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The Process of Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Step Five: Behavior Support Plan Development

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Replacement Skills (continued)

Finally, attention should be paid to the specific instruction procedures followed for teaching replacement skills. When teaching replacement skills, the child’s support team should select a skill to teach, identify a method of instruction, and systematically follow the steps required to implement that procedure. The keys here are consistency and repetition—the child should be taught replacement skills throughout the day whenever he/she is not engaging in challenging behavior using the exact same instruction procedures each time. An activity skills matrix offers an easy way to identify and plan for the instruction of the replacement skill. The matrix is used to identify opportunities where the replacement skill can be taught within a child’s routine activities and play. For example, if a child is learning to request attention by raising his arms to the adult for a hug (to replace screaming and pulling the adult’s hair), this skill can be taught throughout the day at home and at preschool. The child could be prompted to ask for a hug when coming in the classroom, ask fro a hug after making a selection during center time, ask fro a hug after clean-up, etc. The matrix form can be used to identify routines in the classroom where a new skill may be taught (preferably at times where the child is not having problem behavior) or routines at home where the parent can prompt the use of the new skill. A matrix is used by listing the skills to be taught across the top of the chart and the routines or activities down the side. The support team then looks at those activities or routines and identifies ways that the new skill can be taught. When these conditions are met, the potential for successful skill acquisition becomes greatly increased.

Blank skills matrix

Example of a skills matrix

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