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Problem Behaviors - Resources for Managing Challenging or Difficult Behavior

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Identifying Problem Behavior:

Problem behaviors are not uncommon in the general education classroom, but children with disabilities often bring special challenges to the classroom. The special education teacher may have to manage the behavior in a self contained classroom or advise, support or help implement behavior support in an inclusive classroom. Rather than automatically pulling out the big guns, it's good to consider all the options.

Classroom Management Strategies:

The first step is to examine your classroom management, and whether it might be the cause of the behavior problems. Do you have enough structure? Is your structure clear? Do students understand your expectations.

  • Classroom Routines A good place to start is examine your classroom routines. It's best if you launch your year that way, but it's never to late to try again.
  • Organization Be sure your classroom is well organized, and that your students can find the resources they need, understand when and where they are to complete work, and what to do when work is finished.

Use Behavior Contracts:

Before you move to a formal intervention, try working with an individual child and his or her family. If you have identified the problem behavior, try a behavior contract with consequences and rewards. Be sure your consequences are reasonable and "logical," having a relationship to the behavior. Enlist parents in reinforcing success.

Make Behavior Improvement Part of the IEP:

Once you have tried modifying your classroom routines, organizing your students, and involving other stakeholders (parents, student, principal) in intervening and still find the problem behaviors persist, it's time to consider making the behavior intervention part of the child's individual education plan. You will need to check Behavior in the Special Considerations part of the IEP. Then, you will need to see that a Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA) and Behavior Improvement Plan (BIP) are written.

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