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The Process of Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Step 6: Monitoring Outcomes

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Reviewing Progress

Once data are collected, they should be periodically reviewed by the behavior support team for a number of reasons: 1) to ensure consistent communication about the child’s progress; 2) to make any adjustments as needed (in the event that challenging behavior returns); and 3) to review progress relative to the long-term vision of the child and family.

When reviewing progress, the team should review both the child’s behavior support plan as well as the data itself. Reviewing the behavior support plan will help reorient everyone to the team’s vision for the child, thus making communication and interpretation of results easier. Once that is done, the team should carefully review the data that has been collected, looking for any particular patterns or trends (e.g., whether the behavior is occurring more or less on particular days or at certain times of day).

In some instances, a child may begin to exhibit challenging behavior after an intervention plan has been implemented for some time. In the event that challenging behavior returns, it is important to determine whether or not the behavior pattern is due to an extinction burst (i.e., brief instances when a child’s behavior gets worse before it gets better), as well as to examine events to determine if there are any new triggers than may predict the child’s challenging behavior. Another issue to consider when evaluating outcomes of support plans is the degree to which the plan is implemented with accuracy or fidelity. This is most important when extinction bursts occur—the more consistently a support plan is implemented, the more likely the extinction burst will resolve. On most occasions, support plans are evaluated for accurate implementation by using checklists that team members can use to determine which components were implemented.

Sample Support Plan Fidelity Checklist

Even with the most consistent implementation, there are occasions when behavior support plans require revision. The team may realize that a new trigger may be influencing the child’s behavior, such as a new staff person at the child’s preschool or a change in the child’s daily schedule or routine. When such instances occur, the child’s support team may elect to either add components to address new triggers or to conduct a new functional assessment and develop a revised behavior support plan.

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