Updated, November 2017
Behavior at school. What a gigantic topic, for families and schools alike. CPIR 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
- Functional behavioral assessment and behavior intervention plans
- Behavior and specific disabilities
- What’s the law require of schools?
Using Positive Methods for Change
PBIS: How schools can support positive behavior.
If your child struggles with behavior, you may worry about her getting in trouble at school. Some schools have tried to be proactive and encourage good behavior through an approach called positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). Here’s what you need to know about PBIS.
English | https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/pbis-how-schools-support-positive-behavior
Spanish | https://www.understood.org/es-mx/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/pbis-how-schools-support-positive-behavior
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.
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.
Training modules and materials for schools from the IRIS Center.
The IRIS Center is funded to develop learning modules for teachers, school administrators, and others on a wide range of disability-related issues. One especially rich area in which to find materials is “behavior and classroom management.” At the link below, click on that very topic, and you’ll connect with training modules on classroom management, how to develop a comprehensive behavior management plan, what to do about noncompliant and disruptive behaviors, functional behavioral assessment, and much, much more.
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!
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.
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.
Behavior intervention plans: What you need to know.
Does your child have trouble behaving in the classroom? If so, that problem behavior could satisfy an unidentified need for your child. Behavior intervention plans can help prevent behavior problems by addressing their cause. An IEP or 504 plan should include strategies to help the child learn alternative behaviors to help him succeed. Interventions can take many forms, including rewards for good behavior.
English | https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/behavior-intervention-plans-what-you-need-to-know
Spanish | https://www.understood.org/es-mx/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/behavior-intervention-plans-what-you-need-to-know
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.
Functional assessment: What it is and how it works.
A functional assessment is an approach to figuring out why a child acts a certain way. It uses a variety of techniques to understand what’s behind inappropriate behaviors. This includes looking at non-academic factors that might be contributing to the child’s frustration with learning. Knowing what’s behind inappropriate behavior can help parents and the school find ways to change the behavior.
English | https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/evaluations/evaluation-basics/functional-assessment-what-it-is-and-how-it-works
Spanish | https://www.understood.org/es-mx/school-learning/evaluations/evaluation-basics/functional-assessment-what-it-is-and-how-it-works
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.
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.
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.
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.
What’s the Law Require of Schools?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ( ) 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 (2009), from the Congressional Research Service.
On the legal limits of using restraint and seclusion.
In December 2016, the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education released a suite of resources on the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools, including a Dear Colleague letter and a fact sheet.
How safe is the schoolhouse? An analysis of state seclusion and restraint laws and policies.
This report discusses new state restraint and seclusion statutes, regulations, rules, and policies and includes all laws in effect as of December 31, 2016. The report presents research analyzing and comparing state approaches, and discusses the impact that various state law requirements have.
Updated, November 2017
Would you like to visit another page in the Behavior Suite?
If so, may these quick-jump links swiftly take you there!