/depression and behavior.
Read about accommodations for medication side-effects, sleep disturbances, impaired concentration, focus, and memory, testing, homework and more.

Down syndrome and behavior.
This “Position Statement On the Management Of Challenging Behaviors” from the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) identifies key features consistent with quality programs for the individuals with Down syndrome.

More on Down syndrome and behavior.
This description of behavioral challenges in people with Down syndrome comes from the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).

Learning disabilities and behavior.
This article, available at LDOnline, comes from the book published by Paul H. Brookes entitled Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviors: A Guide to Intervention and Classroom Management.

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What’s the Law Require of Schools?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has well-specified requirements of how schools must address behavior issues with respect to students with disabilities. Find out more about those requirements via the resources we’ve listed below.

Start here: How school discipline can affect a student’s placement.
All about student placement and how the discipline of students with disabilities can affect that placement.

What IDEA 2004 requires.
What authority do school personnel have to take disciplinary action when a student with a disability violates a code of student conduct? What obligations does the school have, especially with respect to providing services and addressing the student’s behavioral issues? All the details! From NICHCY’s training module on Key Issues in Discipline.

Kids with behavior problems: What are schools required to do?
Wrightslaw answers questions from school personnel about obligations to “students who may be dangerous to us.”

More on behavior problems and school discipline.
From this central topic page at Wrightslaw you have access to a multitude of useful information. Pick your pleasure!

IDEA 2004 close up: Disciplining students with disabilities.

The use of seclusion and restraint in public schools:  What are the legal issues?
A tidy and authoritative summary, from the Congressional Research Service.

What are states’ policies regarding seclusion and restraint?
Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s States and Territories Summary page.

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November 2009
Links updated, September 2016
A legacy resource from NICHCY

Would you like to visit another page in the Behavior Suite?

If so, may these quick-jump links swiftly take you there!

Behavior at Home

Mom gives her son a hug in the kitchen.Links updated, September 2016

The CPIR is pleased to connect you with sources of information for helping your child with his or her behavior at home.

Having a child with challenging behavior can affect the entire family, and family members often find the need for more information and guidance in this difficult area. The resources listed below are intended to connect families with resources and support.  The list isn’t intended to be exhaustive of the behavior resources available, but it will certainly get you started and lead you to yet more information and resources.


Using Positive Methods for Change at Home

How might you address your child’s challenging behavior?
You’ll find this reader-friendly site is well organized. It has facts about all aspects involved in working with children who have challenging behavior. Links to information on assessment and special education are provided.

English |
Spanish |

Yet more on teaching children to manage their own behavior.
What Works briefs from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning summarize effective practices for supporting children’s social-emotional development and preventing challenging behaviors. This 4-pager describes practical strategies for helping children learn to manage their own behavior and provides references to more information.

English |
Spanish |

Reinforcing positive behavior at home.
Positive reinforcement is the most powerful and useful method of changing or developing behaviors. Use it to improve your child’s behavior.

Alternatives to spanking.
Based on research, experts offer productive and concrete alternatives to spanking that parents can implement after little kids have misbehaved.

Reinforcing small changes in behavior.
Written by a psychologist who works extensively with children and teens with AD/HD and explosive and defiant behaviors, this article talks about how children and adolescents learn, about misbehavior, and small steps that parents can use to help their child toward better behavior.

Get behavior in shape at home.
How do you create a Positive Behavioral Support system in your home? This Web site gives easy-to-implement suggestions. Learn the reasoning behind different techniques and how to use them to achieve your behavior goals. Specific examples include: eating dinner, asking for things while grocery shopping, and budgeting to teach children the value of money.

English |
Spanish |

Learn practical solutions to common behavior problems.
This web page links to 12 different publications on various topics, including promoting resilience in children, encouraging good behavior, and how to get your children involved in addressing their own challenging behaviors.

Your parent-friendly guide to functional assessment and support.
This 21-page guide describes what a functional assessment is, and what it can do to help your child. You can use this information to help your child at home, and also work with school staff to put a plan into place at school.

Top 7 behavior management tips.
Many behaviors can be minimized by controlling your response to them. With these tips, you can decrease behavior problems using redirection. The goal of redirection is to teach the student to monitor and correct his own behavior.

Managing bad behavior at home.
This article takes a look at the question of “why kids are horrors at home.”

What is a functional behavioral assessment? Overview for parents.
A 3-page brief for parents on functional behavioral assessment.

English |
Spanish |

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Improving Family Life

How to get help for your child.
Having trouble getting what your child needs? This reader-friendly site offers communication tips to use when seeking help. You’ll learn techniques for keeping things in perspective, focusing on the problem at hand, and what info you should be prepared to provide when you are asking for help. Plus, you can print out a handy checklist to help keep track of the information you gather.

How to get help for yourself.
The link above will lead you to a group of parents who are raising challenging children. They invite you in and offer their site as a “soft place to land for the battle-weary parent.”

Fact sheets! Get your fact sheets here!
This site is a fact sheet treasure chest. You’ll find information on an wide range of topics such as anxiety disorders, bullying, ADHD, and autism.

Mental health fact sheets.
This web site has dozens of fact sheets on various issues, including ADHD, depression, conduct disorders, oppositional defiance disorder, and violent behavior. These up-to-date, well-written pubs are available in English, español, Deutsch, Français, Polish, and Icelandic.

Learn what really works.
This web page links to 12 different research-based publications on various topics, including promoting resilience in children, encouraging good behavior, and how to get your children involved in addressing their own challenging behaviors.

About temperament and its effect on behavior.
Let Great Schools introduce you to nine temperament traits: activity level, sensitivity, regularity, approach/withdrawal, adaptability, mood, intensity, persistence, and distractibility. Find out to pinpoint your child’s traits and how they can affect behavior.

Working with your child’s temperament.
Get ideas on helping children in ways that match their natural tendencies. This site offers suggestions for managing extreme behaviors. Click on the link to the Parent to Parent message board to read tips from other parents.

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Revised, December 2009
Links updated, September 2016
A legacy resource from NICHCY

Would you like to visit another page in this Behavior Suite?

If so, here are quick-jump links for your convenience:

Behavior Assessment, Plans, and Positive Supports

Conceptual image of closeup male face, with gears turning.

What’s the student trying to communicate with his or her behavior?

Links updated, September 2016

Why is a student exhibiting challenging behavior? Behavioral assessments can help you answer that question. They also are helpful in developing a behavioral intervention plan that reduces problem behavior, including positive behavior supports.  The CPIR is pleased to focus this page in the Behavior Suite on these three elements:  conducting behavioral assessments, developing behavior plans, and providing positive behavior supports.  The resources we’ve listed below aren’t exhaustive of all those available, but they will certainly get you started and connect you with lots of other useful information.


Behavior as Communication

Why does my kid do that?
This document helps you find the reasons behind misbehavior in children.

What does defiant behavior mean?
PBS offers many resources for parents of children with disabilities, including this series of web pages called Challenging Behavior in Children.

Behavior serves a purpose.
The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice (CECP) offers a number of family briefs on behavior, but if you want to know more about how behavior is a form of communication and why some children choose inappropriate behaviors as a way of communicating, try CECP’s brief called Functional Communication Training to Promote Positive Behavior. A natural follow-up is CECP’s brief called Planned Ignoring as an Intervention Strategy for Parents and Family Members.

What are children trying to tell us?
What Works briefs from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning summarize effective practices for supporting children’s social-emotional development and preventing challenging behaviors. This 4-pager talks about functional behavior assessment and how it’s used to figure out the purpose or function of a child’s problem behavior–in effect, what the child is trying to say.

English |
Spanish |

Is this behavior normal, a phase, a development issue, or something more serious?
Family members and teachers may see a range of behaviors out of children and still not be sure if a particular behavior they’re seeing indicates a childhood behavior disorder. Visit Medline Plus’ page, which connects with various resources to help you decide, including Development and Behavior; You and Your Child’s Behavior; Children’s Threats: When Are They Serious?; and specific aspects of behavior, such as aggresion; children who won’t go to school; conduct disorders; fighting and biting; helping the child who is expressing anger; and know when to seek help for your child.

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Behavior Assessment

So what exactly is a Functional Behavioral Assessment?
This page answers the basic questions of “FBA: What is it?” It covers how to conduct and FBA, and how to use the results to create a positive behavioral intervention plan and supports. The information is broken down into digestible sizes and is easy to read and consume.

Details about the process involved in FBA.
This 6-page newsletter defines the process of FBA. It gives clear descriptions and specific examples. A great, reader-friendly overview!

Training modules: FBA and behavior support plans.
Need to train others about how to conduct an FBA and write the subsequent behavior plan? Check out this 7-module suite, which comes with trainers’ manual, videos, tools, and more. Modules include: Defining And Understanding  Behavior;  Interviewing;  Observing; Critical Features;  Selecting Function-Based Interventions;  Implementation and Evaluation; and Leading a BSP Team.

What is a functional behavioral assessment? Overview for parents.
A 3-page brief for parents on functional behavioral assessment.

English |
Spanish |

FBA: What, why, when, where, and who?
From Wrightslaw.

What is “Multimodal Behavior Analysis”?
The Duquesne University School Psychology Program provides a thorough description of the process of conducting an FBA and writing a behavior intervention plan.

What do they mean by “strength based assessment”?
This method of assessment empowers children by building on their personal strengths and resources, rather than focuses on their problems.

The IEP team is definitely involved!
The IEP team might find these two resources helpful in understanding FBA and what comes next:

An IEP Team’s Introduction To Functional Behavioral Assessment And Behavior Intervention Plans

Conducting a Functional Behavioral Assessment

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Behavior Intervention Plans

How do you go about developing a behavioral intervention plan?
This article explains the requirements of the IDEA regarding addressing problem behavior. It provides a step-by-step guide to conducting a functional behavioral analysis, and writing a behavior plan.

Writing the plan for school involves the IEP team.
The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice (CECP) offers a number of family briefs on behavior. Two were mentioned above under “Behavior as Communication.” If you’d like to know more about how to write a BIP, read CECP’s Behavioral Planning Meetings, which describes what BIPs are and how parents and the school system work together to write one.

Suppose the IEP team doesn’t know much about behavior, FBA, or BIPs?
If the IEP team isn’t real sure how to address a student’s problem behavior, then members might find these CECP resources helpful:

Addressing Student Problem Behavior, Part I: An IEP Team’s Introduction to Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans.

Creating Positive Behavioral Intervention Plans and Supports

How about examples of BIPs for children with specific disabilities?
This landing page tells you, bullet-fashion, why to write a BIP for a child, when, and how, and then connects you with many examples of BIPs for students with specific kinds of disabilities. A rich resource.

More examples, you say?
Here’s another place to look for example BIPs for children with: ADHD, Asperger syndrome, autism, bipolar disorder, fetal alcohol effects. LD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Positive Behavior Support

What exactly is Positive Behavior Support?
There’s no one better to ask than the PBIS Center funded by OSEP. There’s so much info on this site, you may never be seen again!

What are the components of behavioral support?
This site offers information on a 3-tier model of behavior support: (1) school-wide, (2) small group, and (3) individual. It gives information on what all students need to be successful.

Positive behavioral interventions and supports.
This article from LDOnline explains why PBIS is important and outlines key principles of practice.

More about PBS and its individualized approach to managing challenging behavior.
This What Works brief from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning summarizes PBS and talks about how it works, factors that will limit its effectiveness, and whether it’s really just “giving in” to the child.

English |
Spanish |

Tips for parents: How to get behavior supports into the IEP.
This guide, a collaboration between the Beach Center on Disabilities and the Center for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, contains a wealth of suggestions for parents.

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Yet More Resources

There’s a center focusing exclusively on PBIS.
The Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to provide information, training, support, and guidance to the nation on addressing behavior problems in research-based and effective ways. They offer information in English and in Spanish.

Check out this one-stop-shop on behavior!
This site has info for both families and teachers on FBAs, behavior intervention plans, bullying, and discipline issues.

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Revised, December 2009
Links updated, September 2016
A legacy resource from NICHCY

Would you like to visit another page in the Behavior Suite?

If so, use the links below to get there quick!

Behavior Expertise

Closeup of the word "expert" in the dictionary.Links updated,  September 2016

The CPIR is pleased to connect you with sources of information for helping children who have behavior challenges.  This page in our Behavior Suite focuses on where to access Behavior Expertise.

Find who’s who in the behavior field and where to go for more information, reading, links, and assistance. The list below isn’t intended to be exhaustive of the behavior resources and expertise available to you—those are ever-growing and changing.  But each of these links will take you into the behavior expertise that’s out there, where you can find out more and connect with additional resources.


Centers and Projects

Researchers are hard at work trying to pinpoint the reason for a problem behavior and how to provide a resolution. The following groups’ primary purpose is helping students improve their behavior.

Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.
This site is great for administrators and school personnel who are working to put a school-wide system in place for dealing with disciplinary issues. You’ll find info on Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA), school-wide support, classroom support, individual support, family support, conferences, presentations, newsletters, tools, and links to further info. Truly, a great site, also available in Spanish from the home page. Check it out!

Beach Center on Disability.
Want to know why your child engages in problem behavior? Check out this family-friendly resource page at the Beach Center. Find out how to determine why a person with a disability engages in problem behavior and ways to support the individual in learning other ways to act. Read articles, personal stories, tip lists, and find out about other web sites, books, manuals, and reports on solving behavior problems.

Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
Did you know that the number and quality of words a child hears in the early years of life have a tremendous impact on the development of their brain? A child’s vocabulary development is closely tied to their early language experiences and to their ability to think rationally, solve problems, and reason abstractly. Wow! This site can teach you how to help improve your child’s language abilities. Specific information is available on autism, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), behavior in everyday life, and parenting.

Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children.
The mission of the Center is to promote the use of evidence-based practices to meet the needs of young children who have, or are at risk for, problem behavior. Find research syntheses on effective intervention procedures, presentation and workshop materials, training opportunities, and a wide variety of useful links.

Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD).
This site offers monthly updates on legislation affecting children with behavioral disorders. It offers publications, message boards, an advocacy section, links to other sites, and a quarterly newsletter (available online, free of charge). CCBD is a membership organization, comprised of educators, parents, mental health personnel, and a variety of other professionals.

Kentucky Behavior Page.
To help a child make a change in behavior for the better, you first need to identify the causes of the misbehavior. Check out the Behavior Home Page Discussion Forum, to see what experts in the field are saying. Get resources for supporting behavior on the school-wide, group, and individual levels. Check out links to state and federal legislation. Read about professional resources.

Mental health.
Take a good look at this site. It has info on children’s mental health, a mental health dictionary, a listing of Indian mental health resources, and a toll-free number to call for help and information. You’ll also find pubs on autism, add, anxiety, depression, conduct disorder, anger management, and more. Selected publications are in Spanish.

National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI).
You’ll find a ton of info on this site. Check out the reader-friendly overview on mental illness. Join an on-line discussion group for family members. Read personal stories of children and teens with mental illness. Print out fact sheets, brochures, and reading lists. Follow links to other children and adolescent sites. Some resources are available in Spanish.
This site is run by Leslie E. Packer, Ph.D. a psychologist who treats children and adolescents with Tourette’s Syndrome and its associated conditions. Read succinct overviews of different disorders, including Tourette’s syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, Mood Disorder, Depression, Sleep Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Read classroom tips on how to deal with various behavior issues.

Youth Violence Prevention Network.
In September 2010, CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention funded 4 new Academic Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention. All centers participate in the ACE Youth Violence Prevention Network. Through the ACE Youth Violence Prevention Network, the ACEs serve as local, regional, and national resources for developing and applying effective evidence-based prevention strategies in communities.

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Behavior Journals

These journals publish peer-reviewed articles about behavior research. Some content is available online at no charge. Other content requires a paid subscription.

The AAIDD publishes the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, a practitioner’s journal of research, reviews, and opinions on critical research in biological, behavioral, and educational sciences.

Behavior Modification.
Formerly entitled the Behavior Modification Quarterly, this journal is for researchers, academics, and practitioners in clinical psychology. It covers a wide range of topics, including problem behavior, learning disabilities, and phobias. Check out a sample issue.

Behavioral Interventions.
Get a sample copy of this journal for clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, therapists, and researchers. It reports research and practices of the use of behavior techniques.

British Journal of Developmental Psychology.
This journal publishes discussion papers, and brief reports on all aspects of developmental psychology. You can order it online.

British Journal of Educational Psychology.
This journal publishes research on the understanding and practice of education.

Behavioral Neuroscience.
The primary mission of Behavioral Neuroscience is to publish original research papers in the broad field of the biological bases of behavior.

Journal for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.
Written for physicians, clinicians, psychologist, and researchers, this journal covers developmental and psychosocial aspects of pediatric health care. Topics include learning disorders, developmental disabilities, and emotional, behavioral, and psychosomatic problems.

Journal of Education of Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR).
JESPAR publishes literature and report reviews, research articles on promising reform programs, and case studies on “schools that work.” Selected articles are available free of charge. Read the table of contents for the current issue, as well as issues back to 1996.

Journal for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry.
View abstract, full text, and links of articles in current issue, for the current issue, and all issues back to 1970.

Journal of Behavioral Education.
Get a free issue of this journal. View articles from the current issue and past issues, back to 1997.

Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions.
This journal publishes research articles, discussions, literature reviews, and conceptual papers, programs and practices, family support and family perspectives, and reviews of published materials. Read table of contents and abstracts on issues back to 1999.

Journal of School Psychology.
In this journal, you’ll find original articles on empirical research and practice relevant to the development of school psychology as both a scientific and an applied specialty.

The Behavior Analyst.
You can order this journal online. View the table of contents of the current issue and recent issues. Search journal abstracts. Read selected article reprints. You can also visit the journal’s archives (1978-2012) at:

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Professionals Who Can Help


American Federation of Teachers (web)

National Education Association (web)


American Psychological Association

National Association of School Psychologists

Medical Doctors, Including Psychiatrists

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Psychiatric Association (web)

American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry (e-mail) (web)

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (web)


School Social Work Association of America (web)

American School Counselor Association (web)

American Counseling Association (web)

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What Do They Mean By…?

Need help understanding all of those jargony terms you’re encountering as you delve more deeply into behavior concerns? With these glossaries, dictionaries, and cheat sheets, you can sound like an expert yourself.

Behavior terms.
This online database houses over 2,000 behavior-related terms. Whew! Who would’ve thought there could be so many?

Behavior intervention terms.
This glossary, from Utah Students at Risk, covers behavioral intervention terms. At the bottom of each defined term is a PDF link to more information regarding that behavioral intervention.

The continuum of care.
Read these brief descriptions of different programs, settings, or treatments that children with mental illness may receive.

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Revised, December 2009
Links updated,  September 2016
A legacy resource from NICHCY

Would you like to go to another page in the Behavior Suite?

If so, use these quick-jump links to get there from here.

Behavior Suite

Jubilant team of rowdy baseball players.

Links updated, September 2016

About behavior in Spanish | Sobre la conducta en español

The CPIR is pleased to connect you with sources of information for helping children who have behavior challenges. Because “behavior” is such a huge topic, we’ve divided the subject up into separate pages to make digesting it more manageable!

The separate behavior pages are as follows:

Behavior Expertise
This page focuses upon where to access..well…expertise in behavior: the centers and projects that focus on it, behavior journals, professionals who can help, and a glossary of behavior terms.

Behavior Assessment, Plans, and Positive Supports
Why is the student exhibiting this behavior? Behavioral assessments can help you answer that question–which, in turn, will help you provide appropriate positive behavior supports.

Behavior at Home
The resources listed in this page connect families with resources and support to help a child with his or her behavior at home.

Behavior at School
What can teachers and administrators do to help children manage their behavior at school? What’s recommended by disability and behavior specialists? What does the law require?

Bullying is a serious concern for many students with disabilities. Here are resources to help put an end to bullying.

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A legacy resource from NICHCY

Painting the Big Picture | Student Profile Tool

This worksheet for parents and other adults in the lives of children with disabilities  has been created by the Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center, the PTI for North Carolina, as a way to help “paint the big picture” of a child they care about and know well. The worksheet guides each writer to describe the child and to provide “tips” on what works best. The tips allow you to make a connection between what YOU know and what others can do to help him/her to be successful.  This tool can also be used with young people to help them paint their own “big picture.”

ECAC Painting the Big Picture Fillable