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The Process of Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Step One: Building a Behavior Support Team

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The following are Principles of a Collaborative Relationship:

Building Rapport & Respect for the Person

Team members need to establish a relationship with the members on the child’s team. Establishing this relationship relies on building on and recognizing strengths of the entire team. Rapport and respect involves showing an awareness of the dynamics in the child’s various environments, using easy to understand language rather than jargon and appreciating differences of opinions and perspectives. Showing respect for diverse cultures and asking the other team members for input also contributes to building and establishing a good teaming relationship and good rapport.

Sensitivity to Context

The team should be aware of the broader ecology of the educational setting and home. Actions, along with classroom and home dynamics are influenced by the environment and each other. Team members should ask themselves: Are their limited resources at this center or program? Do families have intense needs? Is "time" an issue? Team members should acknowledge these challenges and keep them in mind in planning strategies with the team.

Commitment to Evolving Growth and Change

Team members need to be sensitive that change and growth is a process. Change and growth may involve a learning curve for all team members. Team members need to be given the time to process new information and build their fluency at using this approach. Some team members will feel comfortable with the change and growth. Other team members may need to be convinced the process will have a positive effect or may be cautious about the change and need to be given time to understand the new information they are learning. Also, team members may have had past experiences that will influence how they perceive the growth or change. Both negative and positive past experiences can impact how team members view a situation or suggestion.

Mutuality of Shared Goals

It is important that the entire team has a "shared vision". The "team leader" should lead the team in the sharing of goals throughout the process and explicitly state long-range goals for children, families, and the program. An emphasis should be placed on meaningful outcomes.

Open Communication

The team leader should promote honest expression, use active listening, and encourage dialogue about the process, family/staff concerns, and emotions. The team leader should ask the team members to identify the most effective way to communicate between meetings (i.e., phone, email, in person, fax, or mail) to ensure collaboration and shared information. Please see the Talking with Families About Problem Behavior Do’s and Don’ts sheet for more information.

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