Behavior Intervention Services
There are numerous scholarly articles revolving around the processes and implications of community based, nation based, and individual based behavioral intervention theories and processes. By focusing on the tangible and practical implications of behavioral intervention on the level of the individual, highlighting the reasons behind behavioral intervention as well as the methodology used, we can shed light on the importance of the positive implications for both the individual and their community.
Behavior Intervention Services for Better Health
The aim of the behavioral interventions in issues related to health is to help the patient understand that their behavior is putting their health at risk and to encourage them to find new behaviors to replace their current ones. The intervention is aimed at eliciting these behavioral changes through awareness and understanding and often delves into other influencing factors such as cognition and emotion. Often substance abuse issues arise as an unsuccessful coping mechanism to deal with deeper problems. Behavioral intervention here can be very successful as it often leads to discovering and addressing these underlying factors.
Trauma Informed Behavior Intervention Services
Often times, challenging behavior (both for those with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities) stems from an unsuccessful attempt to communicate something else, such as unprocessed trauma.
There are many sources of trauma that people with intellectual disabilities have experienced throughout their lives. A lot of times it does manifest behaviorally. These individuals are communicating in the only way they know how which is why it is crucial to delve deeper into what is behind the behavior in order to understand and correct it.
Karyn Harvey compares profiles of an adult with PTSD and an adult with both ID and behavioral problems asserting, “[t]hese symptoms (exhibited by adults with PTSD) directly reflect the condition of many individuals with ID. They do not feel safe, they do not feel connected to the larger world—or, in many cases, to others at all—and they do not have power. People with ID are often the least valued, most ignored, and most vulnerable in their environment.”
The majority of individuals exhibiting challenging behaviors are not choosing to act out, but rather, they are trying to communicate what they have been through in their life in the only way they know how. By utilizing trauma informed behavioral intervention, our clinicians at Sample Supports give these individuals the opportunity to be listened to and understood, to be shown empathy, to be allowed to feel safe, connected, and empowered. When given the right circumstances and opportunities, these individuals really can heal.
Behavioral Intervention Services in School
The 1997 Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires school personnel to develop a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention plan for students with disabilities who experience significant behavioral problems in the schools.
A child with challenging behavior will be given an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to lay the framework for modifying said behaviors. When behavioral issues arise, the first step is to conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) which is a study of a child to find out why he/she is having behavioral problems. Schools will automatically do this if child is removed from school for more than 10 days. After the FBA has been done, an individualized Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) will be made, with the goal of helping keep the child in school and keep him/her from harming him/herself and disrupting others.
The key aspect of an IEP is the implementation of positive behavioral interventions to help reduce challenging behaviors and support new behavioral skills. These interventions should be specific strategies that are positive and proactive, and should not be reactive and consequence-based.
When to Seek Behavioral Intervention
Most challenging behaviors are recognized when a child starts school, as behaviors such as acting out, being aggressive, being disobedient, etc. are often brought to a caregiver’s attention by teachers or school administration. However, earlier signs such as throwing more tantrums than normal, causing family conflict, being aggressive to other siblings, or giving a caregiver the feeling of being exhausted when dealing with said child can and should be taken seriously.
Evidence shows that children are most responsive to therapy to change behavior up until age 7. The younger the kids are treated, the longer the parents have this skill set to apply with them, explains behavioral psychologist Melanie Fernandez. “You have time to lock in the gains, to entrench these positive types of interactions, to improve a child’s long-term trajectory.”
The initial questions to ask as a caretaker for someone engaging in potentially detrimental behaviors are:
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. However, the longer the maladaptive behavior goes on, the harder it is to change. At Sample Supports, we emphasize building routines that work as the best practice to correct problematic behavior at any stage in life.
The Process Behind Behavioral Intervention Services
A Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) is designed to teach and reward positive behaviors. The BIP does three things:
The plan outlines strategies that prevent the behavior from occurring as much as possible, strategies to change or replace the interfering behavior with a more appropriate alternative, and helps family members, teachers, etc. to know what to do or how to respond when the behavior does occur.
Behavior challenges are best addressed when the cause of the behavior is known; and cause can be determined best when a functional assessment of the student's behavior is conducted.
The same strategies are used here as in IEP’s, starting with a behavioral assessment, followed by a functional analysis and then by plan development. As with any plan implemented to make change, BIP’s need to be evaluated on a regular basis and changed when necessary.
If you know of a person in your life who could take advantage of Behavioral Intervention Services, please reach out to our team of trained professionals at Sample Supports for 1:1 Counseling and Consultation Services.