The behavioral needs of each student at the Brookhaven Learning Center (BLC) are addressed using a proactive and least intrusive approach to behavior management. Staff work collaboratively to create a supportive learning environment with a focus on preventing challenging behavior and teaching students new skills that promote engagement, independence, social interaction, and communication. Using Positive Behavior Supports, student behaviors are examined in the context in which they occur to determine the underlying function and identify skill areas needing improvement in order to create student-centered modifications aimed at increasing replacement behaviors.
Each student is provided with differentiated instruction based on their developmental level and with consideration of their learning style. Clear expectations and parameters help students maintain a sense of consistency and predictability in their educational environment while learning skills that promote maximum participation in the instructional process. Differentiated Reinforcement of Alternative (DRA) behavior serves as the basis for primary intervention techniques employed at BLC. Students gain positive reinforcement for demonstrating appropriate behaviors and class participation while learning functional communication skills to prevent maladaptive behavior. Visual Supports such as; daily to-do schedules, emotional thermometers, and social stories provide additional support to students and help them to organize their daily routine, comprehend instructional directives, and cope with anxiety producing situations.
If a student is unable to respond to to above techniques and strategies used within the classroom, team members will consult with one another to develop environmental modifications, individualized behavior modification techniques, and/or a change in setting. Individualized contracts such as “First…Then” Contracts and Token Contracts help to further promote, reinforce, and maintain appropriate behavior. If a student’s interfering behaviors create an unsafe situation for him/her and/or others, a separate location designed to maintain health and safety is provided. The Behavior Intervention Room (BIR) can be used on a proactive basis, wherein a student requests its use or, in a crisis scenario. The BIR enables the student to safely deescalate, regain control, and prepare to meet the expectations needed to reengage in the instructional process as quickly as possible. Teachers maintain diligent contact with parents regarding displays of challenging behavior, particularly when concerns warrant BIR visitation.
In the event that a student is displaying high intensity challenging behaviors and/or is not responsive to the aforementioned techniques, multidisciplinary team members will discuss the need for formal behavior assessment. An analysis of various data will determine the need for an individualized Behavior Intervention Plan to best support the student’s needs.