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Positive Behavior Support Plan

Positive Behavior Support Plan

Shannon LeRoy

Towson University

EDUC 798

February 5th, 2017

Positive Behavior Support Plan

Background Information:

Lily is a 3 year old girl in a pre-school classroom at Seven Oaks Elementary School

located in Baltimore County. She has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and

therefore has an Individualized Education Program (IEP). She is currently placed in a self-

contained pre-school classroom. The other 10 students in the classroom are considered non-

verbal and low-functioning. In the classroom there is a special education teacher (Mrs. Lanahan),

one instructor assistant (Kathy), two adult supports (Chris and Stephanie) and an intern (myself).

1.Definition of specific behavior:

Lily engages in aggressive behaviors such as biting herself, hitting, kicking, throwing

things and screaming. She engages in such behaviors when she does not want to comply with

the demands placed on her; for example it could be that she does not want to give back the toy

she took from another student or that she does not want to sit down in her chair. When she has a

temper tantrum it is very disruptive towards the other students in the class; it is also

interfering with her learning as well. The frequency of the behavior varies but usually she has

anywhere between 1 to 10 temper tantrums a day. The magnitude of her temper tantrums

are manageable inside the classroom. When she is expressing aggressive behaviors she is sat in

a chair far away from the rest of the students for time out until she is calm enough. The duration

of her temper tantrums also vary but are usually between 5 to 15 minutes long. Her

aggressive behaviors would be more dangerous/threatening to the rest of the class if she were

older but since she is small and only 3 years old her temper tantrums are easier to manage in the


2. Literature Review:
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1. Szymanski, C. A. (2012). Managing behavior by managing the classroom: making

learning accessible for deaf and hard of hearing students with autism spectrum disorders.

Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, 1326-31

This journal article focused on strategies and interventions that allow children with behavior

problems to be successful in the classroom. It went into explaining these strategies and how they

can reduce challenging behaviors. The first strategy explained was to minimize complex

language; it is important for teachers to use concrete and direct language along with being

consistent and using visual supports. This helps children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

because they most often express deficits in their receptive language skills. The second strategy

explained involved establishing routines; it is crucial to have a clear and structured classroom

environment to help reduce stress and frustration levels for these students. The third strategy

explained is using individualized schedules; teachers should outline the entire day for each

student with ASD in a way that makes most sense to him/her. The last strategy discussed was

individualized instruction; research has shown that students with ASD tend not to perform well

in a classroom that focuses heavily on group work and this could be one reason these students

are exhibiting challenging behaviors.

2. Maskey, M., Warnell, F., Parr, J., Couteur, A.,& McConachie, H. (2013). Emotional and

behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism &

Developmental Disorders, 43 (4), 851-859

This research-based article discussed the emotional and behavioral problems in children with

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The study consisted of 863 participants who were all children

with ASD from the ages of 2 to 18. The data showed that 51.6% expressed temper tantrums at
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least 3 times per week and 21.7% expressed anger towards others at least 3 times per week. The

data also showed that the highest percentage of children with ASD engaging in the most temper

tantrums and the most aggressive behaviors to others were in preschool. The study concluded

that co-existing conditions are very common in children with ASD and that treatment and

support for such students should happen as early as possible.

3. Konst, M., Matson, J.L., & Turgyin, N. (2013). Exploration of the correlation between

autism spectrum disorder symptomology and temper tantrums. Research in Autism

Spectrum Disorders. 1068-1074

This research-based article discussed the link between symptoms of ASD and temper

tantrums. The study consisted of 598 participants who were all children with ASD from the ages

of 2 to 16. Research has shown that children with ASD most often express difficulty

communicating their needs and engaging in a temper tantrum may be their way of responding.

The findings showed that regardless of the severity of the diagnosis of ASD, up to 20% of the

children with ASD engaged in temper tantrums that were disruptive and frequent. The findings

also showed that increases in the presence of ASD symptoms correlated with an increase in the

presence of temper tantrums. The study concluded that cognitive and behavioral treatments seem

to be highly effective for decreasing temper tantrums and challenging behaviors in children with

ASD and also typically developing children.

4. Wan Yunus, F., Lui, K., Bissett, M., & Penkala, S. (2015). Sensory-based interventions

for children with behavioral problems: a systematic review. Journal of Autism and

Developmental Disorders, 45 (11), 3565-3579

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This research-based article discussed the importance of sensory-based interventions for

children with behavioral issues. A total of 14 studies were examined; 7 studies examined tactile-

based interventions, 4 studies examined oceptive-based interventions and 3 studies examined

vestibular-based interventions. The findings concluded that among the 3 types of interventions,

tactile-based was the most commonly used to address behavioral problems. Massage therapy was

the most effective of the tactile-based interventions used. Findings showed that proprioceptive-

based interventions were not as effective in decreasing challenging behaviors. Results showed

that having children with ASD wear a weighted vest did not help their behavioral problems or

attentiveness. The findings on vestibular-based interventions were that it helped children with

ASD calm their anxiety, reduce their crying and improved their alertness.

5. Park, H.L., & Lynch, S. A. (2014). Evidence-based practices for addressing classroom

behavior problems. Young Exceptional Children, 17(3),33

This article discussed evidence-based practices that teachers could use in their classrooms to

help minimize behavioral problems. One way discussed to help minimize behavioral problems is

for teachers to acknowledge and respond positively to a childs appropriate behaviors. It is best

that the positive feedback is very specific and consistent so that the child knows exactly what

he/she was doing correctly. Another method discussed was for teachers to provide students with

more choice. When students are able to pick between choices they feel more of a sense of

independence, which most likely could result in less behavioral problems. Reinforces are another

effective way to minimize behavioral problems. Reinforcers work best when it is known what the

students favorite toys or items are. When students are taught appropriate responses they are then

able to avoid behavioral problems as they get older.

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3. Baseline Data Collection:

To conduct baseline data on Lilys aggressive behaviors, I created a data sheet that is very

similar to an A-B-C (antecedent-behavior-consequence) data sheet. The columns at the tops of

my data sheet include: the date, time (also frequency of behavior), activity during which

behavior happened, what happened right before the behavior, what was the behavior, what did

you do and lastly, what did she do in response to what you did? Each time she expressed any

kind of aggressive behaviors (kicking, hitting, throwing things, screaming or biting herself) my

mentor and/or I recorded it on my data sheet. On the bottom of my data sheet is a key to help

quicken the data taking process.

I observed Lily throughout her entire preschool day (2 hours) for 2 consecutive days.

Her day 1 schedule looked like this: table time, circle time, art, playground and snack. She did

really well completing her puzzle during table time; after she completes it she able to play with

toys on the rug or on the table. During play was the first aggressive behavior she expressed. A

friend had tried to play with her and she did not like that. She started to bit her fingers. My

mentor ignored her behavior and Lily then returned to playing. The second incident happened 3

minutes later; she did not want to play and share with another friend except this time she threw

the toy across the table. My mentor picked up the toy and gave it back to her and Lily then

resumed playing. Two minutes after this incident, a peer knocked over her line of toys. Lily

started screaming, my mentor lined up the toys for her and Lily growled but then returned to

playing. Six minutes later she took a peers toy and threw it across the table. She was told to pick

it up, she growled then pick up the toy after given several verbal prompts. Half an hour later

during circle time she did not like that it was not her turn to pick a song. She started hitting,

throwing and would not sit in her cube on the rug. She then calmed down after being handed one
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of her favorite fidgets. The last incidence on day 1 happened at the playground. She came over

and sat on my lap as I was sitting on the ground but as soon as I got up she started screaming,

hitting and kicking. I ignored her behavior and walked away but she followed me around and

continued to express aggressive behaviors and was pulling on my shirt.

Her day 2 schedule looked like this: table time, music, story, play and snack. I noticed

that Lily seemed mad arriving to school. She refused to get off of the bus; she was screaming and

not being compliant. She was told that she would not get her favorite fidget if she did not get off

the bus, she then listened and got off the bus. On this day Lily only exhibited 2 other instances of

aggressive behaviors. Half an hour later, during play time, she saw one of her friends being

tickled by an adult. She did not like this, she threw her toy on the ground, started pacing angrily

around the rug and started screaming. She was given her toy that she threw and was moved to a

table to play that was away from the peer being tickled. She then began to calm down. Two hours

later right before dismissal she had her last temper tantrum of the day. Music is usually turned on

right before dismissal; I turned the music off because it was really loud and we could not hear the

buses being called. As soon as I turned the music off, Lily started screaming, hitting, and she

threw herself on the floor. I then prompted her to ask for more music using the communication

board. She pointed to more and when I turned the music back on she calmed down.
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Summary of records review and other data submitted:

In reviewing Lilys records I did not find anything that I would consider to be unusual.

Lily has excellent attendance; her parents are very involved in her schooling and have open

communication with her teacher. She has an older brother who is 6 years old who also attends
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Seven Oaks Elementary. He is also diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder but is higher

functioning than Lily; he is fully included in the classroom. Her brother also expresses very

similar aggressive behaviors like Lily does. Lily does not currently have a BIP but once she gets

a little older I am sure she will have one. Lily currently has IEP goals related to her aggressive

behaviors such as throwing objects, hitting, kicking and self-harm (biting herself).

Analysis of data collected:

Data collected from day 1 and 2 show that Lily tends to express aggressive behaviors

during unstructured play time (inside and outside) but she has also expressed aggressive

behaviors during structured activities like circle time. During day 1, Lily exhibited in a total of 6

aggressive behaviors. It is important to note that on this day all other 10 students were present.

There is 1 student named Roland who continuously cries for the entire 2 hours and Lily does

not like the crying. (She is offered headphones; sometimes they help other times she does not

want to wear them). I have realized that this constant crying makes it very difficult for Lily to

focus and it could very likely be one of the contributing factors of her aggressive behaviors.

Also, once Roland starts crying it is a domino effect because it leads to Rylan crying (which

makes Lily upset). During day 2, Lily exhibited in a total of 3 aggressive behaviors. The reason

she may have exhibited in less this day than yesterday might be because on this day 5 students

were absent, including Roland and Rylan. The classroom was a lot quieter than it usually is and

there were also 5 adults in the room, making it almost one adult per student. I strongly think that

this could be why Lily expressed less aggressive behaviors on day 2 compared to yesterday. The

first bar graph shows the difference in the number of times (frequency) she expressed aggressive

behaviors on day 1 compared to day 2.

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Frequency of aggressive behaviors

5 Frequency of
4 aggressive behaviors
Day 1 Day 2

The second bar graph compares day 1 and day 2s data of the number of times

(frequency) she expressed aggressive behaviors including: throwing objects, hitting, kicking and

screaming and biting herself.

Throwing objects
3 Hitting, kicking,
Biting herself

Day 1 Day 2

4. Hypothesis of Functional Intention:

Lilys functional intention behind her behaviors are avoidance/escape of

participation in an activity and/or requests made by adults. My observations have proved

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that her behavior is avoidance because when she is redirected by me or another adult in the

classroom she gets upset. Through observing Lily I have noticed that she expresses in aggressive

behaviors when she is asked (or given a request) to do anything she does not want to do (share,

give back a peers toy she took, participate in circle time or story time, or if she does not want to

ask for more during snack time). Lily will start growling or angrily muttering words under her

breath and if she continues her aggressive behaviors will scream, kick and throw her arms. This

is problematic because it is not safe for her or for her classmates.

5. Replacement Behavior

1. What is it the student should be doing? One replacement behavior

Lily should be keeping her hands and feet to herself and have a quiet voice during

unstructured and structured class time. She should also be sharing with her peers and not

taking any toys away from a friend that are not hers. She should be transitioning well between

activities and engaging and participating in each activity (circle time, story time, art etc).

2. How will replacement behavior be taught?

I intend to teach the replacement behaviors by providing a structured environment for which Lily

can practice using safe behaviors. Lily will be given the option to have a sensory break at any

moment she seems to be getting upset. The sensory break will be at the cool down corner in

the classroom. The sensory break should last anywhere between 2-10 minutes; I do not want Lily

to be missing a large amount of instructional time. It should be just enough time for her to calm

down and then to return to the activity. Lily will also be receiving positive reinforcements for her

appropriate behavior. For example, when she is sharing and playing nicely with her peers she

will be told, Lily I love the way you are sharing! or Lily I love the way you are playing
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nicely! She will also be receiving positive reinforcement through her favorite fidget; she will

only be given it when she is behaving appropriately. This will hopefully encourage her to behave

appropriately more often than behaving inappropriately. She will also be given more choice in

the order of her daily schedule. Allowing her some autonomy and choice will hopefully help with

reducing her inappropriate behaviors.

3. When will the replacement behaviors be taught?

I will teach the replacement behaviors daily throughout her entire preschool day. I will also teach

the replacement behaviors during specials (gym and music) to provide her with consistent

expectations throughout the school building. She usually does not express aggressive behaviors

in gym or music but if she does, I will ask her if she wants to go back to the classroom to have a

sensory break or to take a walk to calm down.

6.Positive Behavior Supports

In order to promote appropriate classroom behaviors I will use the following Positive

Behavior Supports:

1. She will be given an option of a sensory break in the cool down area in the

classroom if she is starting to get upset. It is a quiet corner in the classroom that will be

away from the other students so that she will hopefully be able to calm down before

returning to the activity. In the cool down area there are many sensory toys for her to play

with and distract herself with like swishy balls, and sensory bottles. There is also a

bean bag or a soft mat she is able to sit on. I will also put a cd player and headphones

in the cool down area because she really likes music; this might help with calming her

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2. Lily will be given positive reinforcements verbally through praise and through the

use of her favorite fidget (blue stuffed fish). When she is behaving appropriately during

structured or unstructured class time she will be given verbal praise for sharing, for

asking for more during snack, for listening to the requests made by adults etc. She

will also be given her favorite fidget when she is behaving appropriately. I want to

make sure that she understands that getting her blue fish to play with is a reward. I will

only give it to her when she is behaving appropriately, if I see her behaving aggressively

towards herself or other students I will take it away.

3. I will give Lily more choice with her daily schedule. She still has to complete every

activity and center on her schedule I am merely giving her a little autonomy. I will ask if

she would like to go to circle time or art first and gross motor or play first. I have 2

rotations for these activities so she would be going to both anyway, I would just be giving

her a choice of which one she would like to go first. She will be able to pick her choices

for her schedule after she completes her morning work. Having her pick her schedule

and look at it at the beginning of the day might also help prepare her for transitions and

what activity comes next, hopefully reducing her aggressive behaviors.

7. Data Collection and Visual Representation

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Number of aggressive behaviors


Number of aggressive
3 behaviors

42794 42796 42800 42804 42811 42818
42793 42795 42797 42803 42810 42814

The graph above depicts the number of aggressive behaviors (screaming, self-harm,

hitting, kicking, and throwing items) throughout the implementation of the 13 day Positive

Behavior Support Plan. The data shows that her behavior, with the positive supports in place, has

not drastically changed. She is continuing to typically engage in at least 1-2 aggressive behaviors

a day. By looking at the data above, it appears that Lily has good and bad days; there is no

obvious decrease in the number of aggressive behaviors she is expressing.

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Locations (Centers) of aggressive behavior





The graph above shows the different locations and centers that Lily expresses her aggressive

behaviors. The data shows that Lily most often expresses her aggressive behaviors during play.

The reason for this could be because that it is free play. It is unstructured time; there are toys on

the rug and toys on the table. Her main issue in play seems to be sharing toys. The data also

shows that when she has to put her things in her locker in the morning, when she is at art,

dancing on the rug and/or putting on her jacket for dismissal are when she also expresses
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aggressive behaviors. It is important to know where she most likely exhibits these behaviors

because there may be external factors attributing to her behaviors that are happening in these

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8. Data Summary and Interpretation

Based on the data collected, one of my positive behavior supports were helpful in reducing

the amount of time Lily expressed her aggressive behaviors. The positive behavior support plan

that was found to be most effective was handing her a fidget (squishy ball with net) the moment

she started expressing any kind of sign of aggressive behavior. For the most part, when she was

handed a fidget, she calmed down after a few minutes because she was then distracted with the

fidget. I have learned that with Lily she is very easily aggravated and that she will express

frequent aggressive behaviors, but the important thing to do is to try and minimize the amount of

time she expresses them.

The second positive behavior support plan involved Lily going into the quiet corner which

has sensory toys and a soft mat. I have learned that going into the quiet corner does not benefit

her and does not help her calm down. She does not use the space as it is intended. She will

merely throw the toys and not stay within the space. Since I have learned that the quiet corner

was not the best fit for Lily, when she expresses aggressive behaviors I make sure that she will

not harm herself or other students. If she is around other students, I will pick her up and place her

in a chair on the opposite side of the classroom. I will block her in the chair so she cannot get up

until she is calm and ready to go back.

The last positive behavior support plan involved giving Lily a choice between what activity to

do first. This positive support plan was not successful because there were 3 new students added

to our classroom during this time period. It was too hectic for Lily to be able to pick her

schedule. We actually had to have 3 centers at the same time instead of 2 like we had before, so

this idea was not able to be completely implemented.

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I believe that there were several factors that could have had an effect on the outcome of my

positive behavior support plan. Firstly, Lilys dad was undergoing surgery during this time

period and he was unable to play with Lily and her brother the way he used to. She loves to

be picked up and swayed around. I had realized that Lily had been reaching out her arms to be

picked up a lot more in class during this time period, most likely because her dad was unable to

pick her up at home. I think this could have been one reason why Lily was a bit more upset and

angry than usual. Also, with children with autism they do not like when their routine is broken

and things at home were different for her than usual. Secondly, she was sick a few times during

this time period. She had a cold several times and was not feeling her best. I also think this

could be one of the reasons she could have expressed more aggressive behaviors. Thirdly,

during this time period, 3 new students joined our classroom and 1 new student cried

continuously. Lily does not like when others cry, it causes her to scream and engage in

aggressive behaviors. Fourthly, by looking at the data I saw that Lily expressed the most

aggressive behaviors during unstructured classroom time (play). She performs better in a

more structured environment; she also has a difficult time sharing toys and I believe this is the

main reason why she expressed so many aggressive behaviors in play. Lastly, I think Lily

would have benefited from having more choice with her schedule. It did not work out

because of the new students that were added to our classroom. There were 3 new students

added to our classroom during this time period and it was too hectic. Lily does not like being told

what to do so I believe she would have expressed less aggressive behaviors if she was able to

pick what activity she wanted to do first. I believe this would have been an effective positive

behavior support plan.

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Part 9: Reflection

I was able to grow in my knowledge and skills in classroom management as I learned that

providing Lily choices with her favorite fidgets helped in some cases to decrease behavior

problems. Sometimes it worked just giving one of her fidgets when I started to realize that she

was acting aggressively and other times offering her a fidget did not work at all. By learning

ways to calm Lily down and lessen the amount of time her temper tantrums last has helped me

manage the class more effectively. For example, I learned that Lily would sometimes calm down

with a fidget but that she would calm down quicker if she was able to choose the fidget.

I was able to grow in my dispositions in classroom management as I became

knowledgeable about the functions and actions of her behavior. I learned the reasons she acts

aggressively and when she most likely will engage in aggressive behaviors. I learned it is very

important to understand your students needs in order to help them thrive in the classroom. In

order for the positive behavior support plan to be successful, it is essential that the teacher forms

a bond with the student. The more the teacher knows about the student, the more likely the plan

will be successful.

To maintain this behavior plan I will continue to give Lily a choice in her fidgets when she

starts to express aggressive behaviors. I will continue to give Lily positive reinforcement in the

form of verbal praise when she is on task and expressing appropriate behaviors. To generalize

this intervention plan to help other students in the classroom, I would tell the other students that

they are allowed and have the opportunity to have a sensory break if they feel the need to calm

down. In the sensory area there are fidgets and other tools to calm down.
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There are several things I would have done differently based on my data. The first thing I

would have done differently is providing Lily the option of listening to calming music in the

calm down area. I found out during this experience that she loves music. She likes to sing

nursery rhymes and enjoys listening to music on the CD player. A second thing I would have

changed is to provide her with a visual positive reinforcement, like a sticker, for staying on

task and when she is not engaging in aggressive behaviors. I would have started with giving her

stickers for every time she was acting appropriately, then slowly making those gaps larger when

she earns stickers as she behaves more appropriately. I believe positive reinforcement in the form

of verbal praise is beneficial for her but I think she needed something more concrete and visual

to go along with it.