Positive Behavioral Supports Project
Behavioral issues are cited as a key factor in limiting inclusive and independent opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD). Behaviors too frequently result in the use of inappropriate, intrusive, or restrictive measures. Positive behavioral supports (PBS) focus on utilizing empirically proven, positive techniques to enable individuals to reach their goals while preventing unnecessary restrictive actions. PBS are person-centered and recognize that behaviors are functional in nature and are often a result of a person’s environment. Stakeholders indicate there is a lack of well-trained individuals working in this field in Texas. Schools are being encouraged to train staff to provide appropriate PBS to students.
Recruit, train, and support individuals to provide comprehensive PBS on a consultative basis through school districts and community organizations that provide supports and services to children and adults. Create an environment in the educational and vocational setting that will use PBS to guide learning of all students. Provide both intensive classroom training and fieldwork opportunities to a small group of participants about PBS and on teaching PBS techniques to others.
With support from the Texas Behavioral Support Initiative, Education Service Center-Region 17 (ESC17) provided classroom training and fieldwork opportunities to 36 school campuses, including 15 rural campuses and 13 campuses from Lubbock Independent School District (ISD). Training topics included positive reinforcement; classroom management; social and communication skills; violence prevention; wrap-around services; person- and family-centered supports; skills for developing collaboration in the application of PBS; and cultural differences relevant to the community, ethics, and legal considerations.
Participants were also trained to teach PBS techniques to others. These individuals demonstrated their knowledge and ability to teach by developing and presenting at a one-day conference at the end of their training. Conference participants included parents of children with behavioral concerns, daycare providers, and other community organizations who work with individuals with DD. Lubbock ISD staff expanded their PBS program district-wide, training additional campuses directly without the support of ESC17 staff.
- 36 school campuses were directly trained on PBS techniques and teaching these techniques to others
- Additional campuses were trained by Lubbock ISD staff as they expanded their PBS program district-wide
- During the first year of PBS implementation, almost all cohorts improved on almost all measures of discipline