Want to know our (soon-to-be not-so) secret formula for reducing problem behaviour? In this blog post, I will talk about the steps we follow when we work with families who use our positive behaviour support services.
Here at Beanstalk, our Positive Behaviour Support service offers support to families and educators to increase appropriate behaviour and decrease challenging behaviours. We reduce a problem behaviour by replacing it with more appropriate, functional skills. Here’s how:
Steps for Positive Behaviour Support:
Start by observing the behaviour. Here at Beanstalk we use the ABC behaviour diary to note down the antecedent (what happens before the behaviour), behaviour (what the behaviour looks like) and consequences (what happens right after the behaviour). Use our behaviour diary on the top right of this page and make this as detailed as you can, such that if someone else reads it they can picture the exact situation like watching a video of it. This sheet helps you and your behaviour analyst to identify the common triggers of behaviour. Be sure to take note on how often it occurs. It won’t help us by saying “it happens randomly and we don’t know why it is happening”. To us, every behaviour has a trigger or a cause to it.
You need to first identify what the behaviour looks like. What do you want to increase/decrease? Be as specific as you can. For example, “I want to reduce screaming and increase the number of mouthfuls eaten” during meal time instead of ‘I want a more peaceful dinner table’. A Beanstalk supervisor will be able to help you through this if you need.
Once you have your ABC data (from taking your diary for a week), a Beanstalk program supervisor can write up protocols for everyone to follow based on the function of the behaviour (why they are doing it – what are they getting out of it?). Your intervention to reduce the behaviour is created based on the goals you have set for your child. This protocol should be read and provided to everyone who spends time with your child in the setting. It may be different to your daily routine and you might have to do things a little differently to how you’ve responded before to the behaviour. We support our families through this to make it as easy as possible to stick to the steps outlined in the protocol. We try to make the protocols as simple as we can to will guide you to respond or do things in a certain way towards achieving your goal.
The main essence of positive behaviour support is in its name itself. Positive = something fun and pleasant. The journey towards behaviour reduction starts with us providing the appropriate tools and guidance to our child AND reinforcing them for doing so! We need to get the momentum going when we are working towards a behaviour. It won’t help by just telling your child to ‘use their nice words’ or ‘be a good boy/girl’. We need to think what’s in it for them and how we can increase their independence. This is where reinforcers play a huge role in the behaviour modification process. Your behaviour analyst will sit down with you and help you to identify a suitable reinforcement schedule and reinforcers based on your child’s needs.
Once the problem behaviour is reduced we always ask if you have any further targets you’d like us to work on. If not, we discharge you – we try to make ourselves redundant as fast as possible. We love what we do, and we love helping families as fast as we can.
Want to know more? Want us to work through these 5 steps with you? Email us today firstname.lastname@example.org or come to one of our info sessions.
Written by Koomal Kaur Ranjit Singh – Beanstalk Program Supervisor