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Module 3b

Handout 3b.4 Behavior Support Plan

Jackson’s Behavior Support Plan

The Problem

The purpose of the behavior:

Jackson avoids the demands of activities that he finds demanding (i.e., structured language-based activities, sharing objects, interactive play) by resisting or withdrawing. If pushed to participate, Jackson may react by throwing objects, screaming, or stating "shut up." During activities that are particularly demanding for Jackson, he may also show increased rigidity about favorite activities, objects, play routines, and conversations.

Things to Do All the Time

These strategies will assist Jackson in meeting the demands of difficult activities and social interactions.

Teach Play Skills – Support providers should enter into play activities and teach Jackson new play routines. Adults can provide support by scaffolding Jackson’s interactions in play routines and centers. For example, an adult could invite Jackson into a center and then model or direct his play with peers.

Teach Social Interaction Skills – Adults should assist Jackson with turn taking interactions by moving into play activities and mediating his social exchanges. For example, sit with Jackson and a peer. Tell the peer you want him to help you teach Jackson to play with ___. Give the toy to the peer. Cue Jackson to attend. “Look, Jackson, Emily is pouring tea.“Then cue Jackson to take a turn. “Jackson, you pour tea.”

Teach Communication Repair Strategies – Adults should facilitate the use of communication repair strategies by Jackson. Currently, Jackson may mumble an answer if the adult fails to interpret his message or may exhibit problem behavior. Strategies that may be used include:

1) Interpreting his actions as if they are communicative (e.g., “Jackson you’re upset because Joey is in the name chair. Tell me, ‘I want a name chair’. Jackson, I understand. You want a name chair. They are all gone. You can sit here or here.”);

2) Asking for clarification when you don’t understand what is said (e.g., “Tell me more”) or asking that he demonstrate or use an object to show you (e.g., “Jackson, show me”);

3) Repeat a portion of what he has said to acknowledge his message prior to asking for more clarification (e.g., “You are telling me the blocks are wrong. Tell me more.”);

4) Create natural opportunities for repairs by holding out for a repetition or modification of the language request (e.g., Jackson says “more please” at snack time. The teacher says “Jackson, more what please. Say I want _____”. Then the teacher pauses for an additional response.)

Short Term Prevention Strategies

These strategies are used prior to situations that usually evoke resistance from Jackson.

Choices – Choices should be given to Jackson throughout the day. Sometimes a concrete object or picture should be used to make sure that Jackson is making an informed choice and that he follows through with the choice he makes.

Personal Cueing – When Jackson is cued, those prompts need to be personal (i.e, directly given to him in simple language) and understandable (paired with a gesture or object).

Simple Language – Jackson may have difficulty understanding complex language. It is especially difficult for him when he is upset or resistive to the proposed activity. On those occasions, use very simple language with Jackson when cueing him. Pair words with gestures (e.g., pat chair and say “Sit. Sit in chair.”) or concrete objects.

Safety Signal – Jackson will be prepared for transitions that are going to be difficult by the use of a safety signal. Support providers will tell him "Jackson, in 5 minutes we will ____." Then cue him again at 3 minutes, and then the transition will follow in 3 minutes by the support provider stating “time for ____.” Do not let him delay the transition. Follow through once the cue has been given.

Comfort Area – Jackson will be offered to move to a comfort area when he becomes frustrated or hurt. Visual symbols of emotions (frustrated, angry, sad, tired, sick) will be available and can be used by the adult and Jackson to help him label what he is feeling.

Positive Reinforcement – Jackson should receive statements about appropriate behavior frequently throughout the day in a natural fashion (e.g., “This is fun; I like playing with you”).

Replacement Skills

Learn to negotiate difficult social situations – Social stories will be developed and used to help Jackson identify social cues, introduce new routines and rules, and to teach him the social skills necessary for interactive play.

Learn to cope with negative emotions – Jackson will be assisted to identify the emotions that he is feeling. He may use picture symbols in the comfort area to discuss his emotions when he is upset. Choice option cards will be developed to assist Jackson to react to difficult situations without using problem behavior.

When the Problem Behaviors Happen

If Jackson has difficulty with moving into a new activity, use a language label, "This is hard for you," then follow with the steps he needs to take (e.g., "Sit in chair. Get paper. Choose a marker.”).

If Jackson becomes upset, encourage him to label what he is feeling and then use choice option cards to guide him in coping with the situation.

If Jackson becomes upset and needs a break, remind him that he can go to the comfort area. Guide him to select the visual that describes his emotion and facilitates his verbal expression of the emotion.

If Jackson yells “Shut up,” respond to him in a soft voice. State for him, “Jackson is feeling angry.” Then ask him to elaborate. “Tell me what happened” or “Tell me more.” Or if Jackson seems unapproachable, prompt him to go to the comfort area.

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This material was developed by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (Cooperative Agreement N. PHS 90YD0119). The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial projects, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. You may reproduce this material for training and information purposes.

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