Curbing Maladaptive Behavior in School

Behavior Intervention Plans

If your child exhibits behavioral issues, it’s likely they’ve gotten into a lot of trouble at school. You’ve gotten those dreaded calls from their teachers on a regular basis. All you hear is bad news. Isn’t it time your child’s teacher called with good news? Perhaps it’s time to look into a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP).

A BIP is developed when a child’s behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others. If your child is classified as needing special education and related services (likely under the Other Health Impaired classification if they have AD/HD) then a BIP is easy to incorporate into their IEP. Sure, BIPs requires more work of your child’s teachers, but so does making those phone calls at the end of the day. Understand that for that very reason, BIPs may not be implemented effectively the first few times around – but with your understanding, they’ll get it right and your child’s behavior will improve. It’s important not to blame anyone – including your child – for the fact that immediate improvement isn’t seen. Remember, it’s taken years for your child to acquire the behaviors; they’re not going to change overnight.

This BIP must include positive behavioral interventions and strategies – that means no punishment, no discrimination, no chastising to get the teachers’ points across.

Target Behaviors are those your teachers want to change. It’s important not just to use labels in describing behavior (“lazy,” “aggressive,” “sexist,” “harassing”) because it doesn’t tell us exactly what your child is doing that needs to be changed. Labels typically over-generalize and often inaccurately describe children in a negative fashion. “Target Behaviors” sections should identify behavior that is observable and measurable – and problematic only.

A sample statement would be:

1. “Teachers have distributed detention for 2 Saturdays because of X’s inappropriate behavior in class. The inappropriate behaviors have not decreased.

Once the targeted behaviors have been identified and placed into measurable terms, the Team will develop the plan by which your child will approach the goals incrementally. It also delineates the “5 W’s” to be involved in the BIP:

o Who will implement the BIP;

o What will be implemented;

o When will the BIP be implemented (under what conditions?);

o Where will the BIP be implemented (in the classroom, during Gym, etc.);

o How (o.k., not a “W”) will the BIP be meaningfully implemented.

The BIP is not subjective – it utilizes the data gathered from all of the assessments previously conducted, and it abides by research-based intervention data.

BIP’s are proven to reduce unwanted behaviors in the classroom. With a good plan in place, you’ll be getting that phone call PRAISING your child in no time!