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The Process of Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Step Five: Behavior Support Plan Development

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Plan Development

The support plan is developed to provide caregivers and interventionists with a comprehensive set of strategies aimed at both decreasing occurrences of challenging behavior and promoting growth and skill development (e.g., communication, adaptive, social, or academic skills). Support plans are developed by analyzing the child’s challenging behavior in routines, activities, and/or interactions with others (i.e., functional assessment data).

It is important that the entire team is involved in the development of the behavior support plan. If team members assist in the development of the plan, they are far more likely to be invested in its implementation and success. One method that might be used by the team to develop a plan is to use a process of brainstorming. We use chart paper and the following format to guide the team in moving from the behavior hypothesis to ideas about prevention strategies, new skills to teach, and consequence strategies. In a brainstorming process, all team members are encouraged to share their ideas. All ideas are put on the chart paper. Once the ideas are listed, the team discusses the strategies that seem to have the most promise, will be easy to implement, and fit within the contexts for intervention. The final step needed to move from brainstorming to plan development is to review the ideas and select the set of strategies that will be used in the plan. Once those are determined, a written plan can be developed.

Blank support plan brainstorming chart

Examples of support plan brainstorming charts

The most effective behavior support plans are ones that are both based on the functional assessment information and "fit" with the lifestyles, values, and skills of caregivers who will be implementing the plan. Behavior support plans should be written in language that is easy to understand, and both easy to use and remember. More importantly, plans should incorporate both long- and short-term support strategies developed from knowledge of the child’s lifestyle and the vision created for the child in the person-centered planning meeting. What this means is that plans need to be designed for daily use—that is, components must fit into the child’s natural routines and structure of the classroom or family.

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