Educational strategies for children with emotional and behavioural problems.pdf

March 2000
Mary Magee Quinn
David Osher
Beth DeHaven Bader
Robert Tate
Published byCenter for Effective Collaboration and PracticeAmerican Institutes for ResearchWashington, DC Reproduction of this book for distribution to educators is authorized providing reproductions acknowledge theauthors and the publisher, and the following statement is clearly displayed: The development, writing, and initial production of this book were supported by the Department of Education,Office of Special Education Programs The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice: Improving Services forChildren and Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Problems is funded under a cooperative agreement (Grant#H237T60005) with the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, with additionalsupport from the Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch; Center for Mental Health Services; and Substance Abuseand Mental Health Administration all of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views herein donot necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Education or any other Federal agency and should notbe regarded as such. The Center can be contacted at The American Institutes for Research, 1000 Thomas JeffersonStreet, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20007, or Center staff can be reached toll-free at 1-888-457-1551 (in DCcall 202-944-5400) or via E-mail at <[email protected]>. Our web site address is <>.
I am pleased to endorse this handbook for As public school teachers, it is our most working with students with emotional and fundamental belief — and primary motivation behavioral difficulties. It represents a great deal — that each and every child is capable of of intense collaborative work by members and learning and deserves the very best education we staff from both the AFT and the NEA, the Office can provide. But we also believe, deeply, that no of Special Education Programs and many others.
one student, however troubled, has the right to Clearly, the decision of the Office of Special disrupt the learning of other students.
Education Programs to ask for the input andinvolvement of so many people in the trenches A student with emotional and behavioral as they developed the handbook was well worth problems is one of the greatest challenges a teacher faces. Teachers who are ill prepared toteach the emotionally disturbed and disruptive We all know that students who have emotional child often find themselves befuddled. They and behavioral difficulties are capable of either devote too much time and attention to contributing in important ways to the that one student, at the expense of all the other community and the society. We also know that students in their classroom — or they fail to helping them reach the potential can be very prevent the troubled student from constantly difficult and frustrating. However, we now have disrupting their classroom. In either case, the available many strategies shown to be effective education of all students suffers. We know that through rigorous research — that teachers, education can only flourish in an atmosphere of paraprofessionals, and other service providers order and respect for all students.
can use to help these students learn new andpositive ways to function in school and in the We could of course turn back the clock and seek to banish every troubled student from theregular classroom. Such a swift and simple You as educators — teachers, paraprofessionals, action would certainly be applauded by some.
and service providers —are crucial in assisting But under the law, public school educators do these students so they can succeed. This not have that option, nor do we want it.
handbook is intended to provide additionalsupport to you as you provide support to Teachers and paraprofessionals want to make a students. It contains both general strategies and difference in the lives of their students — specialized approaches, and it answers questions indeed, that's why we went into education in the often asked by classroom practitioners who deal first place. Given adequate preparation and every day with students' learning and behavioral support, teachers can educate students with needs. I hope that you will not only read this emotional and behavioral problems to high book, but keep it within reach where you work academic standards. The instances where our so that it can provide the help it is intended to best efforts fall short are uncommon. And when our best efforts fail, the student who continuesto cause disorder in a classroom must be I wish you growing success and satisfaction as removed and placed in an alternative you use the information in this handbook to educational setting. We see such an action as a enhance your work with students who have last resort, however.
emotional and behavioral difficulties.
Designed to enable teachers and paraprofession- als to give their best effort, this handbook was a Sandra Feldman, President collaborative effort. Teachers and staff fromNEA and the American Federation of Teachersworked with special education experts in theDepartment of Education assisted by the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice. Hereyou will find the common sense guidance andspecific information needed both to accessavailable classroom management practices.
Since the mid-1970s when the Education of theHandicapped Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) wasenacted, we have made extraordinary strides inthe education of students with special needs,including those with emotional and behavioralproblems. Millions of children are no longerexcluded from our mainstream schools. Theyare no longer stigmatized or ostracized.
But we know we still have a long way to go —and we know teachers and paraprofessionalscannot do the job alone. We need the support ofour school districts and other professionals. I seethis publication as yet another enabling steptoward our goal of every child becoming aproductive and fully contributing adult in oursociety.
Sincerely,Bob Chase, PresidentNational Education Association The authors extend their sincere thanks to those who helped conceptualize, design, review, and improve this document at every step. Without their enthusiasm and assistance, this projectcould never have been brought to fruition. Many people from a variety of backgrounds served asmembers of focus groups or review panels, including the fields of regular and special education,mental health, social work, and from families. While too numerous to mention by name, we areindebted to them for their time and talent, as they provided us with critical input and valuableinsight. Their efforts should send a strong message to all school districts that the resolution ofstudent behavior problems in American schools must be a collaborative effort that involvesspecial and regular educators, families, and communities in all schools and districts.
Chapter 1: Overview.1 Chapter 2: Building a knowledge base.5 Children with Emotional Disturbance and Behavioral Problems .5Causes of Emotional Disturbance and Behavioral Problems.6The Educator's Role in Identifying and Referring Students.6Identifying behavior that is interfering with learning.7Referring Students.7Documenting Behaviors .8A Word About Cultural Differences.9Working with Students Who Have Been Identified as Needing Support.9What Educators Need to Know About Students Taking Medication .11Getting Support From Others.12Moving Forward .13 Chapter 3: Fostering Positive Learning Opportunities .15 Planning for Academic Success.16Task Difficulty.16Lesson Presentation .17Motivational Strategies .18Work Assignments.19Involving Others .19Moving Forward .20 Chapter 4: Instituting a Sound Classroom Management System .21 I. Arranging the Physical Environment .22II. setting Rules and Expectations .22III. Helping Students Comply with Rules and Expectations.23IV. Scheduling the Day.24V. Establishing Routines and Procedures.24VI. Building a positive classroom climate .24Summary .25Helping To Manage Behavior .26Increasing Appropriate Behaviors.26Decreasing Inappropriate Behaviors.27Logging the Time-out .30Teaching New Behaviors .30Teaching Social Skills.30Supporting Appropriate Behavior.31Summary .31Managing Aggressive Behaviors.31Enlisting Help at School .33Working Together with Families .33 Moving Forward .34 Chapter 5: School-Based Supports .35 Reconfiguring Services.35Alternative Settings .37Developing Effective Collaborative Teams.40Providing Opportunities for Professional Development .40Moving Forward .41 Chapter 6: Support and Resources.43 The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice (CECP). 43The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV).43Blueprints for Violence Prevention.44Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support .44The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) .44The Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD).45The Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health (FFCMH) .45The Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior .45Effective Behavior Support (EBS) .45National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) .46National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) .46National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).46Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) .47Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER) Center .47The Associations of Service Providers Implementing IDEA Reforms in Education (ASPIIRE)Partnership, and The IDEA Local Implementation by Local Administrators (ILIAD)Partnership .47 State Consultants .48 State Children's Mental Health Contacts.49 Materials for Further Study .51 Appendix A: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (P.L. 105-17):.55 Appendix B: Glossary of Terms used in Exhibit I: Components of a System of Care.62 1. Mental Health Services .622. Social Services .633. Educational Services .644. Health Services.645. Vocational Services .656. Recreational Services.657. Operational Services .66 CHAPTER 1
Most teachers can tell stories of their These additions to the IDEA offer own "Clark." In fact, students like Clark support to educators who see the value of challenge best practices, and contribute their taking a proactive and collaborative own brand of worry and stress to adults and approach when designing successful learning other students. Teachers care about such experiences for students like Clark.
students, but care as well about others', andtheir own, peace of mind. Many teachers, It goes without saying that there are no administrators, school professionals, and easy answers or "quick fixes" when working parents are left wondering what to do.
with students with emotional disturbanceand behavioral problems. However, over theyears, PROVISIONS OF THE IDEA
accumulated a wealth of information about Provisions of the IDEA include: how to work with these students; while thereis much that remains unknown, both q increased involvement by general practitioners and researchers have much to education teachers in planning educational say about how to provide learning opportunities for just such students. For the use of a variety of services,supplemental aids and services, and other every "Clark," practitioners have found a accommodations and modifications that way to reach a "Trisha" or a "Clyde" or a must be in place for children with disabili- q the use of functional behavioral Perhaps it also goes without saying that assessment to identify the appropriate teachers, paraprofessionals, and school positive behavioral supports and strategies; psychologists (whom we sometimes refer to q provisions for training personnel (both collectively as educators) are on the front special and general educators) to appropri- lines when it comes to ensuring that ately provide services to children with students with emotional disturbance and disabilities consistent with the requirements behavioral problems are given every of the IDEA.
opportunity to learn. Hence, this bookletwas designed to provide educators with a At a basic level, the good news is that the place to start—a base of practical ideas for 1997 Reauthorization of the Individuals with helping students to build a successful Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has addressed many classroom concerns thathave arisen over the years. The new statute, Many of the strategies educators find in fact, includes provisions designed to: (1) most successful do much to improve the improve services for all students with classroom experience for all students. For disabilities, including those with emotional that reason, this booklet contains general disturbance and behavioral problems, (2) strategies, as well as specialized approaches, address their problem behaviors, and (3) and it answers questions often asked by foster an effective learning environment for classroom practitioners who must address all students (see: Provisions of the IDEA).
the learning and behavioral needs of allstudents.
Strategies and techniques used success- early interventions directed at fully in real classrooms are offered as students who are at risk of devel- examples for practitioners to consider. Also oping emotional disturbance or be- included are strategies and approaches that havioral problems; and reflect the guidelines set out in the NationalAgenda for Achieving Better Results for more intensive services targeted at Children and Youth with Serious Emotional students with emotional distur- Disturbance, developed by the, U.S.
bance or more serious behavioral Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), with assistancefrom the American Institutes for Research.
Some characteristics of schools that Examples used throughout the booklet were successfully employ this model appear in the gathered from schools across the country that embrace the spirit and intent of theprinciples espoused in the National Agenda.
Classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, school psychologists, and other schoolpersonnel play important roles in developing This booklet is predicated on a
and implementing strategies that embrace strengths-based approach that
considers the whole child.
Schools that successfully employ primaryprevention strategies display several This booklet is predicated on a strengths- based approach that considers the whole q expression of the value of all members of child. The instructional practices presented the school community, herein reflect the understanding that all q school environments marked by high students have strengths that can provide a academic expectations and clear and basis for curriculum planning, instructional positive behavioral expectations, programming, and classroom management.
Effective teaching makes use of students' positive and proactive approaches toschool discipline, strengths and builds instructional programs q collaboration with family, community, and that capitalize on what students are able to other service providers, and achieve, and help them to meet high q support for students, teachers, staff, and academic standards and high standards of families that enables them to help students to meet expectations.
Research funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education To ensure that this booklet addresses the Programs suggests that schools consider a information needs of educators who work with three-tiered prevention model for addressing students with emotional disturbance or the behavior of all students. This three- behavioral problems, we have consulted with tiered prevention model includes: and engaged teachers, paraprofessionals—bothspecial school-wide primary prevention psychologists, and other school personnel efforts to teach expected behaviors throughout the drafting and writing process.
We are grateful for the willingness ofpractitioners to share their experiences of "what works." The organization of this bookletis described below.
Based upon sound professional advice, we haveorganized the chapters as follows: Chapter 2: Building A Knowledge Base.
There are obvious advantages to sharing
knowledge on issues related to educating
students with emotional disturbance and
behavioral problems. This chapter contains
basic information to help build that knowledge
base, and to help provide an enhanced
understanding of the topic.
Chapter 3: Fostering Positive Learning
This chapter contains
strategies for structuring curriculum and
instruction so that they have the most positive
impact possible on student performance.
Chapter 4: Instituting a Sound Classroom-
Management System.
Students learn best
when there is order in their learning
environment and they feel at ease. This
chapter offers tips and ideas for strengthening
classroom-management practices. It also
describes techniques to help educators interact
with students in a manner that creates a
positive classroom environment.
Chapter 5: Advocating for School-Based
Because the success of
instructional and classroom-management
programs can be enhanced by colleagues,
families, and others, this chapter describes
promising practices that many schools and
districts now use to support classroom
teachers and other instructional staff.
Chapter 6: Support and Resources. For
readers who want to know more about the
topics covered in the booklet, this chapter lists
additional sources of information and contact
information for organizations that may be of
Understanding the nature of students' d isord ers over a lon g p eriod of emotional and behavioral problems assists teachers and paraprofessionals in planning ad versely af f ect t h e ab ilit y t o learn . instructional programs that better meet School-based, multidisciplinary teams students' needs. Working on teams and in identify some students as having emotional collaborative partnerships means that all disturbance—one of the disability classifica- members must share a basic understanding tions recognized under the IDEA. Although of the characteristics and educational state definitions and terminology may vary, the challenges confronting these students.
Federal definition targets students who exhibitbehavior disorders over a long period of time, This chapter answers questions
and to a marked degree, that adversely affect the frequently asked by teachers and
ability to learn. Factors that contribute to this paraprofessionals about educating
definition appear below.
students with emotional and
The term includes schizophrenia, but does not apply to students who are "sociallymaladjusted, unless it is determined that CHILDREN WITH EMOTIONAL
they have an emotional disturbance" DISTURBANCE AND BEHAVIORAL
It is believed that students with emotional disturbance who are currently eligible to Students with emotional disturbance and receive special education services represent behavioral problems exhibit a wide range of only a small portion of the students with characteristics. The intensity of the disorder mental health needs. While most mental varies, as does the manner in which a health experts estimate that 3 to 8 percent of all disability or problem presents itself. While school-age children and youth have emotional some students have mood disorders, such as or behavioral disorders severe enough to depression, others may experience intense require treatment, less than 1 percent (only feelings of anger or frustration. Further, 0.74 percent of the school-age population in individual students react to feelings of 1996 and 1997) are identified by schools as depression, anger or frustration in very having emotional disturbance. By contacting different ways. For example, some students the Center for Effective Collaboration and internalize these feelings, acting shy and Practice, listed in Chapter 6, you can access withdrawn; others may externalize their more information on prevalence rates.
feelings, becoming violent or aggressivetoward others.
Factors contributing to the Federal definition of A brief description of contributing factors emotional disturbance (34 CFR §300.7(b)(4)) Biological factors. Certain biological conditions
have been associated with emotional q An inability to learn that cannot be disturbance and behavioral problems, as there explained in terms of intellectual, sensory, appear to be genetic links to depression and or health factors; schizophrenia, as well as to nutritional deficits,certain physical illnesses and injuries, and some q An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers andteachers; Family factors. The environment in which
children live can either help or hurt healthy
q Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings development, just as a child's behavior may under normal circumstances; have both negative and positive influences upon q A general, pervasive mood of unhappiness other family members. Certain elements, too, or diagnosed depression; and within a child's family may increase his or herrisk for developing emotional disturbance or q A tendency to develop physical symptoms behavioral problems. (Physical abuse, child or fears associated with personal or school neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional maltreatment have all been associated with"troubling behaviors" in children.) CAUSES OF EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE
School factors. Generally, students with
emotional disturbance and behavioral problems
tend to "underachieve," in school. Learningproblems put them at a disadvantage in any Professionals in the field of emotional school environment, particularly since many of disturbance use various approaches to these students have not developed adequate explain the causes of what are often called social skills by the time they enter school, and "behavioral difficulties." Knowledge about poor social skills may result in social rejection byboth peers and teachers. This rejection leads to further disinterest in school and even greater disturbance and behavioral problems can underachievement and failure.
assist schools, teachers, and paraprofession- Community factors. Children are often
als in understanding how such factors exposed to stressors within their communities.
actually affect student performance.
Exposure to crime and gang violence has oftenbeen linked to a tendency to behave in waysassociated with emotional disturbance and Teachers and paraprofessionals can frequently use their knowledge of thesefactors to evaluate and improve a student's educational experience. If it is suspected that HE EDUCATOR'S ROLE IN IDENTIFYING
a child's problem behavior is related to a AND REFERRING STUDENTS
biological factor, for instance, the childshould not be "penalized" for what he or she School personnel, especially teachers and cannot control; or, if a student's hyperactiv- paraprofessionals, serve a critical role in ity and distractibility are related to a referral, diagnosis, and program planning. In neurological condition, activities requiring fact, it is often the classroom teacher, and sustained attention should be modified and sometimes the paraprofessional, who begins attempts made to expand the child's capacity the process of getting help for a student.
for concentration.
seek help in working with a child who has INTERFERING WITH LEARNING
problems. As part of the assistance process, Teachers and paraprofessionals often are paraprofessionals the first to recognize a student's lack of frequently asked to document the presenting success with assignments, and his or her problem, along with the different strategies continuous problems with peer or adult that have been used to ameliorate it.
relationships. While this fact may eventually Colleagues can then review such informa- result in a formal referral, a teacher's tion with the teacher, and make suggestions.
primary goal is to identify interferingbehaviors and help students to overcome them.
Teachers and paraprofessionals begin thisprocess by analyzing the kinds of behavior In the event that preventive interventions that put students at risk.
are not working, and collegial help has runits course, it may be necessary to initiate a While some emotional and behavioral formal referral. When school officials begin problems lend themselves to relatively to suspect that a child has a disability, the simple classroom intervention, others may child must be referred for appropriate require an adjustment of the child's entire evaluation. Keeping in mind that the instructional program. When the latter is purpose of such a referral is to determine necessary, the first point of inquiry is with whether a disability or condition is, in fact, others who know the child well. It is a good linked to the observed problem behavior. A idea to consult with administrators, school teacher's role at the referral stage is not to make a diagnosis, but to be a part of the counselors, other staff, and family members team that develops and implements a formal whenever problems disrupt teaching and evaluation. Teachers will likely be asked to learning. In addition, a growing number of present concrete information describing the schools have formed assistance teams that student's behavior, the situations in which offer help in validating observations and that behavior occurs, and any interventions that may have already been tried.
these strategies cannot be used to delay appropriate referral to a child suspected of paraprofessional, or other school staff may having a disability. Families can usually have made will be helpful in this process.
provide insight regarding their children'sstrengths, special needs, and stressful As part of the referral process, teachers are situations that may be occurring in their sometimes asked to provide additional children's daily lives.
documentation of the student's behavior,paying attention to particular details. Such a Over the last few decades, many districts practice is helpful, as it reveals characteristics have established pre-referral systems—the that ultimately may result in a more effective goal being to serve the student's and behavioral intervention plan. In considering a teacher's needs before a more formal student's behavior, it is important to use a approach is undertaken. Again, however, strengths-based approach, which means that in these systems cannot be used to delay addition to identifying challenging behaviors, appropriate referral of a child suspected of behaviors supporting learning and other having a disability. In such systems, teachers student strengths also are identified.
It is valuable to specify strengths. That is, most commonly used techniques are described to identify instances when the child is in the box entitled Common Observational engaged or well-behaved.
Questions that may help to guide a strengths- COMMON OBSERVATIONAL STRATEGIES
based assessment include: Identifying Patterns. This technique is used to
q Are there any recurrent behavior patterns? identify possible patterns of behavior by For example, the teacher may note that the pinpointing the specific events that precede behavior does not occur all day, but only (also called antecedents) or follow (also called during activities in which the student must consequences) the problem behavior that may read and comprehend information.
serve to maintain it. Observers keep a written q Under what conditions is the student most record of everything they see and hear, and successful? For example, the student may note the entire context in which the target do well in highly structured tasks in which behavior occurs during those time periods.
the expectations and directions are clearly Observation narratives are most useful when they are completed in several settings over aperiod of time.
q What conditions tend to trigger the problem behavior? For example, after recording Measuring Frequency. This technique is used
outbursts for a week, the paraprofessional to measure the number of times a behavior finds that most problem behavior occurs occurs during a designated period. The teacher when the student is asked to work with defines the behavior, observes the student at other classmates.
specified times, and notes how often thebehavior occurs (e.g., the number of times a q What tends to hold the student's attention? student uses profanity during a class lecture).
For example, a teacher may discover thata student can concentrate for more than 30 Measuring Duration. This technique is used to
minutes when engaged in manipulative measure the length of time that a student mathematics tasks.
engages in the particular behavior of interest(e.g., the amount of time a student engages indaydreaming behavior during math activities).
Generally, the first step in identifying associated with referral, many teachers find behaviors is to define the behavior being that classroom-based observational data can measured in concrete and observable terms.
uncover the source of many problems and Defining behavior as "disruptive" or lead to their correction. An educator may "dangerous" does not specify the behavior, discover, for instance, that a student swears and therefore will not be helpful when only when in the presence of certain peers.
planning interventions. A better definition In some cases, too, the student's behavior might be "loud yelling in the classroom," may be shown to be a response—albeit, "pushing a classmate" or "tapping a pencil inappropriate—to the provocations of continuously"—behaviors that can be others. Data, in brief, provide educators with objectively observed and measured.
new avenues to explore in addressingstudents' behavioral needs.
typically used in school settings to document Careful evaluation of a child suspected of behavior. In some cases, multiple techniques being emotionally disturbed also involves an are more helpful in understanding a student's assessment of the student's behavior if his or behavior patterns. Keeping this in mind, the her behavior interferes with their learning, or the learning of others. Districts and states should have established procedures for student religious beliefs, age, or gender). When evaluation and assessment that ensure educators become concerned about a child's compliance with the 1997 Amendments to the behavior they must make a determination as IDEA and with Section 504 of the Rehabilita- to whether the behavior may be the result of tion Act of 1973. Once such procedures are a cultural difference rather than a behavioral established, the evaluation of students with deficit. In some cases, behaviors are merely emotional disturbance should be multifaceted, different from those of the educator's or culturally non-biased, and include: school system's culture.
• classroom observations by evaluat- Educators should discuss with the student and his or her family members thepossibility that behaviors may be influenced • results of all interventions (e.g., by culture (e.g., some Native American teacher documentation and team cultures frown on competition so children will not give answers in class that mightmake them look like they are smarter than • interviews, checklists, and question- their classmates) and how or if they should naires completed by teachers, family be addressed. The educators and family members, and the child, as appropri- members together should decide whether a ate, including developmental, health, replacement behavior should be taught (e.g., and sensory data, teaching the child to be competitive), if thechild should be taught to use different • psychological or psychiatric evalua- behaviors in different situations (e.g., teaching the child that competition isappropriate under certain circumstances), or if the school should make accommodations including work samples, and to respect the child's cultural differences(e.g., use cooperative learning rather than • a review of the child's school history.
competitive techniques). In any case,educators need to be cognizant of how their Classroom teachers, because of their cultural beliefs influence their own behavior direct experience, often are called upon by and how they perceive the behavior of the group of persons responsible for the evaluation of the student to completeassessment tasks, and to share what they WORKING WITH STUDENTS WHO HAVE
know about a student. Information gained BEEN IDENTIFIED AS NEEDING SUPPORT
from experience, after all, is invaluable ininterpreting student behavior, or in crafting A student will often arrive in school a successful intervention.
already identified as qualifying for specially A WORD ABOUT CULTURAL
designed instruction or services under the IDEA. Still, even though a student may already be receiving special education andrelated services, teachers and paraprofes- It is important to remember that everyone's behavior is influenced by his or sionals have major responsibility for educating the student.
There remain, even today, many questions m ore t h an 45 d ays if — about where students with emotional (I) t h e ch ild carries a w eap on t o disturbance are to receive their education.
sch ool or t o a sch ool f u n ct ion …; or Federal regulations, however, are clear, andspecify that: (II) t h e ch ild kn ow in g ly p ossesses oru ses illeg al d ru g s or sells or solicit s m axim u m t h e sale of a con t rolled su b st an ce ap p rop riat e, ch ild ren w h ile at sch ool or a sch ool d isab ilit ies, in clu d in g ch ild ren in f u n ct ion ….(Sec. 615(k)(1)(A)(ii)).
p u b lic or p rivat e in st it u t ion s orot h er care f acilit ies, are ed u cat ed A Hearings Officer may also order a w it h ch ild ren w h o are n on -d isab led change in educational placement to an (34 CFR §300.550 (b )(1)). interim, alternative educational setting fornot more than 45 days if … [a child's This requirement does not mandate that behavior is] substantially likely to result in students be served in regular school injury to the child or to others (Sec.
environments if such placements are inappropriate. In fact, Federal regulationsmandate that each public agency ensure (These and other relevant sections of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Actappear in Appendix A of this document.) con t in u u m alt ern at ive p lacem en t s is availab le t o m eet t h e In general, when making placement n eed s of ch ild ren w it h d isab ilit ies decisions, school districts must give f or sp ecial ed u cat ion an d relat ed consideration to the full range of services (34 CFR §300.551 (a)), [an dp rovid e] …su p p lem en t ary services supplementary supports and services that (su ch as resou rce room or [aid s]), t o could be provided to accommodate the b e p rovid ed in con ju n ct ion w it h needs of individual students with disabilities.
reg u lar class p lacem en t (34 CFR§300.551 (b )(2)). If it is decided that the least restrictive environment for a child is the regular Nevertheless, removal of children with classroom, the child's teacher has the right disabilities from the regular educational to be informed. Such information should environment—including removal to special include a description of the child's strengths classes or separate schools—must occur only and needs, as well as any information "when the nature or severity of the disability is helpful in planning an instructional such that education in regular classes with the program. Similarly, because the student's use of supplementary aids and services cannot regular classroom teacher will be responsible be achieved satisfactorily" (34 CFR §300.550 for implementing the student's IEP, IDEA regulations ensure that: the child's IEP isaccessible to each regular … [and] special In addition, IDEA (1997) states that the education teacher, related service provider, Local Education Agency can place a child and other service provider who is responsible with a disability in an appropriate interim, for its implementation (34 CFR §300.342 alternative educational setting: (b)(2)). As above, each teacher and provider working knowledge about this type of must be informed of: his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing thechild's IEP; and the specific accommodations, Qualified medical professionals prescribe modifications, and supports that must be provided for the child in accordance with the professionals should help in administering IEP (34 CFR §300.342 (b)(3)).
and monitoring a student's medication.
Educators, however, can and do have a If a child in a regular education class- valuable role and a vested interest in their room has an individualized education students' medical treatment. Educators can: program (IEP), the classroom teacherbecomes a partner in carrying out the IEP, • Make certain that students receive and, under law, at least one of the child's medication on schedule. Generally, teachers now becomes a member of the this means reminding students to go child's IEP team. In fact, once an IEP is to the nurse's office to take their completed, it is the classroom teacher who is often responsible for monitoring thestudent's achievement with the help of other • Observe the student's behavior and members of the team. Classroom teachers note instances that support the use of and paraprofessionals may express concerns medication or suggest the presence of when necessary; and to be successful, medication side effects. If a possible teachers must have sufficient support to side effect manifests itself, a teacher implement IEPs.
or other school staff should notifythe school nurse or other appropriate When a student exhibits behaviors that school personnel and/or the family.
interfere with his or her learning or the If necessary, the teacher should seek learning of others, the IEP team must consider, help; appropriate personnel, for ex- when appropriate, strategies, including positive ample a psychologist and/or nurse, behavioral interventions, strategies, and should be available to assist with supports to address that behavior. These evaluating the effects of medication strategies and supports should be based on a on a student's learning.
functional behavioral assessment, shouldestablish clear expectations about appropriate The use of a medication to address behavior, and should be designed to help the behavior assumes some behaviors that student succeed. The team monitors the interfere with learning and classroom student's behavior regularly, and if it is not participation can be chemically controlled.
satisfactory, the team modifies the strategies Central nervous system stimulants, for and supports.
example, are sometimes used to treatchildren with attention deficit hyperactivity WHAT EDUCATORS NEED TO KNOW
disorder (AD/HD). When working properly, ABOUT STUDENTS TAKING MEDICATION
these stimulants can temporarily reduce thesymptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, Because some students are on a regular while increasing concentration. However, regimen of authorized medication, teachers even when medication is working properly, and paraprofessionals should acquire a behavioral supports, are still needed to fact, a key ingredient in supporting these ensure success.
students, both in regular educationclassrooms and in other environments.
Some drugs used in treatment plans for students Many schools already have teacher with emotional disturbance include: support teams, prereferral teams, or child q Stimulants, such as Cylert, Dexedrine, study teams that can offer suggestions for Ritalin, and Benzedrine, all of which are remediating classroom dilemmas. Many clinically used to focus attention andenergy while decreasing impulsive special educators, behavior specialists, and school psychologists are well-versed in emotional and behavioral strategies and, Tranquilizers, such as Thorazine, Mellaril,and Haldol, which are used to suppress thus, may be an invaluable source of ideas hyperactivity, aggressiveness, self-injurious and information. Properly trained and behaviors, and hallucinations.
supervised paraprofessionals can also be q Antidepressants, such as lithium, Tofranil, invaluable in implementing small-group and Prozac, and Elavil, which are clinically used to alter moods, reduce hyperactivity Administrators also can be consulted for and aggression, and treat school phobias.
recommendations and resources.
q Anticonvulsants, such as Phenobarbital, Mysoline, Dilantin, and Valium, which are Other professionals might be available to clinically used to control seizures and assist the teacher or student, either on a permanent or an as-needed basis.
Possible drug side effects represent Special education teachers, paraprofes- major treatment drawbacks. When working sionals, school social workers, and school with a student on medication, it is important psychologists all have skills that can support to be aware of the side effects associated with students with emotional disturbance. In the drug, as such awareness will aid the addition, these students might receive teacher in recognizing which behaviors the additional supports, described below, which student cannot control. Furthermore, such are sometimes identified in the student's knowledge will enable educators to alert IEP, and which are often provided by a other educators, school officials, and family members should the student demonstrate functions that different support service behaviors associated with recognizable side personnel perform can help teachers to take advantage of all available resources.
Across the country, families, school psychologists, mental health specialists, andother special service providers are starting towork with teachers and paraprofessionals tofoster cooperative and positive learningopportunities for students with emotionaldisturbance and behavioral problems.
Building collaborative partnerships is, in cases, intensive services must be brought to TYPICAL FUNCTIONS OF A SUPPORT
bear to assist the student. The IEP team will probably want to consider the full q Psychiatric counseling continuum of services and placements as q Behavioral and therapeutic management described in the IDEA regulations. See the sidebar on this page for the language of the q Liaison between the school, the child and IDEA regulations.
his or her family, and community agencies(Social Services Facilitator or CaseManager).
q Coordination for students who are currently involved with the juvenile justice system q Find out if the school offers teacher (Juvenile Justice Caseworker).
support or assistance teams; q Contact available support personnel and meet with them on a regular basis; and Educators also can learn about students with emotional disturbance and behavioral q Ask administrators to provide classroom problems from their families. The family is, release time so that educators can attendrelevant meetings.
after all, the most obvious source ofinformation about a student's behavior. Asdefined here, a family extends beyond the birth, adoptive, or foster parents; it includesall adults who influence the day-to-day care When teachers and paraprofessionals of the student, as well as other members of understand the nature of their students' the family unit. In some families, grandparents or aunts and uncles may serve instructional programs have a much better a primary care role in the child's life.
chance of producing academic progress.
Including families in the child's educationprogram can enhance its relevance and Basic knowledge concerning identification chance for success.
and diagnosis can go a long way in broadeningperspective. Most teachers will seek to apply Educators who have formed partnerships this knowledge directly to the classroom quite with other professionals and family members simply because teaching informed by the are discovering effective ways to serve the research on quality instruction is perhaps the educational needs of students with emotional best intervention. Some approaches are worth disturbance and behavioral problems, while considering, however, as they have proven to expanding their repertoire of successful enhance the classroom learning of students strategies appropriate for all students.
with emotional disturbance and behavioral However, given the scheduling constraints in problems. The next chapter describes some of many schools, collaboration may require those approaches.
creative juggling of time. Sometimes it is bestto initiate a request for support (including thetime necessary to get things done).
Some students have needs that transcend the classroom, as well as the time andcapabilities of classroom teachers. In these § 300.551 CONTINUUM OF ALTERNATIVE
(a) Each public agency shall ensure that acontinuum of alternative placements isavailable to meet the needs of children withdisabilities for special education and relatedservices.
(b) The continuum required in paragraph (a) ofthis section must— (1) Include the alternative placements listed inthe definition of special education under §300.26 (instruction in regular classes, specialclasses, special schools, home instruction, andinstruction in hospitals and institutions); and (2) Make provision for supplementary services(such as resource room or itinerant instruction)to be provided in conjunction with regular classplacement.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(5)) CHAPTER 3
Effective instructional strategies assume experiences, while simultaneously providing that educators take into account the positive learning opportunities.
strengths and needs of their students whendesigning any lesson. Like their classmates,students with emotional disturbance and …students with emotional
disturbance and behavioral
problems learn best in classrooms
characterized by effective instruc-
routines. As educators know, students tion and behavior-management
benefit most when academic tasks and instructional strategies are carefully designedto engage them and support their learning,and when expectations and rules are clearly Designing successful opportunities for communicated to them.
students with emotional disturbance andbehavioral problems may require that When working with students with educators change how they plan and organize their instruction, manage their problems in the classroom, it is important to classrooms, and arrange the physical layout remember that when the curriculum and of the classroom. These additional efforts instructional strategies do not capitalize on will not only benefit students with emotional the child's strengths and address learning disturbance and behavior problems; they needs, frustration may result in acting-out or will likely help other students realize more withdrawn behaviors. The challenge is to success as well.
most students will avoid tasks if they believe This chapter explores how teachers can structure they will fail. It is, therefore, important to both curriculum and instruction to have a positiveimpact upon student performance. Chapter 4 ensure that students are not only challenged, addresses how teachers can strengthen their but are capable of succeeding. Fear of failure classroom-management practices to support is particularly relevant when dealing with students with emotional disturbance and students with emotional disturbance and behavioral problems, as so many have ahistory of failure. The problems that such PLANNING FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS
students experience in school often lead togaps in their skill levels, or "splinter skills," Like all children and youth, students which makes schoolwork even more difficult with emotional disturbance and behavioral for these students.
problems vary in their characteristics and One strategy helpful in building oppor- needs, in their likes and dislikes, and in their tunities for success is targeting the necessary reactions to classroom events. A student's skills the student may need to improve. For cultural background also may affect how he example, directions may be written at a or she reacts to some academic situations.
sixth-grade level, but a student may have While there are many ways to modify a only third-grade reading skills. Vigorous lesson in order to accommodate all students, attempts must be made to try to bring the a good place to start is with those aspects of student's reading skills up to grade level, and the learning setting that pose the most until that happens modifications could be challenges, such as: introduced to prevent the student fromexperiencing difficulty in reading the • task difficulty, assignment. The key is to predict, modify, or • lesson presentation, avoid situations in which the student mayencounter problems to help the student • motivation, and meet the challenges and cope with theproblems. This procedure is referred to as • work assignments.
The following strategies are suggestions Predicting where students may have that can be used to benefit the learning of all difficulty permits educators to build in students, not merely those with emotional instructional supports. One area in which disturbance and behavioral problems. Also, students with emotional disturbance and because no two classrooms are alike, it is behavioral problems continue to struggle is assumed that teachers and other profession- working in small groups. Social skills— als will use their own expert judgment listening, waiting one's turn, asking regarding whether a particular strategy may questions, taking responsibility, interrupting or may not be useful in their own settings.
appropriately, dealing with mistakes—areskills that students need to be successful in group interactions. Because many studentswith emotional disturbance or behavioral Teachers usually review curriculum problems have not mastered social skills materials before planning instruction. They such as these, and because students from have discovered through experience that diverse cultures may have learned different skills for group interactions, they may not defeated by it; etc.). Specific suggestions require additional support or training before for increasing student engagement appear in they are able to participate fully in group the box below.
Planning short review lessons or readi- ness activities can help orient the student to Suggestions for maintaining student engagement a particular learning task.
in the lesson include: q Keeping lesson objectives clear; Whenever possible, it is also important q Delivering lessons in a lively manner and to build on students' experiences in making sure that students are engaged; presenting new information. This helps q Using concrete vocabulary and clear and everyone to see the value of learning new succinct sentences; skills. Students who learn to share their q Modeling cognitive strategies, such as experiences with their classmates are able to "thinking aloud," that encourage students to learn from and about one another. This, in verbalize the thought processes required turn, can enhance their ability to form positive peer relationships.
q Giving all students immediate encourage- ment and specific feedback; Possible modifications that can be used to q Using meaningful materials and increase a student's academic engaged time: manipulatives, and providing examples thatstudents can relate to; Break long presentations into shorter
At the end of each segment, have
q Having students recite in unison; students respond in some way.
q Varying tone of voice and modeling Extend the amount of time that a student is
given to complete a particular task.
q Prompting student answers, allowing an Break down assignments into smaller ones.
appropriate amount of "wait time" (i.e., to As students finish each mini-assignment, build encourage participation, which may vary in reinforcement for task completion. Wait to according to the cultural background of the distribute the next assignment until students have been successful with the current one.
q Avoiding digressions as much as is Reduce the number of practice items that a
student must complete, once the student has q Using interesting visual and auditory presentations to entice students to attend When students make mistakes, help them
to learn from those mistakes. Be careful not
to "overcorrect," or require compensation
beyond the point where the student can demonstrate mastery, and praise any progresstoward the desired behavior change.
If students are actively engaged in Follow low-interest activities with high-
learning, they are less likely to misbehave.
interest activities so that students get breaks
Teachers and paraprofessionals can increase from difficult or less interesting activities from engagement by incorporating the principles time to time.
of effective instruction into their lessons(e.g. efficient classroom management; If students have difficulty staying students frequently given opportunities to engaged in the lesson, modifications can be respond; students challenged by work, but made. To accommodate the learningcharacteristics of a short attention span, for STRATEGIES FOR INCREASING STUDENT
example, some teachers vary the length ofthe material presented.
Build upon student interests. Students often
learn by relating material to real-life situations
Holding students' interest and attention that they find interesting. Building interestfactors into projects, activities, and illustrative can be challenging under the best examples is important for increasing students' conditions; therefore, it is desirable to experiment and ask colleagues for ideas and Allow students to make choices. Let
students decide between two tasks or selectthe order in which they complete assigned Use age-appropriate materials and
The linchpin to motivation is to increase activities. Students often balk at performing
student participation in learning activities.
tasks they perceive to be geared toward With the proper incentives, sometimes students younger than themselves.
called reinforcers, even students who show Vary activities and the pace at which those
little interest can be coaxed into performing.
activities are presented, so that students can
Incentives need not be restricted to tangible maintain interest and focus. When working with reinforcers (such as points that can be students with language difficulties, for example, traded in for rewards, stickers, food, and so alternate activities that require writing skills(e.g., describing a single-celled organism) with on.) Many teachers successfully rely more those that require other modes of responding on social, intangible incentives/reinforcers and learning (e.g., diagramming a single-celled such as highly relevant content, social praise, organism), to help students sustain positive and corrective feedback, and his/her own enthusiasm, and an interesting Employ appropriate technology
applications (e.g., computer-assisted
instruction programs, CD-ROM demonstra-
There are other strategies that teachers can tions, videotape presentations) that can employ to make their lessons interesting, engage student interest and increase relevant, and motivating, which have particular application to students with emotional Use hands-on, experiential learning
disturbance and behavioral problems. These activities to enable students to apply learning
are listed below.
to the real world. This is one of a teacher'smost powerful tools.
In addition to infusing motivational techniques into lessons, teachers cancelebrate student progress by building ameans to recognize and encourage not onlyparticipation, but intellectual accomplish-ments, as well. Some means of reaching thatend appear below.
when they are praised for their behavioral WAYS TO RECOGNIZE AND ENCOURAGE
Awards. Certificates or symbolic objects can
be used as awards for task completion.
Bonus points. Some students benefit from
Many students with emotional distur- working toward a tangible goal on an hourly, bance and behavioral problems need special daily, or weekly basis. With a bonus points help learning "how to learn," as many lack system, students earn points that can be saved study or organizational skills that would up and cashed in for rewards at a later time.
enable them to work independently at tasks When designing a point system for students over a sustained period of time. Strategies with emotional disturbance and behavioralproblems, it is important to design the task and for fostering these skills in students appear its timeframe to fit the points. If the payoff is too far into the future, the student may give upon the task.
Accomplishment sheets. Having students
record their progress on a chart or record sheet
There is much that educators can do to enables them to see their progress toward a foster positive learning experiences; and there is a great deal that other professionals Personal notes. Some students like notes
and those knowledgeable about the student from teachers or paraprofessionals. Such notes can contribute, as well. If the student, for provide encouragement to both the student and instance, is receiving some form of his or her family.
therapeutic support, it is almost always a Novel rewards. The process by which a
good idea for the therapist to solicit input student acquires a reward can be motivating in from other service providers, such as the itself, if it is age appropriate. "Dot-to-dot drawings" can be used to collect points, forexample, with the student earning the right to counselor, on a regular basis.
"connect the dots" by accomplishing specifiedtasks; or students may receive shapes When planning new lessons, teachers representing pizza ingredients—and once the have found it productive to capitalize on the "dough" is covered, they earn a pizza party.
insights and support that family memberscan bring to the education of their children.
Family input and support should be solicitedand families should be informed of theirchildren's progress on a regular basis. This Whenever tangible forms of recognition point is emphasized, because, too often, are paired with social reinforcement such as families are asked to participate only when social praise, and positive and corrective their children are having difficulties.
feedback, it is important to explain exactlywhat the student has accomplished and how Sharing responsibility for the student's that accomplishment will help achieve long- academic progress often results in a network term goals in school and in the world of support. By sharing knowledge, expertise, outside school. At the same time, it must be and support, educators have a much better kept in mind that some students (particu- chance of reaching students with emotional larly shy students or some teenagers) prefer disturbance and behavioral problems.
to keep their rewards private, especially emotional disturbance and behavioral It is often helpful for teachers or paraprofessionals q Teach students to keep track of assignments, grades, and targetedbehaviors—with reminders such asassignment sheets, daily schedules, andto-do lists.
q Highlight behavioral and academic successes with some form of daily recordof work assignments and accomplish-ments. When collected over time, suchrecords document student progress andbecome motivators for more student effort.
q Have students take notes from both oral presentations and textbooks in order togive students a means for sorting out andreviewing what they are learning.
q Help students manage their time by establishing routines for making transitionsbetween lessons, getting and putting awaymaterials, and requesting assistance.
q Reduce the amount of materials that may cause distractions during work time byhaving students put away unnecessaryitems in a designated place for storingtools, materials, and books.
q Provide time-management reminders, such as 10-, 5-, or 2-minute warnings beforeclean-up time, to establish time limitationsfor completing work.
q Make sure that students actually understand all directions before they beginindependent work.
The classroom practitioner's major responsibility is to provide a high-qualityacademic program for all students, includingstudents with emotional disturbance andbehavioral problems. Hand-in-hand withsound instructional planning is classroommanagement. The next chapter describeshow teachers and other instructionalpersonnel can strengthen their behavioralmanagement and discipline systems tosupport all students, especially those with CHAPTER 4
Although not panaceas for all behavioral Teachers can enhance education for all problems, classroom management systems, students by establishing a sound classroom- including individual or group behavior plans that provide clear behavioral expectations articulating expectations and goals. Students and are taught and implemented on a may also need to have positive behavioral school-wide basis do provide a supportive supports as part of their IEPs—as Cristina did.
structure for students. At a minimum, Based upon a careful assessment of the educators, through concentrating on a limited conditions associated with the student's number of rules, provide the essential troublesome behavior (through tools such as a foundation for improving student behavior functional behavioral assessment), positive and promoting student success. All students, behavioral supports can prevent behavior especially students with emotional disturbance problems by establishing clear expectations and behavioral problems, need to know what about appropriate behavior and providing the is expected of them.
supports necessary for the student to be students to have the classroom space divided into places that have clear purposes.
Controlling the degree of stimulation.
This chapter explores how teachers and Teachers have significant influence over the paraprofessionals can strengthen their classroom-management systems to provide a positive amount of visual and auditory stimulation environment and accommodate the special needs students receive within the classroom, and, of students with emotional disturbance and therefore, they should be aware that students who are easily distracted may require lessstimulation than is typical. Examples ofrelatively easy steps to accommodate suchstudents include covering storage areas, MANAGING THE CLASSROOM
removing unused equipment from sight, A sound classroom management system can replacing a loud fish-tank motor with a provide exactly the structure students (especially quiet one, and keeping classroom displays those with emotional disturbance and behavioral problems) need for managing their ownbehaviors. All components of a management Monitoring "high traffic areas." There system are important, but the following are most tends to be a lot of movement in areas such as the pencil sharpener, water faucet, I. Arranging the physical environment; trashcan, and the teacher's desk. Students II. Setting rules and expectations; who are easily distracted should be seated III. Helping students comply with rules and away from such areas while still within the proximity or at least eyesight of the teacher IV. Scheduling the day; or paraprofessional. In addition, proceduresfor using these areas should be developed V. Establishing routines and procedures; and VI. Building a positive classroom climate that provides all students with a variety of Establishing a quiet place. Some stu- opportunities for success.
dents may need a quiet, "safe" place to sitand work or to calm down after an I. ARRANGING THE PHYSICAL
emotional outburst. Study carrels, desk blinders (three-paneled cardboard piecesthat students can use at their seats for Educators can discourage challenging privacy), or an area behind a bookcase are behavior by the way they manage space. A examples of such quiet places. It is number of suggestions for arranging important to note, however, that all students students' space include: should remain in full view of the teacher orparaprofessional at all times. Also, students Delineating space. Some benefit from feeling ownership of their intuitively read the subtle cues that define belongings, and thus benefit from having a the purposes for different spaces and how personal space for storing them.
they should behave in those spaces;however, others need to be taught how to II. SETTING RULES AND EXPECTATIONS
navigate the classroom. It often helps these At the beginning of the year, teachers typically establish rules for classroom behavior. One technique that may increasecompliance with such rules is to express The following points may be considered whendeveloping classroom rules: them in positive, concrete terms thatdescribe the behavior that is expected of q Rules need to be stated in clear and them (e.g., "raise your hand to be called explicit behavioral terms, as it is difficult toabide by rules that must be interpreted. For upon to talk"), rather than defining what instance, what does it mean to be "respon- behavior is not acceptable (e.g., "no sible" or to be "nice"? Children, especially talking"). Similarly, consequences for failing younger children, need concrete terms and to meet expectations should be logical, fair, examples they can understand, such as predictable, directed at the inappropriate raising a hand to speak.
behavior, and, of course, explained before an q Rules must be concise in order for infraction occurs.
students to remember them. Remindersalso may be posted in the learning area; Once five or six rules have been stated clearly, it is important to teach students how q Students, themselves, might be to follow them.
encouraged to suggest rules to help createa sense of ownership and accountability, III. HELPING STUDENTS COMPLY
although good research shows that this isnot essential to good classroom manage- WITH RULES AND EXPECTATIONS
Educators sometimes assume that students know how to carry out directives, Although educators can prevent many when, in fact, they cannot. Students with minor behavioral infractions by ensuring emotional disturbance and behavioral that rules are clearly stated, fairly enforced, problems are especially prone to being and completely understood, there are often punished for rule breaking, even though additional issues posed by students with they sometimes lack the skills necessary to serious behavioral problems. These are follow the rules. If, for example, the students who, after all, may have difficulty classroom rule is to "listen when others are following even the most clearly stated and talking," then some students will need to be fairly enforced rules. For a teacher or taught the skills necessary for listening.
paraprofessional to be fair and consistent,then, he or she must know whether or notthe student has the necessary skills to From the beginning of their educational comply with the rules.
experience, students should know theconsequences of breaking rules; and the The next section of this chapter discusses consequences must be fair and consistently ways educators can support students' enforced. Typically, students with emotional appropriate behavior. When all good faith disturbance and behavioral problems have efforts and best-practice procedures do not difficulty understanding the consequences of produce desired results, however, it may be their behavior. If a student breaks a rule, time to enlist the support of the school then, it is wise to ask that student to explain psychologist, behavior specialist, the IEP the consequence of his or her actions.
team, special educator, and/or other supportpersonnel. It may be that the IEP team needsto be reconvened to modify the existingbehavior intervention plan or academicobjectives.
Depending on the effect of the behavior on the safety and learning opportunities for Educators may want to support students inaccomplishing routine tasks by using the following the student and for other students in the classroom, the IEP team should consider achange Student cue cards. Small, wallet-sized cards
on which transition steps are written can serve
documented efforts to modify serious as visual cues, which can be taped to the behavior problems prove to be unsuccessful.
student's desk, written in a notebook, or carriedin a pocket. The teacher or paraprofessional IV. SCHEDULING THE DAY
may, in practice, direct students' attention tothe card before moving on to a transition For students with emotional disturbance or behavioral problems, several considera- Reflection time. Many educators find that
tions might be useful when scheduling having students stop all activity for a moment activities throughout the day. For instance, a and reflect upon what they are going to do nextgoes a long way in preparing them for an time for students to get calmed down while actual transition.
in a state of transition to a more structuredactivity can be built into the day's schedule.
Advance notice. Because some students find
it difficult to cognitively or emotionally
Also, since many students who have disengage from an activity in which they are behavioral challenges find it difficult to immersed, advance notice (such as a five- maintain attention for long periods of minute warning prior to the activity's end) physically inactive work time, it can be prepares them for disengagement and helpful to break large tasks into several movement toward the next activity.
smaller tasks with short breaks between Peer support. When a student is learning a
new routine or is having difficulty following aprocedure, many teachers assign a peer buddy V. ESTABLISHING ROUTINES AND
to reinforce and guide the student through the required steps of transition.
Subtle prompts. Pointing to a clock or putting
away materials can cue students that it is time
Establishing routines for how things are for a change. Praise or encouragement also done and teaching those routines can help can be used effectively to prepare for a students stay on target in a classroom. For transition. For example, saying "Ginny, you example, it is important to implement have really worked hard on your paper," or, consistent routines for those times when "Look how much you have written today," helps students have to make a transition from one to focus the student's attention on "wrappingup" the activity.
lesson to another, or for times when theyhave to get and put away materials, and soon. Routines can, of course, be taught, and VI. BUILDING A POSITIVE CLASSROOM
students can be rewarded for following Allison rarely spoke in class, and when she did, it was in a whisper. Concerned, Ms.
Davis, the language arts teacher, built apositive rapport with her silent student. Eachday, Ms. Davis initiated a conversation withAllison (as did Ms. Peters, the paraprofes-sional). Patient efforts paid off, and Allison gradually began giving more than one-word problems, building a positive rapport throughmutual respect and acceptance is, in fact, thefirst step toward establishing trust.
Techniques teachers have used, andrecommended, to communicate respect duringnonacademic discussions: Once established, it is vital to work toward maintaining rapport. Oftentimes; Actively listen. Teachers need to let students
rapport breaks down when teachers need to know that they are being listened to. Eyecontact and paraphrasing what the student discipline students; therefore, a teacher says are two simple ways to demonstrate that should let a student know that it is his or her the teacher is, indeed, listening. However, it is behavior that is problematic, not the student important to understand that in many cultures, as an individual. Some teachers have found it is considered rude for children to make eye that "I-messages" allow them to maintain contact with adults.
rapport while addressing behavior. An I- Use non-threatening questions. When
message is a statement of the behavior, students have misbehaved, questions that followed by the effect that it had, and focus on "what" (e.g., "What went through your mind just before you kicked your shoes into thehallway?") and "how" (e.g., "How did your math consequences of the behavior. For example, book end up in the trash?") are easier to "When you get out of your seat while I am answer than those that focus on "why" (e.g., giving directions (the behavior), you distract "Why did you throw your book in the trash?").
me and other students (the effect), which Moreover, students with a history of behavioral means we all have to stop what we are doing difficulties have learned that "why questions" until I can get back everyone's attention (the often accompany disciplinary interventions and,as a result, often react to any such questions as if they are being put on the spot. Tone ofvoice is also important. Questions should be asked as a genuine effort to help the studentunderstand the behavior.
Knowing how to prevent behavior Use open-ended questions. For students
problems enables educators to move away with a history of failure, questions that have, from a reactive, punitive environment what they perceive as, a "right" or "wrong" toward a more proactive environment.
answer make them feel uncomfortable (e.g., There is much that teachers and paraprofes- "Did you follow all the directions during the sionals can do to establish a classroom science lab today?"). Open-ended questionscan be used, instead, especially when environment that allows all students to engaging the student in conversation (e.g., maximize their learning potential. At a "What did you do in science class today?").
minimum, educators can provide a Show personal interest in the student. It is
foundation for improving student behavior, important for students to talk about and for promoting student success, by themselves. Sharing details about likes and dislikes can open the door to broader achievements in the classroom.
Preventing disturbing behavior through Communicating respect, in addition to predictable means is clearly a major ingredient setting high but attainable expectations for in fostering any kind of success in the academic performance, is central to supporting classroom. There are times, however, when growth in the classroom. For students with more corrective approaches are called for.
Students in the best of classrooms will lose of problematic behavior is essential. For control of their actions on occasion, some years, teachers and paraprofessionals have acting out and others withdrawing. Knowing successfully applied behavioral management how to help students manage these challenging techniques to increase positive behaviors behaviors gives teachers additional techniques and to decrease inappropriate ones. As they have learned, the key to success is not to try disturbance and behavioral problems.
to control behavior reactively, per se, but toproactively manage it consistently and HELPING TO MANAGE BEHAVIOR
Kevin , a n ew st u d en t in Mr. INCREASING APPROPRIATE BEHAVIORS
Blan ch ard 's f if t h g rad e class, w ascon st an t ly ou t of h is seat an d It is important to respond to student com p let ed very f ew assig n m en t s. behavior in positive ways; and it is important Du rin g on e h alf -h ou r p eriod , Mr. to resist any temptation to focus only (or Blan ch ard even predominantly) on the inappropriate sh arp en ed h is p en cil f ive t im es, g ot behavior. The first step in modifying behavior is to identify the behavior that Det erm in ed t o d ecrease Kevin 's should occur, instead of merely focusing on "roam in g ," Mr. Blan ch ard review ed the inappropriate behavior. Once desirable all assig n m en t s, t o en su re t h at behaviors are selected for reinforcement, the Kevin w as cap ab le of com p let in g following strategies can be used to increase Eq u ip p ed the likelihood that the student will use them.
Positive reinforcement. Point systems, stickers, smiles, and public recognition for a d on e t o h elp Kevin su cceed in t h e job well done are all examples of positive classroom . reinforcement. When a desired behavior is The special education teacher observed followed by something that the student finds Kevin in the classroom, and interviewed rewarding, the likelihood that the desired him, to determine whether or not he knew behavior will occur more often increases.
and understood classroom rules. Convinced Educators find that setting up positive that Kevin did, indeed, understand, the consequences for some students helps them school psychologist and Mr. Blanchard learn to use new behaviors. Consequences developed a contract with Kevin: If he stayed that are dependent upon the performance of in his seat, Kevin earned points toward a appropriate behaviors (also known as reward of his own choosing (fifteen minutes response contingencies) help students of computer time).
improve their behaviors, particularly whenthe student is not intrinsically motivated to Within a few weeks, Kevin had increased staying in his seat by about 20 percent, andhe was completing 50 percent of his work.
If students with emotional disturbance and behavioral problems are to reach theirfull academic potential, reducing incidences • Positive consequences for demon- Some tips for accomplishing the transition from strating expected behavior; tangible reinforcers to social reinforcers: q Reinforce immediately, (especially when • A statement of everyone's roles (e.g., working with new behaviors or young or "Mr. Jameson will monitor the rate immature students) as any delay mayresult in ambiguity over what behavior is of homework completion during the being reinforced; duration of the contract"); and q If immediate reinforcement is not possible, acknowledge the behavior and remind the • A statement of commitment from student that the reinforcement will be everyone involved.
Token economies (point systems) are other Give a verbal description of the behaviorbeing reinforced so that the student knows examples of response contingencies. Within exactly which behaviors have led to the these systems, students are asked to perform appropriate behaviors for which they receive q Use social (e.g., praise or recognition) and tokens (or points), to be exchanged later for activity reinforcers (e.g., time on a a reward. As students become proficient in computer) in conjunction with tangible demonstrating acceptable behavior, points are given less frequently. When using point q Phase out tangible and contrived systems it is sometimes useful for the reinforcers as soon as possible; student to see a visual chart that represents q Gradually increase the time between the progress toward reaching a goal.
behavior and the reinforcer; and q Be sensitive to peer pressure, and be Negative reinforcement. Negative
careful not to embarrass a student when reinforcement theory says that a student will perform appropriate behaviors to avoid orescape negative consequences. For example,students complete their homework to avoid While many students are intrinsically failing, or students sit appropriately in order to rewarded by social recognition (e.g., adult or stop a teacher from "nagging" them. Such peer praise) for their appropriate behavior, strategies should be used sparingly, because other students will initially need tangible they focus attention on inappropriate reinforcers, such as those described on page behaviors. When they are used, however, they 67. It is important, though, to pair these should always be paired with the reinforcement rewards with social reinforcement so that of an appropriate, alternative behavior (e.g.
occasionally rewarding the student for sitting the social reinforcement, itself, will appropriately or for completing his or her ultimately become rewarding and the homework). Students need to know what they tangible reinforcer can gradually be should be doing, not just what will not be A behavioral contract is a good example of making a reward depend upon a desired response. Most effective contracts usually contain the following: For most students, an increase in • Concrete definitions of expected appropriate behaviors will replace the need for interventions that focus on decreasing inappropriate behaviors. However, some that result in punishment are highly inappropriate behaviors may necessitate the frustrating to educators. It is important to use of "behavior-decreasing consequences," react to frustrating behaviors in a calm and rational manner, so as not to increase thestudent's negative behavior.
Planned Ignoring. The use of planned ignoring (extinction) is based upon the theorythat, if the inappropriate behavior is used to gain attention, ignoring the behavior will result Punishment should only be considered under in its becoming "extinct." Three points should certain circumstances: be stressed when using extinction: q When the behavior is dangerous to the student or others, • The use of extinction is not recom- q When every other intervention has been mended for behaviors that are unsafe appropriately implemented and failed; or q When the student's behavior is so noxious that it prevents them from learning or • If the student is gaining desired forming meaningful social relationships.
attention from his or her peers, thebehavior will not decrease unless Time-Out. Time-out is an often misun- peers also ignore it; derstood punishment technique that actuallyrefers to "time-out from positive reinforce- • Usually, a short-term consequence of ment." With time-out, all reinforcement extinction is that the targeted be- ceases and the student is essentially removed havior initially tends to become from a reinforcing situation. It is especially worse before it becomes better.
effective for behaviors that are used to seek Punishment. Punishment receives a attention. For example, if a student makes great deal of attention. While occasionally it inappropriate comments during small group may be necessary to use punishment as a activities to get the other students to laugh, consequence for inappropriate behavior (see removing the student from the others in his sidebar: Using Punishment), it should be or her group might be a good intervention.
only a small part of a behavioral manage- Effective use of time-out requires ment plan. The theory behind punishment is discussing with the student in advance those that the behavior will decrease, if it is behaviors that may lead to a time-out, as followed by something the student perceives well as the proper procedures for going to, as negative. "Response cost" (e.g., losing being in, and returning from time-out.
points in a token economy) is an example of There are three correlates to punish- techniques, such as planning rooms or ment. First, punishment focuses on what the places to cool-down," which students student should not be doing rather than on voluntarily go to when they feel they need what he or she should be doing. Second, time to gain control over themselves or their reactions, not only from the student whose Effective time-out strategies incorporate behavior is being punished, but from other a multilevel system of increasing seclusion.
students. Finally, many student behaviors For example, a student may be asked to put Table 1 contains guidelines for implemen- his or her head down. At the next level, the tation of time-out procedures.
student might turn away from or leave thegroup; and finally, a separate location, or "seclusionary time-out," may be used whenthe intensity of the behavior warrants such TIME-OUT: GUIDELINES FOR
q Consult school administration for district time- The use of seclusionary time-out has out policies.
caused some controversy. Critics allege it q Discuss the use of time-out options and denies students their right to education, procedures with students' parents.
while serving as nothing more than a form q Define which behaviors will earn time-out.
of "imprisonment." As a result of such q Decide how long the time-out should last.
claims, some school districts have banned q Thoroughly discuss the time-out procedure the use of seclusionary time-out. It is, with the students: therefore, best to consult school policiesbefore implementing seclusionary time-out q Specify the behaviors.
in the classroom; it is also a good idea to q Specify the warnings to be given.
discuss the procedure with the child's IEP q Teach directions for going to time-out.
team before implementing such a technique.
q Teach proper time-out behavior.
If school board policy allows seclusionary q Teach procedures for returning from time-out.
time-out, the facilities should be adequate,and the time-outs well-monitored, short in q Post time-out rules in the classroom.
duration, and used judiciously. The question q Warn students when their behavior may lead should be asked each time a student is sent to time-out.
to time-out, "Is this student being denied an q Implement time-out without emotion or opportunity to learn while in seclusionary q Begin timing the time-out only when the student begins to exhibit appropriatebehavior.
q Discuss appropriate alternative behaviors in private upon student's return from time-out.
q Specify time-out procedures in the student's IEP.
are used to help students manage andevaluate their own behavior. For example, a Keep a time-out log for each incidence student may keep track of the frequency (or of seclusionary time-out that includes: duration) with which he or she demon-strates the new behavior.
The following combination of instructional • Description of behavior or incident strategies may help when teaching students new that resulted in time-out q Modeling—showing the student the • Time of incident appropriate use of the behavior.
• Duration of time-out q Rehearsing appropriate behavior— providing opportunities for the student topractice the behavior.
• Behavior during time-out.
q Role-playing—providing the student the Review the time-out log regularly to opportunity to practice the behavior in the evaluate the effectiveness of the time-out context of a situation in which the behaviormight be needed.
q Continuous reinforcement—providing TEACHING NEW BEHAVIORS
reinforcement to the student as he or shepractices the new behaviors.
Some students with learning difficulties q Prompting—giving the student cues to help do not learn appropriate behaviors by him or her remember how and when to usethe new behaviors.
observation alone. Sometimes, a studentmay not be performing a particular behaviorsimply because he or she has not been TEACHING SOCIAL SKILLS
taught it. In these cases, the behavior maynot indicate defiance on the student's part, A growing trend in elementary schools is to but simply the inability to behave in an teach social skills as part of regular appropriate manner.
classroom lessons. Teachers first identifynecessary classroom social skills (such as Such a situation may arise if certain social waiting one's turn, sharing materials, saying skills are required for the performance of a "excuse me," listening, and following specific task (e.g., sharing or taking turns as lab directions), then they select a particular skill partners in a science experiment). Many and break it down into observable steps.
students with emotional disturbance and They teach those steps, while modeling the behavioral problems have never been taught behaviors themselves, and while asking correct social skills, and, as a result, are at a students to do the same. Students also role- distinct disadvantage in situations requiring play the skill, and receive positive feedback any social interaction.
from the teacher, paraprofessional, andother students. Throughout the rest of the Once the students have performed the day, adults target naturally occurring new behavior with frequent success, a self- opportunities to reinforce the students when monitoring strategy may be introduced they demonstrate newly learned social skills.
where students keep a count of how oftenthey use the new behavior. Such strategies SUPPORTING APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR
Sometimes, educators find that students Proximity control. The educator uses his or her
physical presence to reduce inappropriate behaviors and
need extra support to behave appropriately.
to increase appropriate ones. For example, if a student The following are "tricks of the trade" that is staring out of a window, the teacher can continue might be used to support appropriate lecturing, but move toward the student in a non-threatening way. The teacher's presence serves as a reminder to the student that he or she should be payingattention. The use of direct eye contact can be used to enhance this technique. It is important to remember thatin emotionally charged situations it is not good to get tooclose or make the student feel cornered.
A key to increasing appropriate behav- Signal interference. Rather than use a direct warning to
iors and decreasing inappropriate ones is stop an inappropriate behavior and encourage a positive motivation. Through careful application of one, educators can signal or prompt a student by using apreviously agreed upon sign. (This can be a private behavior management strategies, teachers signal known only by the student and educator.) For and paraprofessionals can actually teach example, teachers commonly put their index finger over motivation, and, hence, improve classroom their lips to indicate that it is time to be quiet; or they tapa chime to alert students to stop what they are doing and face the teacher.
Redirection. Teachers and paraprofessionals use
Strategies designed to manage behavior redirection, when necessary, to verbally remind a may be quite effective in the short run, but, by student of the task at hand. For example, if a student is themselves, they are not sufficient to bring wandering out of his seat, the paraprofessional mightredirect the behavior by saying: "John, show me how about long-term behavior change. Teachers many answers you've completed in your workbook." The and paraprofessionals that also build a positive redirective statement positively reminds John of what he relationship with students have, however, the should be doing, and it allows him to re-engage in thelearning activity without punishment.
greatest chance of succeeding over time. Basic Relaxation. When students are agitated (e.g., after a
skills must be delivered within a compassionate heated argument during recess), teachers can have context—and that context is a humane and safe them relax quietly by putting their heads on their desks.
environment filled with caring relationships.
Similarly, when students feel upset, they can be taughtto count backwards or breathe deeply before reacting. It All students benefit from having caring adult is best, however, to teach students such techniques educators in their lives. Both students and when they are calm. Educators also may enhance the educators contend that such a person can be, success of these techniques by teaching students torecognize triggers of stress and anger.
in fact, the single most important component Talking the student down. If a student has become
in helping anyone with emotional disturbance agitated, but has not lost control, it may be useful to "talk or behavioral problems take the first step the student down" to a more relaxed state. This toward adjustment. The power of caring is technique has the teacher or paraprofessional talk verycalmly, slowly, and quietly to a student, leading him or impossible to overemphasize.
her to a positive solution.
Humor. Sometimes potentially volatile behavior can be
diffused by gently drawing attention to something funnyabout the situation provoking the behavior. Educators Back early f rom lu n ch , Terran ce are cautioned, however, against using sarcasm ortrivializing a deeply-felt emotion. It is important to st orm s in t o t h e classroom , kn ockin g maintain a mutually respectful relationship with the over d esks an d ch airs. He sw in g s at a st ack of b ooks sit t in g on t h ecou n t er, sen d in g q u ickly Terran ce, h overin g close t o t h e may ask lots of questions and begin arguing.
t each er's d esk an d alon g t h e Sometimes just showing interest in him or room 's p erim et er. Scream in g , "I her, or giving the student a chance to talk h at e you ," h e lu n g es t ow ard Bryan , about what is bothering him or her, can help w h o is racin g t ow ard t h e d oor. the student regain self-control or enable the Even when lessons are delivered effec- educator to provide appropriate support.
tively, with a management system in place Provide the student with time and space at and rapport established, it is still possible for this point. Allow him to work independently aggressive acts to occur. When a student and prompt him to use relaxation skills and loses control in the classroom, it is the problem-solving skills to work through his educator's primary responsibility to protect anger. It is important to remain calm and to the safety of everyone involved.
continue to treat the student with respect. Ifyou become upset or rude it will only Usually, a student does not lose control escalate the student's behavior.
without "giving notice." We understandfrom research that when students act out, If the student's behavior continues to their behavior follows a predictable pattern.
escalate remind him or her in a respectful In fact, one of the best lines of defense for way of the consequences of the behavior.
classroom teachers and paraprofessionals is Give the student the opportunity to choose to understand the nature of this acting-out the appropriate behavior.
behavior pattern, and to use that knowledgeto support the student.
Should a student loose control, however, the educator's priority is safety. This A student's sense of calm can become includes the safety of the others in the room, as well as that of the student who is out of "triggers," such as changes in routine, too control. If the student's behavior in many errors or corrections on assignments, endangering others in the classroom, ask the or peer provocation. Triggers also may be student to leave the room. If he or she will outside the classroom, and might include not leave, have the other students leave the gang pressure, substance abuse, lack of sleep, room and send one student for help. In or peer or family conflicts. There are some either case, tell the student(s) exactly where triggers that educators can control (e.g., they should go and whom they should talk preparing students for transition, ensuring a to. Again, remain calm and respectful so as student takes his or her medication as not to escalate the behavior.
scheduled, teaching anger managementskills), and others that are beyond their Following a loss of control, the teacher control (e.g., an upheaval in the family, or paraprofessional should debrief with the conflicts with friends, etc.). Providing a student and help him or her identify structured, supportive environment and appropriate alternatives to his or her teaching the student the skills needed to behavior. This should be done when the control anger and to problem-solve will student has calmed down and is receptive to reduce the impact of triggers on a student's working with an adult to improve his or her behavior. This debriefing should beapproached as an opportunity for the If a student is triggered, he or she usually student to learn. The issues of discipline and becomes confused or defiant. The student consequences for the disruptive behaviorshould be broached separately.
Schools should take the time to develop q Explain the purpose of the plan; emergency procedures in the event that a q State behavioral expectations; student loses control and threatens the safety q Explain strategies for teaching behavioral of other students. This plan should be taught expectations to students; and practiced before an incident occurs.
q Include structures for reinforcing students who demonstrate desired behaviors; ENLISTING HELP AT SCHOOL
q Agree in advance on strategies for managing students who demonstrate Some students demand more attention problem behaviors; and understanding than any one teacher or q Include a continuum of back-up paraprofessional can give. It is rare that these consequences for students who resist students have problems with their behavior efforts to change inappropriate behaviors; in only one setting (e.g., classroom, q Outline a referral system (complete with lunchroom, playground, or hallways). In strategies that educators should use to such cases, colleagues work together to help document students who repeatedly support the student's behavioral growth. A demonstrate problem behavior). Also behavior management plan, for instance, is include a system for explaining how more powerful if it is applied in more than officials are to share information gathered one setting, and by more than one adult.
via the plan with families, district officials,and, if appropriate, law enforcement Essentially, school-wide approaches are good ideas, as such approaches can minimize environmental triggers, provide Include a step-by-step procedure forcommunicating the purpose of the school- structure and consistency, and are more wide plan and the ways it will be used to effective in addressing behavioral needs over address violence and criminal actions to the long run.
parents and others.
To be most effective, the entire school community and family must address violent Policies must be written down stating and aggressive behavior; therefore, it is what is and is not allowable in a plan in imperative that the support and resources of all order to avoid misconceptions. Once a plan concerned be enlisted. In response to this is developed, staff must receive training growing need, many schools are providing about how to put the plan into effect, and students with conflict-resolution and peer- review its implementation after a practice mediation skills. Some schools are even run to evaluate its effectiveness.
adopting school-wide social skills and discipline programs. Procedures should be in ORKING TOGETHER WITH FAMILIES
place for dealing with violent behavior and Emotional disturbance and behavioral criminal actions in the school because problems affect children in all life situations— educators should not be left on their own to home, community, school, church, etc. In deal with such situations. In general, to adopt a addition, families experience significant school-wide plan, the following criteria are stress when a child has emotional and behavioral problems and they need to workwith the schools to address the student's needs. Communication with the student'sfamily should, therefore, be one of the most When talking to a family about their child'sbehavior in school, the following approaches may important components of any school program.
enlist their support: Because a family unit may be configured in many ways, it frequently helps to know and Refer to behavioral difficulties within thecontext of mastering academic goals; refer to the significant members of a child'sfamily (e.g., mother, father, grandparent, aunt, q Be concrete and specific about behavior problems. Expressions that exaggerate the older sibling, other adult.) and the part they frequency of problem behaviors, such as play in a student's life, in all plans concerning "he always looks away when I smile at
the education of a student with emotional or him," or "she talks back all of the time,"
behavioral problems. The core members of the serve only to make family members family should be included in all significant deliberations about the student's education.
q Actively listen to family members, empathize with their concerns, and learn The IEP team offers opportunities to meet from their knowledge and experience; with the child's family. Collaboration can q Share positive examples of the student's extend throughout the year, as family performance, and reaffirm a commitment to members are made to feel at home with helping the student become successful in teachers and other professionals charged with instructing their children. Meetings can be q Solicit the family's suggestions concerning scheduled to facilitate family involvement, and how to reduce inappropriate behaviors.
conducted in a manner that demonstratesrespect for the student's family, their culture, and their knowledge and concerns. Empathy,respect, and sincerity are key factors in While the characteristics presented by establishing and maintaining a positive children with emotional disturbance and relationship with families.
behavioral problems may sometimes seemdaunting, the bottom line is never to give up Because families like to hear good news, on any student. Because children with it is suggested that teachers and others share emotional disturbance and behavioral reports on student progress with families, problems may challenge a teacher's patience either through notes, reward charts, and cause momentary despair, teachers completed contracts, phone calls, or record should not be alone in helping students cards. When meeting with families, in order to build trust and good support, it may behelpful to begin with positive examples of The school is a learning community. While their child's performance or behavior before it is important to build a positive climate in the addressing inappropriate behaviors.
classroom, such work does not stop at theclassroom door. The success of a classroombehavior management program can beenhanced by other colleagues as well as by thestudent's family. In that spirit, the next chapterpresents some promising practices that schoolsand districts are using to support classroomteachers and paraprofessionals.
There is much that can be done in the problems or identify resource needs. They can develop a rich understanding of their educational programs to students with students' needs and share a stake in emotional disturbance and behavioral designing effective collaborative interven- problems. The school and district, however, tions that can help improve student learning must support such efforts. From this system- and behavior. Teachers and paraprofession- wide perspective, the goal is to build the als can play key roles in recommending the school and district capacity to undertake the support services and resources that facilitate strategies and approaches that sustain and success in school.
support positive results for all students,including disturbance and behavioral problems.
Across the country, special services are When teachers and paraprofessionals being reconfigured to support students and serve as team members, and are provided educators. In some cases, social services are with adequate time to meet with the team, being brought to schools. In other cases, they are in an excellent position to solve new concepts are being developed, as well, to address the emotional and behavioral made that day, and the student is invited to needs of students. Three examples of make suggestions on how he or she can redesigned service delivery models follow.
improve the next day.
Social workers in a Michigan district are This chapter describes some promising assigned to classrooms that include children practices and approaches that are having apositive impact on students and classroom with emotional disturbance. As needed, environments, such as: those social workers provide positive support to children in following the Reconfiguring services within and outsideof the classroom and school; classroom rules, solving problems, anddeveloping positive attitudes.
q Developing effective collaborative teams; Behavior specialists in Toledo, Ohio q Offering professional development to all work with teachers who have students with behavior problems that exceed the teachers' An understanding of how these approaches skills for dealing with them. A behavior can support student progress enables teachers specialist will consult with the teacher; and paraprofessionals to seek out the observe the student; talk with the counselor approaches and advocate for theirestablishment in practice.
and the parents; consult with the familyphysician, if necessary; and then develop abehavior management plan. The specialist To support high school students with works with the teacher to put the plan into emotional disturbance and behavioral place and is on call to help if the plan is not problems, educators in a district in Rhode Island have established a "planning room"wherein all students may find emotional These are just a few options schools have support or extra help with schoolwork, do found to support the needs of both students their homework in a quiet setting, or and educators. In other cases, services that perform social problem-solving activities. A were once the sole province of "pull-out" special education teacher, skilled in behavior settings are now being brought into the management, supervises the planning room classroom. Teachers are becoming part of and tutors students in academic subjects, co-teaching partnerships, and some teachers and, when necessary, helps them solve have developed meaningful and productive problems in socially appropriate ways. When new ways to include various service a student needs additional help, such as providers in the classroom program. For community mental health services, the example, a behavior specialist may spend supervising teacher assists students in some time each day assisting a student in the obtaining that help.
regular classroom; or, the teacher ofstudents with learning disabilities might co- Educators in an Ohio district have teach a lesson with the regular teacher at designed a plan that assigns special various levels to ensure that all students are education paraprofessionals to regular challenged and no one is frustrated with the education elementary classrooms where they work to provide academic and behavioralsupport directly to students. At the end of Some school structures currently in the day, the teacher, the paraprofessional, place also are being revamped, with a special and individual students go over the progress focus on supporting students with emotional disturbance and behavioral problems.
the decision that a student could be better served in an alternative setting. An systems, for instance, are being designed and alternative setting could be a "school within implemented by entire school staffs, and are a school" or it could be a separate school being geared to offer a consistent approach facility. The configuration of an alternative to supporting all students and to defining setting depends on what each community and communicating rules, expectations, and can provide, but it is best to keep students as close to the mainstream setting as isappropriate, because the goal of effective Often, instructional components are alternative programs should be to enable the built into such school-wide behavior students to get back to their original settings management systems to actually teach as soon as possible.
support programs are sometimes offeredthat address the behavioral needs or skilldeficits disturbance. In addition, school districts arestarting to implement early intervention andprevention services for young children atrisk of developing emotional disorders orbehavioral problems, as well as transitionservices for older youth. Research suggeststhat all these services can enhance astudent's intellectual and social developmentand allow successful adjustment into theworld of work or further study.
It is helpful to find out about programs like these in your district, or, whenappropriate, employ or work with others toimplement them. Educators can play acritical role in offering ideas for how newservices can be developed or used in theirparticular classrooms and schools.
Whenever possible, it is expected that students will participate in the generalcurriculum with appropriate aids andsupports. Sometimes, however, studentsrequire more than reconfiguration ofservices in their current setting to achievesuccess in controlling or improving theirbehavior. In such cases, educators may make SELECTED COMPONENTS OF EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS
A Qualified Staff—The staff of alternative programs should be qualified, well-trained, and experienced toteach students with emotional and behavior problems. They should choose to teach in these settings andbe present in sufficient numbers to guarantee a strong, positive adult presence. This ensures thatstudents are getting effective instruction and also are being understood by people who want to see themsucceed.
Functional Assessment of Student's Skills—An assessment should be performed to determine whateach student needs, both academically and behaviorally, rather than what a particular curriculum saysshould be taught. Each assessment should be tailored to each individual child, rather than using apackaged assessment program. This kind of assessment aligns with that required when preparing anindividualized program of instruction for each student.
Functional Curriculum—based on the results of the individualized assessment, each student should havea functional curriculum that addresses his or her particular needs. In addition to appropriate academicinstruction, the curriculum should be individualized to include instruction in whatever vocational, social,and life training skills a student might need in order to function in the classroom. This curriculum shouldbe written into a student's individualized plan of instruction.
Effective and Efficient Instructional Techniques—The instructional strategies chosen to implement thestudent's curriculum should take into account how each child learns, such as considering a student'sattention span or learning style. For example, a student may learn better when a direct instructionapproach is used, than he or she does in cooperative learning groups.
Transition Program—alternative programs should have a process in place to transition a student back tohis or her regular program. Each student should begin this process as soon as he or she enters thealternative program. Transition programs should address the skills that each student needs to besuccessful in his or her regular setting or in a job, when appropriate.
Comprehensive Systems—Alternative programs should work with community agencies that may alsoprovide services to students in a coordinated manner. Such agencies may include: social services, fostercare, juvenile justice, child protective services, and children's mental health. Working together to meeteach student's spectrum of needs may improve student outcomes both in and beyond school.
Availability of Resources for Students with Disabilities. Alternative programs should have small classsizes; an emphasis on intensive instruction; effective and frequent communication among students,families, teachers and other school staff; and sufficient social work, psychological, and counselingresources so that all students receive effective services.
A glossary appears as in Appendix B to offer definitions or descriptions of these components.
1. Mental Health Services
4. Health Services
Health education and prevention Early identification and intervention Screening and assessment Outpatient treatment Home-based services Day treatmentEmergency services 5. Vocational Services
Therapeutic foster care Career education Therapeutic group care Vocational assessment Therapeutic camp services Job survival skills training Residential treatment services Vocational skills training Crisis residential services Work experiences Job finding, placement, and retention services Supported employment 2. Social Services
Protective services 6. Recreational Services
Financial assistance Relationships with significant others Home aid services After-school programs Respite services Special recreation projects 7. Operational Services
3. Educational Services
Assessment and planning Self-help and support groups Self-contained special education Homebound instruction Volunteer programs Residential schools Alternative programs Source: From A System of Care for Severely Emotionally Disturbed Children and Youth by B. A. Stroul & R. M. Friedman, 1986, rev.
1994. Washington, DC: CASSP Technical Assistance Center, Georgetown University Child Development Center.
In the past, many alternative settings were Linkages also can be developed where thought of as custodial programs that served to previously none existed. Teachers in one keep students more than to educate them.
school were surprised to learn about the Effective alternative programs now are more behavior specialist's availability to work with them inside their classrooms. After a personnel offer coordinated services that planning day with the behavior specialist, support students' return to their original during which teachers learned about what settings. See Selected Components of Effective her services included, teachers scheduled her Alternative Programs for a detailed description to conduct social skills activities in their of services that alternative programs should classrooms. They also drew upon her provide for students.
expertise in including families in cooperativeplanning. In other situations, a school or community social worker, or the school psychologist may be able to provide similarservices.
professionals, and the community in Teachers and paraprofessionals often improvement efforts is the cornerstone of report satisfaction with collaborative models, long-term change. Learning from colleagues primarily citing the opportunity they provide and others is a tried and true way to discover to share knowledge, expand skills, and develop new ideas and approaches. Strategies for creative solutions to problems. At the same addressing the needs and strengths of time, teachers stress that time has to be made students with emotional disturbance and available on a regular basis for such behavioral problems can be identified collaborations to become effective. Districts, through school-based student assistance too, need to reduce barriers to collaboration teams; special and general education teacher and introduce opportunities for professionals partnerships; and school, family, and and families to meet or to integrate community teams that include other service community service providers into the school providers. With the new amendments to the setting to create a "system of care." (For IDEA, general and special education teachers information on specific resources, contact the are now partners in developing the IEP for Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice all students educated partly or wholly in a or the Center on Positive Behavioral regular education setting—This allows for Interventions and Support.) The following enhanced collaboration among all parties.
exhibit details the components of a system ofcare and the services each component can Because the needs of students with provide to meet such needs collaboratively.
emotional disturbance and behavioralproblems often transcend what schools are PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR
able to provide, community agencies are increasingly playing an important role instudents' lives, making linkages between Educators and related service providers schools and the community especially alike want to ensure that students with valuable to all involved.
emotional disturbance and behavioralproblems receive the best education possible. School districts are discovering that their behaviors is a vital part of ensuring that effective professional development for they will not miss out on learning that will educators can improve the education of improve the quality of their lives. As the these students. Teachers, paraprofessionals, examples in this booklet suggest: parents, community members, administra-tors, and support staff—including bus • comprehensive programs of school- drivers and cafeteria and playground wide discipline expectations, monitors—should work together. All canbenefit from improving their understanding • improved classroom management— of students with emotional disturbance and using rules and procedures, teaching behavioral problems. Research has shown replacement behaviors, strategies that professional development activities that enhance acceptable behavior must have certain characteristics to be and reduced unacceptable behav- maximally effective (see sidebar: Selected Characteristics of Effective ProfessionalDevelopment).
• collaborative teaming to address the needs of students with low-levelchallenging behaviors, SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS OF
• emergency planning, and q Supplies educators with research-based content knowledge about the subject.
• high quality alternative settings for q Gives educators not only ideas for what to do, students whose needs cannot be met but provides them with information about why in the regular classroom or neigh- interventions work.
borhood school can ensure that stu- q Is intensive (i.e., time and training) and inclusive (i.e., support and resources) enough continue to move forward.
to produce a measurable change in students.
q Engages educators and gives them skills to fine-tune what they have learned to fit theirparticular setting.
q Is sensitive to the unique needs of the school community and addresses the concerns ofeducators.
q Is conducted in a variety of formats to address learning styles.
Many students at some time or another present challenging behaviors. Classroomteachers paraprofessionals therefore, always on the front lines, as theywork to prevent inappropriate behaviorsfrom interfering with students' academicprogress. Clearly, helping students manage CHAPTER 6
There is now much that teachers and those interested in issues of implementing paraprofessionals can do to support the the IDEA; (2) offers Author Online educational development of students with discussions through its website; (3) emotional disturbance and behavioral maintains a database of relevant meetings problems, particularly since many of the and conferences on the website; and (4) techniques that work with these students can helps to link individuals to services providers work to improve results for all students.
through its network of Nursery andGreenhouse sites. The Center's website alsoprovides access to free publications This chapter suggests additional organizationsand resources that educators and school districts produced by the Center on many of the can use to assist them in improving the education topics addressed in this document.
of all students.
The Center for Effective Collaboration andPractice American Institutes for ResearchThomas Jefferson St. NW, Suite 400 THE CENTER FOR EFFECTIVE
Phone: 202-944-5400 or Toll-Free at: 1-888- The Center is working to improve results E-mail: [email protected] for children and youth with, or at risk of developing, emotional disturbance and behavioral problems and their families. Its HE CENTER FOR THE STUDY AND
main goals are to identify effective practices PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE (CSPV)
and to disseminate this information toteachers, mental health professionals, Head CSPV was established in 1992 to provide Start personnel, juvenile justice personnel, child welfare professionals, family members, preventing violence, particularly among and others. To do this, the Center has put adolescents. Since that time, CSPV has together a network of individuals and expanded its focus to violence prevention information sources that can help teachers throughout the course of life. CSPV's locate a variety of resources, and it research-to-practice efforts have resulted in constantly updates its own records to the following services: (1) a collection of include many of those on the list that research literature and resources relating to follows. In addition, the Center: (1) the study and prevention of violence; (2) technical assistance for the development and teachers, school psychologists, emotional evaluation of violence prevention and and behavioral disorder specialists, and intervention programs; and (3) research analyses that focus on the causes of violence CENTER ON POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL
and the search for best practices to prevent INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORT
against violence.
The Center on Positive Behavioral Center for the Study and Prevention of Interventions and Support was created through the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Behavioral Science Office on Special Education Programs to University of Colorado at Boulder give schools capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, Boulder, CO 80309-0442 adapting, and sustaining effective school- Phone: 303-492-8465 wide disciplinary practices. The Center aims Fax: 303-443-3297 to meet two goals: (1) to widely disseminate LUEPRINTS FOR VIOLENCE PREVENTION
communities; and (2) to demonstrate to Blueprints for Violence Prevention is a concerned parties at all levels (students, collection of ten violence prevention schools, districts, and states) that school- programs, which, the Center for the Study wide positive behavioral interventions and and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) supports are feasible and effective.
determined, have high scientific standards ofprogram effectiveness. "Blueprints" includes Center on Positive Behavioral a description of each of the selected violence Interventions and Support 5262 University of Oregon theoretical rationale for the program, the Eugene, OR 97403-5262 program's core components for implemen- Phone: 541-346-2505 tation, evaluation design and results, and Fax: 541-346-5689 practical experiences encountered during the Internet: Blueprints for Violence Prevention THE COUNCIL FOR EXCEPTIONAL
Center for the Study and Prevention of Institute of Behavioral ScienceUniversity of Colorado at Boulder CEC is the largest international organi- zation dedicated to improving educational Street, Suite 107 outcomes for students with disabilities. The CEC holds international, state, and local Boulder, CO 80309 conferences through its various chapters, Phone: 303-492-1032 and produces a catalog of publications, Fax: 303-443-3297 available by calling 1-800-232-7323. It also maintains several ERIC Clearinghouses of information and research on educationissues, accessible though the Internet. TheCouncil can be contacted at: The Council for Exceptional Children Phone: 703-684-7710 1920 Association Drive Fax: 703-836-1040 Reston, VA 20191-1589 Voice phone: 703-620-3660 Internet: TTY: 703-264-9446FAX: 703-264-9494 THE INSTITUTE ON VIOLENCE AND
E-mail: [email protected] The Institute on Violence and Destruc- THE COUNCIL FOR CHILDREN WITH
tive Behavior (IVDB) at the University of BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS (CCBD)
Oregon is an institute made up of Universityof Oregon faculty representing schools of The CCBD, a division of the Council for Education, Psychology, Sociology, Law, Exceptional Children, is committed to Architecture, and Public Policy and promoting and facilitating the education and Planning. IVDB was created to address social general welfare of children and youth with problems of public concern; to focus, make behavioral and emotional disorders. The accessible, and deliver expertise related to CCBD publishes the research journal violence and destructive behavior; and to Behavioral Disorders, a newsletter, and a integrate the Institute's research, training, practitioner-oriented and service activities in this context. Its Behavior, which are distributed to its activities focus on research, instruction, and members several times a year. The Council public service. One school-wide violence for Exceptional Children may be contacted prevention curriculum that IVDB has for information regarding the CCBD's other implemented is Effective Behavior Support publications, as well as membership (EBS), which is described in further detail opportunities and regional and national Institute on Violence and Destructive THE FEDERATION OF FAMILIES FOR
1265 University of OregonEugene, OR 97403-1265 The FFCMH is a national, parent-run Phone: 541-346-3592 organization focused on the needs of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders, and their families. The Federation has chapters inevery state, offers regional and national EFFECTIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORT (EBS)
meeting and events, provides technicalassistance and materials, and publishes a The Institute on Violence and Destruc- newsletter, Claiming Children. The national tive Behavior at the University of Oregon office can be contacted at: implemented Effective Behavior Support(EBS), a school-wide violence prevention The Federation of Families for Children's program. EBS provides behavioral support for students, including students who exhibit 1021 Prince Street chronic behavior problems. EBS schools Alexandria, VA 22314-2971 clarify expectations for student behavior and give students reminders when needed. These NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL
schools simplify rules students are expected to follow, teach children appropriate, pro-social behaviors, and reward students when NASP has more members than any they have been "caught doing something association of school psychologists in the good." Consequences for inappropriate world. Their goal is to promote effective behaviors are understood and are quickly research-validated programs that facilitate acted upon when warranted. In EBS schools, the creation of healthy school environments, classrooms and special settings within the support independence, and maximize school (e.g. the cafeteria or playground) learning. Professional, but caring service, have procedures that are consistent with the reliable research, advocacy, and constant school-wide expectations for students and program evaluation are emphasized. NASP staff. For students whose behavior needs are publishes a newspaper eight times a year, as beyond the reach of the EBS features, a well as a quarterly journal. In addition to behavior support team addresses their these, NASP publishes books, monographs, special needs by establishing individual pamphlets, videos, papers, and fact sheets.
action teams and plans for each student.
National Association of School Psychologists Jeff Sprague & Hill Walker 4340 East West Highway, Suite 401 Bethesda, MD 20814-9457 Institute on Violence and Destructive Phone: 301/657-0270 FAX: 301/657-0275 1265 University of Oregon TDD: 301/657-4155 Phone: 541-346-3591 NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)'s mission is to diminish the burden NICHCY is an information clearing- of mental illness through research. NIMH is house funded by the Department of a branch of the National Institutes of Health Education, and provides information on (NIH), the primary federal agency for disabilities and disability-related issues for biomedical and behavioral research. NIMH children and youth (birth to age 22). Many and NIH serve under the U.S. Department of its documents are provided free of charge.
of Health and Human Services.
NICHCY can be contacted at: NIMH Headquarters National Information Center for Children Neuroscience Center Building and Youth with Disabilities 6001 Executive Blvd.
Bethesda, MD 20892 Washington, DC 20013-1492 E-mail: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-695-0285 Fax: 202-884-8441 E-mail: [email protected]: OFFICE OF JUVENILE JUSTICE AND
adulthood, and for students and schools.
PACER also offers technical assistance toparent centers locally and nationwide.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and PACER's goal is to make parents informed Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is one of consumers for the welfare of their children several bureaus that serve under the U.S.
by providing them with knowledge of their Department of Justice's Office of Justice rights and responsibilities as parents, and Programs (OJP). OJP was established in about laws and other resources pertaining to 1984 to develop the nation's capacity to their special needs children and their roles as prevent and control crime, improve the criminal and juvenile justice systems,increase knowledge about crime and related issues, and assist crime victims. OJJDP 4826 Chicago Avenue South creates and funds programs that target such Minneapolis, MN 55417-1098 issues as gang violence and juvenile crime.
Phone: 612-827-2966 With OJP, OJJDP forms partnerships among TDD: 612-827-7770 federal, state, and local governments to Toll-Free (in MN): 800-53-PACER address these and other problems relating to youth violence in the U.S.
Fax: 202-307-2093E-mail: [email protected] ADMINISTRATORS (ILIAD) PARTNERSHIP
The Associations of Service Providers Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse Implementing IDEA Reforms in Education (ASPIIRE) Partnership and The IDEA Local Rockville, MD 20849-6000 Implementation by Local Administrators Toll-Free: 800-638-8736 (ILIAD) Partnership are made up of over 15 Fax: 301-519-5212 educational organizations and related services associations. As a group, themembers of ASPIIRE and ILIAD pull PARENT ADVOCACY COALITION FOR
together the strength of their individual EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS (PACER)
organizations to provide ideas, technical assistance, and other information to implement IDEA ‘97.
PACER is a non-profit statewide organi- ASPIIRE and ILIAD Projects zation created to improve and expand Council for Exceptional Children opportunities that enhance the quality of life 1920 Association Drive for children and young adults with Reston, VA 20191-1589 disabilities and their families. PACER offers Phone (Toll-Free): 1-877-CEC-IDEA a variety of programs that provide assistance TDD: 703-264-9480 for children with disabilities from birth to Fax: 703-264-1637 Most state education departments have consultants for emotional and behavioral 617-388-3300 Ext. 439 disorders who may be contacted for furtherinformation. In addition, most state Departments of Mental Health have officerswho are responsible for children's mental health. Both professionals can provide you with information about resources in yourstate. Their names and telephone numbers District of Columbia: 503-378-3598 Ext. 649 617-727-5600, Ext. 543 STATE CHILDREN'S MENTAL
Ext. 49 or684-633-1130 801-538-4270 or 4275 809 773-1311Ext. 3013 MATERIALS FOR FURTHER STUDY
A number of publications specifically address practitioners' questions about educating students with emotional disturbance and behavioral problems. A few are listed below: The Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems: Reclaiming Children and Youth and The Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders are both published quarterly by: ProEd8700 Shoal Creek Blvd.
Austin, TX 78757Phone: (512)451-3246; or Toll-Free at: (800) 897-3202 Preventing School Failure is published quarterly by: Heldref Publications1319 Eighteenth Street, NW,Washington, DC 20036-1802Phone: (202) 296-6267, or Toll-Free at: (800) 365-9753Fax: (202) 269-5149 Reaching Today's Youth: The Community Circle of Caring Journal, published quarterly by: National Educational Service1252 Loesch RoadP.O. Box 8 Station Z1Bloomington, IN 47402-0008Phone: (812) 336-7700, or Toll-Free at: (800) 733-6786Fax: (812) 336-7790 Local colleges and universities are another resource. Many college and university libraries subscribe to research and practitioner journals that publish updated information on strategies forworking with students with emotional disturbance and behavioral problems and their families.
Also, education or school psychology departments often are aware of upcoming conferences andworkshops.
Finally, the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice has produced a variety of prod- ucts that may be of interest to teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and others oneducational strategies for children and youth with emotional and behavioral problems. These arelisted and described below, and most can be acquired free of charge. To obtain any of these materials (and unless otherwise indicated), please contact the Center for Effective Collaborationand Practice using the information provided at the beginning of this chapter.
Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools. This document was produced in collaboration with the National Association of School Psychologists in response to thePresident's call for the development of an early warning guide to help "adults reach out totroubled children quickly and effectively." This guide has been distributed to every district in thenation to help them identify children in need of intervention into potentially violent emotionsand behaviors. It can be acquired through the U.S. Department of Education by calling Toll-Free1-877-4ED-PUBS or via the Center's website.
Safe, Drug-Free, and Effective Schools for ALL Students: What Works! This report came out of a collaborative effort between the Office of Special Education Programs and the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, both of the U.S. Department of Education. It profiles six differentapproaches in three different communities or districts to addressing schoolwide prevention andreduction of violent and aggressive behavior by all students. The report is the result of a literaturereview and focus groups with students, families, administrators, teachers, and community changeagents from local agencies.
The Role of Education in a System of Care: Effectively Serving Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. This is one of seven monographs prepared for the Center for Mental HealthServices (CMHS) of the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services. It profiles effectiveschool-based mental health systems of care in three of CMHS's Comprehensive CommunityMental Health Services for Children and Families program urban grantees. The information inthis report was gathered through a series of site visits and focus groups, interviews, and a reviewof the literature. Seven additional monographs in this series on Promising Practices in a System ofCare are also available by contacting the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice.
Addressing Student Problem Behavior: An IEP Team's Introduction to Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans. Written with some of the country's leading experts,this document serves as a useful tool for educators to understand the requirements of IDEA ‘97with regard to addressing behavior problems and implementing the fundamental principals andtechniques of functional behavioral assessment and positive behavioral supports for studentswith behavior problems.
Addressing Student Problem Behavior— Part II: Conducting A Functional Assessment. The second document in the Addressing Student Problem Behavior series, this monograph provides anin-depth discussion of the rationale for functional behavioral assessment and instructions forhow to conduct the process. Sample forms are provided.
The third document in this series on creating and implementing positive behavioral interven- tions and supports is forthcoming by the end of 1999. The fourth document will be a trainers'manual on the techniques outlined in the series.
Functional Assessment and Behavioral Intervention Plans: Part 1 is a two-hour video workshop on functional behavioral assessment. Produced as a cooperative effort between the Center forEffective Collaboration and Practice and Old Dominion University (as part of the University's state-funded technical assistance project), it covers (1) the definitions and origins of functionalbehavioral assessment, (2) what is involved in conducting a functional behavioral assessment andthe criteria for determining when one is needed, and (3) other relevant issues surrounding thistechnique. It is available from the Training and Technical Assistance Center, Old DominionUniversity, 1401 West 49th Street, Norfolk, VA 23529-0146.
Functional Assessment and Behavioral Intervention Plans: Part II is a two-hour video work- shop that builds on Part I to provide in-depth discussion of and instruction on how to conduct afunctional behavioral assessment. It will be available in the coming months and can be obtainedby contacting Old Dominion University at the address above.
ACT (P.L. 105-17):
Sections of the Law that Pertain Specifically to Students with Emotional and Behavioral Readers may find the complete text of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act statute and regulations in a variety of places, including on the websites of the U.S. Department ofEducation ( and the Center for Effective Collaborationand Practice (
Sec. 612(a)(22) SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION RATES- (A) IN GENERAL- The State educational agency examines data to determine if significant discrepancies are occurring in the rate of long-term suspensions and expulsions of children withdisabilities— (i) among local educational agencies in the State; or (ii) compared to such rates for nondisabled children within such agencies.
(B) REVIEW AND REVISION OF POLICIES- If such discrepancies are occurring, the State educational agency reviews and, if appropriate, revises (or requires the affected State or localeducational agency to revise) its policies, procedures, and practices relating to the developmentand implementation of IEPs, the use of behavioral interventions, and procedural safeguards, toensure that such policies, procedures, and practices comply with this Act.
Sec.613(j) DISCIPLINARY INFORMATION- The State may require that a local educational agency include in the records of a child with a disability a statement of any current or previousdisciplinary action that has been taken against the child and transmit such statement to the sameextent that such disciplinary information is included in, and transmitted with, the student recordsof nondisabled children. The statement may include a description of any behavior engaged in bythe child that required disciplinary action, a description of the disciplinary action taken, and anyother information that is relevant to the safety of the child and other individuals involved withthe child. If the State adopts such a policy, and the child transfers from one school to another,the transmission of any of the child's records must include both the child's current individualizededucation program and any such statement of current or previous disciplinary action that hasbeen taken against the child.
Sec. 614(d)(3) DEVELOPMENT OF IEP (B) CONSIDERATION OF SPECIAL FACTORS- The IEP Team shall— (i) in the case of a child whose behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others, consider, when appropriate, strategies, including positive behavioral interventions, strategies, andsupports to address that behavior;… (C) REQUIREMENT WITH RESPECT TO REGULAR EDUCATION TEACHER- The regular education teacher of the child, as a member of the IEP Team, shall, to the extentappropriate, participate in the development of the IEP of the child, including the determinationof appropriate positive behavioral interventions and strategies and the determination ofsupplementary aids and services, program modifications, and support for school personnelconsistent with paragraph (1)(A)(iii).
Sec. 615(j) MAINTENANCE OF CURRENT EDUCATIONAL PLACEMENT- Except as provided in subsection (k)(7), during the pendency of any proceedings conducted pursuant tothis section, unless the State or local educational agency and the parents otherwise agree, thechild shall remain in the then-current educational placement of such child, or, if applying forinitial admission to a public school, shall, with the consent of the parents, be placed in the publicschool program until all such proceedings have been completed.
Sec. 615(k) PLACEMENT IN ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL SETTING- (1) AUTHORITY OF SCHOOL PERSONNEL- (A) School personnel under this section may order a change in the placement of a child with (i) to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension, for not more than 10 school days (to the extent such alternatives would be applied to childrenwithout disabilities); and (ii) to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for the same amount of time that a child without a disability would be subject to discipline, but for not more than 45 days if— (I) the child carries a weapon to school or to a school function under the jurisdiction of a State or a local educational agency; or (II) the child knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a con- trolled substance while at school or a school function under the jurisdiction of a State or localeducational agency.
(B) Either before or not later than 10 days after taking a disciplinary action described in subparagraph (A)— (i) if the local educational agency did not conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement a behavioral intervention plan for such child before the behavior that resulted in thesuspension described in subparagraph (A), the agency shall convene an IEP meeting to developan assessment plan to address that behavior; or (ii) if the child already has a behavioral intervention plan, the IEP Team shall review the plan and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior.
(2) AUTHORITY OF HEARING OFFICER- A hearing officer under this section may order a change in the placement of a child with a disability to an appropriate interim alternativeeducational setting for not more than 45 days if the hearing officer— (A) determines that the public agency has demonstrated by substantial evidence that main- taining the current placement of such child is substantially likely to result in injury to the child orto others; (B) considers the appropriateness of the child's current placement; (C) considers whether the public agency has made reasonable efforts to minimize the risk of harm in the child's current placement, including the use of supplementary aids and services; and (D) determines that the interim alternative educational setting meets the requirements of paragraph (3)(B).
(3) DETERMINATION OF SETTING- (A) IN GENERAL- The alternative educational setting described in paragraph (1)(A)(ii) shall be determined by the IEP Team.
(B) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS- Any interim alternative educational setting in which a child is placed under paragraph (1) or (2) shall— (i) be selected so as to enable the child to continue to participate in the general curriculum, although in another setting, and to continue to receive those services and modifications,including those described in the child's current IEP, that will enable the child to meet the goalsset out in that IEP; and (ii) include services and modifications designed to address the behavior described in para- graph (1) or paragraph (2) so that it does not recur.
(4) MANIFESTATION DETERMINATION REVIEW- (A) IN GENERAL- If a disciplinary action is contemplated as described in paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) for a behavior of a child with a disability described in either of those paragraphs,or if a disciplinary action involving a change of placement for more than 10 days is contemplatedfor a child with a disability who has engaged in other behavior that violated any rule or code ofconduct of the local educational agency that applies to all children— (i) not later than the date on which the decision to take that action is made, the parents shall be notified of that decision and of all procedural safeguards accorded under this section; and (ii) immediately, if possible, but in no case later than 10 school days after the date on which the decision to take that action is made, a review shall be conducted of the relationship betweenthe child's disability and the behavior subject to the disciplinary action.
(B) INDIVIDUALS TO CARRY OUT REVIEW- A review described in subparagraph (A) shall be conducted by the IEP Team and other qualified personnel.
(C) CONDUCT OF REVIEW- In carrying out a review described in subparagraph (A), the IEP Team may determine that the behavior of the child was not a manifestation of such child'sdisability only if the IEP Team— (i) first considers, in terms of the behavior subject to disciplinary action, all relevant infor- mation, including— (I) evaluation and diagnostic results, including such results or other relevant information supplied by the parents of the child; (II) observations of the child; and (III) the child's IEP and placement; and (ii) then determines that— (I) in relationship to the behavior subject to disciplinary action, the child's IEP and place- ment were appropriate and the special education services, supplementary aids and services, andbehavior intervention strategies were provided consistent with the child's IEP and placement; (II) the child's disability did not impair the ability of the child to understand the impact and consequences of the behavior subject to disciplinary action; and (III) the child's disability did not impair the ability of the child to control the behavior subject to disciplinary action.
(5) DETERMINATION THAT BEHAVIOR WAS NOT MANIFESTATION OF (A) IN GENERAL- If the result of the review described in paragraph (4) is a determination, consistent with paragraph (4)(C), that the behavior of the child with a disability was not amanifestation of the child's disability, the relevant disciplinary procedures applicable to childrenwithout disabilities may be applied to the child in the same manner in which they would beapplied to children without disabilities, except as provided in section 612(a)(1).
(B) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT- If the public agency initiates disciplinary procedures applicable to all children, the agency shall ensure that the special education and disciplinaryrecords of the child with a disability are transmitted for consideration by the person or personsmaking the final determination regarding the disciplinary action.
(6) PARENT APPEAL- (i) If the child's parent disagrees with a determination that the child's behavior was not a manifestation of the child's disability or with any decision regarding placement, the parent mayrequest a hearing.
(ii) The State or local educational agency shall arrange for an expedited hearing in any case described in this subsection when requested by a parent.
(B) REVIEW OF DECISION- (i) In reviewing a decision with respect to the manifestation determination, the hearing officer shall determine whether the public agency has demonstrated that the child's behavior wasnot a manifestation of such child's disability consistent with the requirements of paragraph(4)(C).
(ii) In reviewing a decision under paragraph (1)(A)(ii) to place the child in an interim alternative educational setting, the hearing officer shall apply the standards set out in paragraph(2).
(7) PLACEMENT DURING APPEALS- (A) IN GENERAL- When a parent requests a hearing regarding a disciplinary action de- scribed in paragraph (1)(A)(ii) or paragraph (2) to challenge the interim alternative educationalsetting or the manifestation determination, the child shall remain in the interim alternativeeducational setting pending the decision of the hearing officer or until the expiration of the timeperiod provided for in paragraph (1)(A)(ii) or paragraph (2), whichever occurs first, unless theparent and the State or local educational agency agree otherwise.
(B) CURRENT PLACEMENT- If a child is placed in an interim alternative educational setting pursuant to paragraph (1)(A)(ii) or paragraph (2) and school personnel propose tochange the child's placement after expiration of the interim alternative placement, during thependency of any proceeding to challenge the proposed change in placement, the child shallremain in the current placement (the child's placement prior to the interim alternativeeducational setting), except as provided in subparagraph (C).
(C) EXPEDITED HEARING- (i) If school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the child to be in the current place- ment (placement prior to removal to the interim alternative education setting) during thependency of the due process proceedings, the local educational agency may request an expeditedhearing.
(ii) In determining whether the child may be placed in the alternative educational setting or in another appropriate placement ordered by the hearing officer, the hearing officer shall applythe standards set out in paragraph (2).
(8) PROTECTIONS FOR CHILDREN NOT YET ELIGIBLE FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION AND RELATED SERVICES- (A) IN GENERAL- A child who has not been determined to be eligible for special education and related services under this part and who has engaged in behavior that violated any rule orcode of conduct of the local educational agency, including any behavior described in paragraph(1), may assert any of the protections provided for in this part if the local educational agency hadknowledge (as determined in accordance with this paragraph) that the child was a child with adisability before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred.
(B) BASIS OF KNOWLEDGE- A local educational agency shall be deemed to have knowl- edge that a child is a child with a disability if— (i) the parent of the child has expressed concern in writing (unless the parent is illiterate or has a disability that prevents compliance with the requirements contained in this clause) topersonnel of the appropriate educational agency that the child is in need of special education andrelated services; (ii) the behavior or performance of the child demonstrates the need for such services; (iii) the parent of the child has requested an evaluation of the child pursuant to section 614; or (iv) the teacher of the child, or other personnel of the local educational agency, has expressedconcern about the behavior or performance of the child to the director of special education ofsuch agency or to other personnel of the agency.
(C) CONDITIONS THAT APPLY IF NO BASIS OF KNOWLEDGE- (i) IN GENERAL- If a local educational agency does not have knowledge that a child is a child with a disability (in accordance with subparagraph (B)) prior to taking disciplinarymeasures against the child, the child may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures asmeasures applied to children without disabilities who engaged in comparable behaviorsconsistent with clause (ii).
(ii) LIMITATIONS- If a request is made for an evaluation of a child during the time period in which the child is subjected to disciplinary measures under paragraph (1) or (2), theevaluation shall be conducted in an expedited manner. If the child is determined to be a childwith a disability, taking into consideration information from the evaluation conducted by theagency and information provided by the parents, the agency shall provide special education andrelated services in accordance with the provisions of this part, except that, pending the results ofthe evaluation, the child shall remain in the educational placement determined by schoolauthorities.
(9) REFERRAL TO AND ACTION BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AND JUDICIAL (A) Nothing in this part shall be construed to prohibit an agency from reporting a crime committed by a child with a disability to appropriate authorities or to prevent State law enforcement and judicial authorities from exercising their responsibilities with regard to theapplication of Federal and State law to crimes committed by a child with a disability.
(B) An agency reporting a crime committed by a child with a disability shall ensure that copies of the special education and disciplinary records of the child are transmitted forconsideration by the appropriate authorities to whom it reports the crime.
(10) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this subsection, the following definitions apply: (A) CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE- The term ‘controlled substance' means a drug or other substance identified under schedules I, II, III, IV, or V in section 202(c) of the ControlledSubstances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)).
(B) ILLEGAL DRUG- The term ‘illegal drug'— (i) means a controlled substance; but (ii) does not include such a substance that is legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any otherauthority under that Act or under any other provision of Federal law.
(C) SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE- The term ‘substantial evidence' means beyond a prepon- derance of the evidence.
(D) WEAPON- The term ‘weapon' has the meaning given the term ‘dangerous weapon' under paragraph (2) of the first subsection (g) of section 930 of title 18, United States Code.
The following definitions were gathered from six sources: Bruns, B.J., & Goldman, S. K. (Eds.). (1999). Promising practices in wraparound for children with serious emotional disturbance and their families. Systems of Care: Promising Practices inChildren's Mental Health, 1998 Series, Volume IV. Washington, DC: Center for EffectiveCollaboration and Practice, American Institutes for Research.
Butts, J.A., Snyder, H.N., Finnegan, T.A., Aughenbaugh, A.L., and Poole, R.S. (1996). Juvenile Court Statistics, 1993. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Preven-tion. (Available online at Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (1994). Juvenile Justice Treatment Planning Chart.
Rockville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services.
Education Week on the Web. Glossary. (Available online at Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children's Mental Health. (1994). Glossary of Children's Mental Health Terms. Portland, OR: Author, Portland State University. (Avail-able online at Stroul, B.A., & Friedman, R.M. (1986, rev. 1994). A system of care for severely emotionally disturbed children and youth. Washington, DC: CASSP Technical Assistance Center, George-town University Child Development Center.
Prevention. The goal of prevention is to reduce the occurrence of emotional problems in children and youth and their families who have not yet been identified as having emotionalproblems, particularly those who may be at risk.
Early identification and intervention. Treatment for emotional and behavioral problems that begins early in the course of the problem with the goal of lessening the duration and severity ofthe problem.
Assessment. A process that results in an opinion about a child's mental or emotional capac- ity, and may include recommendations about treatment or placement.
Outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment includes mental health services available in non- residential settings, such as mental health clinics, hospital outpatient departments, or communityhealth centers.
Home-based services. Home-based services are delivered to children and youth and their families in a family's home. One goal is to emphasize the needs of the whole family, not just anindividual within the family.
Day treatment. Day treatment programs provide education, counseling, and family interven- tions during the entire day to a child or youth who then returns to his or her caregiver in theevening.
Emergency services. Emergency services range from prevention efforts through crisis stabili- zation provided by a variety of agencies. Examples include hotlines and shelters for those in needof crisis intervention or emergency care.
Therapeutic foster care. Treatment and care for children and youth by trained families in their private homes.
Therapeutic group care. Treatment for children and youth provided in homes with other children or youth, and which provides an variety of interventions.
Therapeutic camp services. Children and youth and staff in therapeutic camp programs live together in a rustic situation, which places more expectations for responsible and independentbehavior on the campers than might more traditional residential settings.
Residential treatment services. Residential treatment service are delivered in a facility that offers 24-hour residential care, as well as treatment and rehabilitation, or short-term crisisintervention.
Crisis residential services. Residential treatment services that aim to intervene in the crisis at hand and transition the child or youth back into his or her home and community.
Inpatient hospitalization. Inpatient services that provide medical intervention for a child or youth's emotional or behavioral problem.
Protective services. Protective services are intended to prevent and protect children and youth from neglect, abuse, and exploitation by offering social services to identified or at-riskchildren and youth and their families.
Financial assistance. Financial assistance from sources including local and federal govern- ment to help families pay for necessities, such as food, clothing, and shelter.
Home-aid services. Services provided in the home, usually by nonprofessionals.
Respite services. Temporary care given to an individual for the purpose of providing a period of relief to the primary caregivers. Respite is used to decrease stress in the homes of persons withdisabilities or handicaps, thereby increasing caregivers' overall effectiveness.
Foster care. Foster care includes the placement of children in foster family homes, group homes, group child care facilities, and residential treatment centers because of abuse, neglect, orabandonment.
Adoption. In contrast to temporary care, adoption is intended to be a permanent placement.
It is designed for those situations in which return to the biological parents is unlikely for a childor youth.
Assessment and planning. Techniques used to identify and determine placement of children in special education programs. Assessment is done using a variety of methods and measures.
Planning for a student assessed and identified with a disability includes the development of anindividual educational program (IEP).
Resource rooms. A setting within the regular school where students with disabilities may receive educational services from a special education teacher (and teachers' aids, when available)for one or two instructional periods each day.
Self-contained special education. Full-time placement in a special education classroom, in which a special educator (and teachers' aids, when available) provides intensive, structuredacademic and behavioral support and supervision.
Special schools. Nonresidential programs that provide a full-day educational program for children within a setting that is separate from the regular school.
Homebound instruction. Using this option, the school district arranges for the child to receive instruction at home.
Residential schools. Often located outside a child's home community, residential schools stress educational achievement for students with emotional and behavioral problems.
Alternative programs. Alternative programs include a wide range of settings, and are thus difficult to define. Not all children served in these programs are formally identified as having adisability. The advantage offered by alternative education programs is flexibility for students whohave difficulty functioning in the regular classroom setting and/or are at risk for dropping out.
Health education and prevention. Educational programs aimed at promoting both physical and mental health, as well as educating students about public health issues, such as sex educationor substance abuse.
Screening and assessment. Evaluation to identify potential health problems early, and to determine an appropriate course of treatment of service delivery.
Primary care. Complete health examinations and follow-up care by physicians during a child's growth and development.
Acute care. Care for children who are injured or become ill. Services are usually provided on an outpatient basis.
Long-term care. Services for children with chronic illnesses and their families. Children and youth receiving long-term care for their health problems also may require services from schools.
Career education. Designed to prepare students to enter the working world, career education programs teach students about types of careers, how to choose a career, skills and approches thatmay be useful, and what to expect in working with an employer and other employees.
Vocational assessment. An evaluation process for determining an youth's ability, career interests, and readiness for employment.
Job survival skills training. Programs that teach youth how to maintain and succeed at their job. The skills covered often include training in: social skills for appropriate interaction withothers, taking criticism from employers, managing frustration, and meeting deadlines and stayingon schedule.
Vocational skills training. Training in more technical vocational skills includes instruction in fields such as technology or industries such as auto maintenance, childcare, or hospitality.
Work experiences. Some programs organize vocational training and work experience opportunities for older youth to build their skill sets as well as their confidence.
Job finding, placement, and retention services. Provides services such as interviewing skills or services listed above to help youth find job opportunities, apply for jobs, and maintain theiremployment over time.
Supported employment. An alternative to traditional full or part-time employment, for youth who need assistance making the transition to these kinds of jobs. Through supportedemployment programs, a youth has a paying job and the support of an adult to help him or heracquire and use the skills he or she needs to maintain the position.
Relationships with significant others. Recreational programs, such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, that match a child or youth that could benefit from adult companionship and an adultvolunteer.
After-school programs. Programs that typically offer students a place to do their homework with the support of program staff, as well as opportunities to participate in extracurricularactivities such as art, music, or sports in a supervised setting between the close of the school dayand the evening.
Summer camps. Held during the summer for a limited number of days or weeks, summer camps provide children and youth with the opportunity to learn new skills, enjoy recreationalactivities, and interact with adults and peers outside the school setting. Summer camps mayoperate as a day camp program or as an overnight, residential program.
Special recreation projects. Projects designed to help children and youth with emotional and behavioral problems learn and enjoy a new activity.
Case management. A service that helps clients obtain and coordinate community resources such as income assistance, education, housing, medical care, treatment, vocational preparation,and recreation.
Self-help and support groups. Groups that provide emotional support and help for dealing with a problem that members or their family members share, such as alcoholism, substanceabuse, or extreme anxiety or anger.
Advocacy. The process of actively supporting the cause of an individual (case advocacy) or group (class advocacy), or speaking or writing in favor of—or on behalf of—an individual orgroup.
Transportation. Many children and their families have difficulty accessing programs and services because they lack transportation to and from the locations where they are offered.
Legal services. Legal assistance is given in situations that cannot be settled through alternative resolution methods. Legal services are commonly retained in such cases as when a child might beremoved from his or her home, or when a youth becomes involved in the juvenile justice system.
Volunteer programs. Volunteers organized to serve in a variety of roles, such as acting as a big brother/big sister or tutor, helping a youth find a job, or assisting in a classroom as a teacher'saide.


Victory over cancer – part one: making the unthinkable possible

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