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Thinking Functionally About Problem Behavior: Prevention Strategies for Creating Positive Classroom Environments. Rob O’Neill, PhD, BCBA-D Leanne S. Hawken, PhD Dept. of Special Education, Univ. of Utah rob.oneill@utah.edu. Overview. Components of a successful classroom

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Rob o neill phd bcba d leanne s hawken phd dept of special education univ of utah

Thinking Functionally About Problem Behavior: Prevention Strategies for Creating Positive Classroom Environments

Rob O’Neill, PhD, BCBA-D

Leanne S. Hawken, PhD

Dept. of Special Education, Univ. of Utah

rob.oneill@utah.edu


Overview
Overview Strategies for Creating Positive Classroom Environments

  • Components of a successful classroom

  • How to think functionally about behavior

  • Antecedent, Behavior, & Consequences

  • Antecedent Interventions

  • Behavior management traps


Rob o neill phd bcba d leanne s hawken phd dept of special education univ of utah

Tertiary Prevention: Strategies for Creating Positive Classroom Environments

Specialized

Individualized

Systems for Students with High-Risk Behavior

CONTINUUM OF

SCHOOL-WIDE

INSTRUCTIONAL &

POSITIVE BEHAVIOR

SUPPORT

~5%

Secondary Prevention:

Specialized Group

Systems for Students with At-Risk Behavior

~15%

Primary Prevention:

School-/Classroom-

Wide Systems for

All Students,

Staff, & Settings

~80% of Students


Components of a successful classroom see handout
Components of a Successful Classroom Strategies for Creating Positive Classroom Environments(See Handout)

  • Are the classroom rules/expectations posted (3 – 5 rules, positively stated)?

  • Have the rules/expectations been systematically taught and reviewed?

  • Are positive consequences/rewards to acknowledge following classroom expectations posted and consistently implemented?

  • Are negative consequences/punishments to address students who are not following classroom expectations posted and consistently implemented?

  • Is a dailyclass schedule posted large enough for all students to see?


Components of a successful classroom see handout1
Components of a Successful Classroom Strategies for Creating Positive Classroom Environments(See Handout)

  • Do you implement at least a 4:1 ratio of positive to negative consequences for academic and behavioral responses?

  • Have classroom routines been established and systematically taught (e.g., procedures to go to the bathroom, get help from the teacher)?

  • Are transitions between activities structured

  • Is unstructured time kept to a minimum?

  • Is the academic material presented at the students’ instructional level? How do you know?

  • Are you monitoring the students’ academic and behavioral performance by circulating among students?


Common behavior management traps
Common Behavior Management Traps Strategies for Creating Positive Classroom Environments

  • “Passionate” Discipline Trap

  • Too General Trap

  • Cure-All Trap

  • Preaching/Moralizing Trap

  • Questioning Trap (vs. requests)

  • Negative Criticism Trap

  • “I Must Win Them Over” Trap


Explanations of human behavior
Explanations of Human Behavior Strategies for Creating Positive Classroom Environments

Biophysical Explanations

  • Genetic and hereditary effects

  • Biochemical explanations

  • Brain damage

    Developmental Explanations

  • Psychoanalytic Theory

  • Stage Theory of Cognitive Development

    Behavioral Explanations

  • Obtain pleasant/desirable consequences & avoid/escape unpleasant consequences


Focus on what we can change
Focus on what we can change Strategies for Creating Positive Classroom Environments

  • Wecannot prescribe medication

  • We cannot change the students previous experiences

  • We often cannot change the parenting practices in the home

  • Some venting is good, but too often it takes over leading to less productive meetings, instruction & supports for students

    There is a LOT we can do in the classroom to Change student problem behavior

    This starts with student learning……


How to use behavioral explanation to determine why students are acting out
How to Use Behavioral Explanation to Determine Why Students Are Acting Out

Functional Behavioral Assessment Defined

  • Examining the environment to determine the function problem behavior serves or-

  • What does the student get out of continuing to engage in the problem behavior?

  • Two main reasons students act out

    • Obtain something desirable

    • Avoid something unpleasant


The abc s of behavior
The ABC’s of Behavior: Are Acting Out

  • Understanding the function of behavior is the first step in changing the behavior.

  • Understanding comes from repeated observation of:

    A– Antecedent (stimulus before the behavior)

    B – Behavior (the observable and measurable act)

    C – Consequence (what occurred after the act to maintain or increase frequency)


Abc s of understanding behavior
ABC’s of Understanding Behavior Are Acting Out

  • Understanding the function of behavior is the first step in changing the behavior.

  • Understanding comes from repeated observation of:

    • What happens before (A or antecedent) the behavior occurs?

    • What is the behavior (B)?

    • What happens after (C or consequence) the behavior occurs?

      A  B  C


Rob o neill phd bcba d leanne s hawken phd dept of special education univ of utah

Behavioral Function Are Acting Out

Obtain Desirable Events

Obtain Internal/

Private Stimulation

Obtain External/

Socially Mediated

Stimuli

Objects/

Activities

Attention

*Daydreaming

*Visual stimulation

*Body movements

*Endorphins?

*Smiles/hugs

*Frowns/reprimands

*Talking/interaction

*Preferred activity

*Toys/food/games

*Money?


Rob o neill phd bcba d leanne s hawken phd dept of special education univ of utah

Behavioral Function Are Acting Out

Avoid/Escape Undesirable Events

Avoid/Escape Internal/

Private Events

Avoid/Escape External/

Socially Mediated

Things/Events

Attention

Tasks/Events

*Anxiety

*Depression

*Anger

*Hunger

*Fatigue

*Illness

*Medication

effects

*Smiles/hugs

*Frowns/reprimands

*Talking/interaction

*Task demands

*Difficult tasks

*Changes in routine

*Interruptions of

desired activities


Nonexamples of problem behavior functions
Nonexamples Are Acting Out of Problem Behavior Functions

  • Power

  • Repressed Anger

  • Paybacks

  • Because they have ADHD (or some other label)


Case study juan
Case Study: Juan Are Acting Out

  • Fourth-grade general education classroom plus reading tutor

  • Over 5 discipline referrals resulting in in-school suspension in recent months

  • In-school suspension is held in the principal’s office with principal. He will complete his work when sitting next to principal at her desk.

  • Referrals were usually the result of extremely disruptive behavior in the classroom (e.g., hiding under desks, crying loudly, throwing papers and school supplies).

  • Disruptive behaviors occur at times when student is expected to work on his own

  • Difficulty staying on task, unless he receives frequent redirection or praise from the teacher.

  • Recent assessments indicate work is not too difficult for him.

  • Consistently seeks and enjoys praise from any adult figure.


Case study juan1
Case Study: Juan Are Acting Out

AntecedentBehaviorConsequence

Individual work Tantrum Referral to office

Function

When Juan is expected to do individual seatwork, he attempts to gain attention by having a tantrum in class. This strategy works for him because he is sent to the principal’s office where he is required to have a one-to-one discussion with the principal.

Function = Adult attention


Setting events se
Setting Events (SE) Are Acting Out

  • Environmental events that have an indirect impact on problem behavior

  • MOMENTARILY changes the value of the reward or punishment

  • Either increase or decrease the likelihood that a behavior will occur

  • Can be removed in time or occur at the same time as the antecedent

    Setting Events Antecedents BehaviorConsequence


Examples of setting events
Examples of Setting Events Are Acting Out

  • Missing breakfast

  • Crowding in the cafeteria

  • Having a fight on the way to school

  • Bad grade on a test

  • Substitute teacher

  • Forgetting to take allergy medication


Nonexamples of setting events
Nonexamples of Are Acting OutSetting Events

  • Disability Labels

    • ADHD

    • ED

    • Autism

  • Events that do not alter value or rewards/punishers

    • Hair color


Rob o neill phd bcba d leanne s hawken phd dept of special education univ of utah

A B C Are Acting Out

Teacher Student Teacher

Request Throw pencil Repeats Request

Teacher Student Teacher

Repeats Tips Desk says “go

Request Over to timeout”

“Go to Student Flips Student

Time out” Teacher off sent to office


Rob o neill phd bcba d leanne s hawken phd dept of special education univ of utah

Angela, a 8 Are Acting Outth grade student, came to school very angry. Her parents had been having a heated argument, and they both turned their anger on Angela right before she left the house. Shortly after arriving in to school, Angela’s teacher told her that her shirt, which contained a sexually explicit slogan on the back, was in very poor taste and that she must go and change it immediately (this is a pattern - she has come to school on several occasions dressed inappropriately). Angela responded by yelling at the teacher and refusing to change the shirt. Her friends laughed and cheered Angela’s defiance. The teacher told Angela to go to the office.


What are the following
What are the following? Are Acting Out

  • Setting Events

  • Antecedent?

  • Behavior?

  • Consequence?

  • Function?


Case study angela
Case Study: Angela Are Acting Out

Setting Events

  • Arguing at home between parents and between Angela and her parents

    Setting Event Strategies?

  • How to make behavior less likely to occur


  • Case study angela1
    Case Study: Angela Are Acting Out

    Antecedent

    • Verbal reprimand by the teacher concerning the shirt

      Antecedent Strategies?


    Case study angela2
    Case Study: Angela Are Acting Out

    Teaching/promoting positive skills and/or behaviors

    • What replacement behaviors to teach?

      • Replacement Behs = Behaviors to be taught to the student that serve the same function as the inappropriate behavior(s). Replacement behaviors provide the student with a socially appropriate means to meet their needs without having to resort to problem behaviors


    Case study angela3
    Case Study: Angela Are Acting Out

    • Positive and reductive consequences

      • What positive consequence will she get if she engages in appropriate behavior?

      • What negative consequence will be applied if she engages in inappropriate behavior?


    Proactive antecedent strategies

    Proactive/ Are Acting OutAntecedent Strategies

    Things to Try to Prevent Problem Behavior


    Antecedent interventions to prevent problem behavior
    Antecedent Interventions to Prevent Problem Behavior Are Acting Out

    • Often helpful when you can’t give student what he or she is wants (i.e., attention, escape) and is using problem behavior to get (“You can’t always get what you want”, Rolling Stones, 19__?)

      • Student tantrums because he does not like transitions

        • Cannot allow him to not be involved in transitions

      • Student screasm to get teacher/adult attention

        • Cannot work one on one all the time with this student

      • A  B  C

    Focus Here


    Reduce eliminate antecedents predictors for behaviors
    Reduce/eliminate antecedents/ predictors for behaviors? Are Acting Out

    • Curricular Variables

      • What variables INCREASE likelihood of problem behavior?

      • 1.

      • 2.

      • 3.

      • 4.


    Reinforcement related strategies
    Reinforcement-related strategies Are Acting Out

    • Premack Principle/Grandma’s Rule

    • State the reward ahead of time

    • What does student do in free time?

      • Use it as a reinforcer/reward


    Instructional interactional strategies
    Instructional/interactional strategies Are Acting Out

    • Precorrection (reminder/ rehearsal)

    • “Remember before we…….

    • “What’s does “being respectful” look like in assemblies?

    • “Remember- what are you

      going to say if a student

      calls you a bad name”


    Offering choices
    Offering choices Are Acting Out

    • Lots of different opportunities

    1) Math

    2) Spelling

    3) Job

    4) ???


    Immediate antecedent assistance
    Immediate antecedent assistance Are Acting Out

    • “Jumping in” before the problem occurs...


    Behavioral momentum
    Behavioral momentum Are Acting Out

    • High probability request =

      • Sudent is likely to comply, it is easy for the student

      • “Put your name on your paper, get your books out, Open books to page 126”

    • Low probability request =

      • Student is NOT likely to comply, it is harder or student does not want to

      • “Devin, please read the first paragraph”

    • Behavioral Momentum = Several HIGH probability requests are followed by a LOW probability requests. Goal is to increase compliance

    Hi-p Hi-p Hi-p Low-p



    Collaborative activity
    Collaborative activity Are Acting Out


    Developing tolerance for delay of desired outcome reward
    Developing tolerance for delay of desired outcome/reward Are Acting Out

    Tolerance to Delay

    • “Almost done” cue (delay cue)

    • Release (safety) signal


    Tolerance to delay
    Tolerance to Delay Are Acting Out

    Release

    signal

    Almost done

    cue

    Begin task

    engagement

    Time


    Big ideas
    Big Ideas Are Acting Out

    • Always determine “why” a student is engaging in problem before intervening.

    • Intervene early - before the problem behavior occurs

      • Focus on antecedent interventions

    • Review “Behavior Management Traps” often

    • If what you are doing is not working, change it!


    Rob o neill phd bcba d leanne s hawken phd dept of special education univ of utah

    Thanks for your time and attention! Are Acting Out

    rob.oneill@utah.edu