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The Process of Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Step 6: Monitoring Outcomes

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Measuring the Behavior

Once the behavior has been identified and adequately defined, the team’s next step is to observe the child during predetermined activities and routines in order to note the occurrence of challenging behavior as well as the replacement skills that are taught. Behavioral data may be recorded in several ways. However, in each, the basic process requires that the observer make a written note or place a mark on a data collection sheet, then transfer the mark to a corresponding graph or chart.

Following this rationale, four general suggestions apply when selecting which form of measurement to use when collecting data:

  1. the particular type of measurement must be easy to use
  2. the measurement must provide meaningful information
  3. the process of measurement should not interrupt or detract from the instructional flow
  4. measurement should fit within the child’s natural environment—it should not create artificial conditions that are inconsistent with the child’s natural activities or routines

Following these guidelines, the team is able to use either direct measurement or indirect measurement procedures to measure a child’s behavior. Although both will be described individually, some teams may elect to use direct and indirect measurement procedures together in order to provide an even more comprehensive picture of the child’s performance and the support plan’s outcomes.

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