Behavior Intervention Project
For Education 310: Teaching Students with Behavior Disorders, I was required to complete at least ten (10) hours of supervised field experience working with teachers, support staff, a student and the student’s family to implement two specific strategies aimed at changing a student’s challenging behaviors. This assignment required me to complete the following tasks: 1) Select an inclusive setting that caters to students with emotional/behavioral disorders, 2) Conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment of the student, 3) Develop a Behavior Intervention Plan with input from the student, teachers, parents and other personnel, 4) Schedule dates, times and settings for interventions, 5) Design and conduct periodic assessments to monitor the student’s progress both at home and at school, 6) Prepare weekly reports on the student’s progress in learning and practicing these strategies, and 7) Meet with the student’s family to discuss outcomes of interventions and share student’s final progress report.
P.S. 375 is found in community school district 17 in the Flatbush opposite Prospect Park, and is located at b46 Mc Keever Place, Brooklyn N.Y. 11225. I can be easily accessed via # 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, B and F train to Prospect Park and the # 41 and 49 buses. This school houses 560 students PreK- Grade 5. And its ethnicity is 1% Caucasian 60% Black 11% Hispanic and 1% Asian. The Principal of the school is Dr. Marion Wilson and Assistant Principals are Mr. William Mingo and Kirk Wilkinson, the Dean is Mr. Miller. The school. There are 10 Special Education classrooms: 5 Self- Contained and 5 Integrated Co-Teaching classrooms (ICT). According to the school data, approximately 20% of the student’s population is English Language Learners (ELLs) and Students With Disabilities (SWD) make up 15%. Integrated services are provided to all students by the Staff Support Team (SSST). There is no bilingual, or English as a Second Language (ESL) class, however there is an ESL teacher who provides services to students with that specific need. Housed in the same building is Ebbets Field Middle School, K 325. This school occupies the upper floors of the building, but share a common gymnasium. The school building and compound are easily accessible for students with disabilities. There are ramps for wheel-chairs and in addition to two large playgrounds there is a small play ground which is designated to those students with special needs. There is also one wheelchair accessible bathroom. Students with severe physical disability are placed in classes on the first floor. The Administrative offices, cafeteria, gymnasium, and some classroom are located on the first floor. The auditorium and other classrooms are in the basements. In order to alleviate confusion at arrival and dismissal times, separate entrances are used for both schools.
My field experience at P.S. 375 began in October, 2012 and lasted for six weeks. I was given the privilege to observe a student in a first grade CTT classroom. I did not have difficulty finding a student to observe because; it was my first semester of my clinical practice. I did my observation thrice weekly for six weeks. At the time of this observation, there were 31 students enrolled in the classroom, 9 girls and 22 boys. This inclusive class included 1 (one) general education teacher, 1(one) special education teacher and (2) two Para professionals There were 17 (seventeen) special needs students and 14 general education students in the class. Of the 17, all of them had a different form of disability such as, ADHD, Autism, Speech and Learning Disability. It was made know to me that the parents of some of these students refused to accept that their child have some form of the disabilities being mentioned. However, most of them are cooperating with the teachers in allowing the students to get the necessary services.
The classroom environment was warm, welcoming and well designed to facilitate the needs of its students. There was evidence of students work posted on the walls and in the hallway. I observed several centers/areas such as, science, math, reading and writing, social studies, computer and art. There were schedules posted for the different activities; there was also evidence of technology a smart board, 2 computer and IPods for students and teachers to use. I liked this classroom because it was “student friendly”. It was colorful and everything was at the level of the children. The students were praised when they accomplished a specific task and encouraged to try a little harder when they were hesitant. I was able to foster a healthy rapport the teachers as well as the students. The staff was extremely helpful especially the cooperating teacher, she provided me with whatever tools I needed, especially understanding how to cope with the students. The students in class 1-102 also made my stay at P.S. 375 a memorable one, even though sometimes they seemed a little busy. They treated me with respect and they always displayed willingness to participate whenever I worked with them especially when I had to do my lessons.
I worked with the student who had ADHD. Of all the field experiences that I did, I have never worked with a student with ADHD. At first, I was a little scared because I have heard so many stories about “these types” of children but I knew as a future special educator, I would need to be exposed to all special needs students. “Max” is seven years old and is in the first grade class. Max’s parents were informed about what I was there to do and for how long. “Max’s” mother was very nice and cooperative. She expressed to me that although “Max” may seem sweet, he has these sudden episodes that can make anyone frustrated. I was also informed that “Max” showed signs of this disorder at the age of two, but because he was so young, he was only labeled as a “Preschool Student with a Disability”. She further explained to me that the last Pre -school that “Max” was attending kept in the office all day, every day because his classroom teacher could not handle him. I was wondering about what she said because the student that I was introduced to, was not the same person that she was talking about. “Max” was very sweet; he shared with his classmates and is well spoken. He responded nicely to his teacher (s) commands and offers a lot to the classroom discussions.
Max’s parents were informed about what I was there to do and for how long. “Max’s” mother was very nice and cooperative. She expressed to me that although “Max” may seem sweet, he has these sudden episodes that can make anyone frustrated. I was also informed that “Max” showed signs of this disorder at the age of two, but because he was so young, he was only labeled as a “Preschool Student with a Disability”. She further explained to me that the last school that “Max” was attending kept in the office all day, every day. The two strategies that I used were I worked with “Max” on a one-to-one basis and on an individual basis. Although his special education teacher was there, she allowed me to work with “Max” and observe him for some of the time. I assisted him with whatever he needed help with. After working with “Max” for three days, I was actually introduced to the “real” “Max”. When it was reading time (this was done on the rug), he would sit still for about five minutes and would spend the rest of the reading time rolling around on the rug or “scratching” the other students. When this happens, his special education teacher would remove him from the rug and take him aside to talk to him. He would ask him, “Max, what are you suppose to do now?” He would respond appropriately. Then he would say, “Then why are you rolling around on the rug and bothering your friends?” He would not answer. He tells him that “it’s reading time and he has to behave himself on the rug and allow his friends to hear the story”. He would respond “okay” in this soft and innocent voice. When it was time to transition to the table, “Max” would give a fight to go because he wants to use the computer or the IPod. “Max” was told that it was not computer time and he responded by saying “no”, running around the classroom to get away from the teacher, he would scratches his friends when he was passing. I now saw what “Max’s” mother was saying. I have never seen a little child behaved this way. At this point, I realized that “Max’s” antecedent were been told no (not getting his way). I wondered to myself, is this I really want to do for the next 20 or so years? I was so “terrified” of what I saw; it took about 20 minutes to calm “Max” down.
Part 2, Step 2
The targeted behavior that I observed was “Max” scratching his friends in the classroom. When “Max” is going through one of his episodes, he would scratch anyone who is close to him. When he is playing with his friends he would scratch them. When he was at the table either participating in activities he would scratch his friends, and when he was corrected about something that he did he would scratch.. The classroom teacher and the special education teacher stated that “this behavior has been going on for a while but each time he does it, it would get worse and last longer”. He was removed from the classroom but it did not stop.
Part 2, Step 3
I conducted an interview with “Max’s” general education and his mother. The interview went like this:
Me: In what setting and under what conditions do you observe the behavior?
Teacher: “Max” usually scratches his friends when he cannot get his way to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it.
Me: Are there any settings/situations in which the behavior does not occur?
Teacher: Yes, the behavior does not occur when “Max” is eating lunch or snack and when he is allowed to do what he wants.
Me: Who is present when the behavior occurs?
Teacher: His special education teacher, the Para professionals, myself, his classmates, the director and on some occasions his mother (she comes in to observe him when requested or initiated).
Me: What activities or interactions take place just prior to the behavior?
Teacher: Circle time, free play, computer time, lunch time and snack time.
Me: Are there other events that may trigger the behavior?
Teacher: Yes, whenever his classmates do not give him what he wants, when he was told that it is clean up time, and when it is time to go home.
Me: What activities or interactions take place immediately following the behavior?
Teacher: “Max” is taken out of the class and there is a little conference between him and his special education teacher or him and myself. In this conference, he is asked why he is always scratching his friends. He would respond and say, “I don’t know” or “because the teacher is bothering me”. The teacher is not really bothering him, he just says that when he is been told do something and he do not want to do it.
Me: Are there other behaviors that occur along with the problem behavior?
Teacher: Yes, he is usually screaming when he scratches. He would scream out “I hate you”.
Me: Can you think of any reasons why the student might behave this way?
Teacher: Apart from him not getting his way, no, I cannot think of any other reasons why he behaves like this.
The interview with “Max’s” mother and me went like this:
Me: Have there been any changes at home or new events in your child’s life recently?
Mother: No, not that I can think of. Both parents are in the home and our work schedules have pretty much been the same since “Max” has been too.
Me: Does your child experience any problems that you are aware of?
Mother: Well, I did observe him several times in his class and I noticed some of the things that his teachers were telling me. Every morning when it is time to take a bath, he would usually put up a fight. I am late every morning because he does not want to take a bath.
Me: Do you think your child is interested in school this year? Why or why not?
Mother: I honestly do not know. Sometimes when his father picks him up from school, he would ask how his behavior was and he would get good reports but then there are those days when we wonder what we could have done wrong. He asks for games and we get him them. As long as his requests were “reasonable”, we try to honor them.
Me: Do you think that the academic work is too easy or too hard? Could you explain?
Mother: I saw the work that he is doing and I think that it is “just right” for his level. When he does his homework, he understands it and knows what to do the only issue is that he does not sit still to get the assignment done. He needs constant redirection.
Student: “Max” Date: 10/08/12- 10/10/12
Behavior: Scratching other students Time: Varied: 9:00- 12:00
Teacher (s): “Mrs. Murphy, “Mr. Steinberg” Setting: Varied:
Observer: Lynette Williams
A Frequency Recording of Max scratching other students
DATE , TIME , and SETTING
Circle time & Language Math period
Reading, Social Studies, Play time
Writing & Dismissal
Circle time & Math period
ABC Observation Form
Student: Max Date: 11/14/12
Target Behavior: Scratching Class: Reading & Language Arts
After reading Max was told to pack away his book because it was transition time for the next activity.
Max scratched Pat.
After refusing to pack away his book, Max lost computer time for the following period.
Max was told to remove from the pencil sharpener.
Max took the pencil and scratched his desk.
Because Max refused to clean his desk, he could , he could not go out to recess.
Max was told to line up so that they can use the bathroom.
Max scratched John on his hand.
Max did not earn computer time.
Part 2, Step 4
Data Triangulation Chart
Student: Max Date(s): 10/11-10/17
Interview with teacher
Discussion with Max
Max scratches the his peers when he being corrected. He does this when he does not get his own way.
By observing Max, I was able to conclude that maybe the curriculum and some of the activities that are done are not appropriate for him. Even though he knows the work, it is not “exciting enough” for him and because everything follows the same routine, he probably gets bored.
Talking with Max has revealed that he “hates it when he has to go to the table” and that “that teachers and kids are bothering him all the time”. When asked why does he scratches his friends? He responded by saying “because I am angry”.
Part 2, Step 5
Johnny knows that what he is doing is inappropriate. He is fine when it’s playing time but as soon as he hears clean up (or something that he does not like), he responds by throwing things. Whenever he is taken away from the classroom and spoken to, he responds in this soft sweet voice and says “sorry”. When the teachers do not want to get Johnny “upset”, they allow him to do what he wants (play). I feel that Johnny’s behavior serves as an outlet of his frustration because the tasks are not “exciting enough” for him. I also feel that because Johnny is accustomed to getting his own way at home, that he feels that he should get his own way at school also.
Behavior Intervention Plan
Name: “Max” Garcia Grade: 1 Age: 6 years
School: P.S. 375 Jackie Robinson School
Strengths of Students: Max is well-spoken. He is also very creative and he can draw. He is a great story-teller and loves dancing. He loves to build things using the wooden blocks. He is very good with the computer. Sometimes he can be very helpful and sweet.
Individualized Information about Student: Max has a problem with been told “no, you can’t do that”. He is a very intelligent boy but he has difficulties sitting still to complete his work. He scratches his friends when he cannot have his own way. His parents refuse to put him on medication because “he only behaves this way when he does not get his way”.
Previously Implemented Intervention: (1) Max was sitting next to a window, so his teacher changed his seat and placed him next to her desk. This worked for two days. (2) Timeouts were used on many occasions but because Max does not sit where he is suppose to, the (timeouts) have proved to be ineffective. (3) When the behavior is “unbearable” Max is sent to the director’s office when the behavior sometimes continues. (4) Various senses were incorporated into the lesson (touching, smelling, etc.) (5) Max’s class assignments were broken into smaller segments and real life experience were used to help him gained the concept. So far this has been successful.
Problematic Behavior: Scratching other students
Definition (s): Throw (used with object) –to propel or cast in any way, especially to project or propel from the hand by a sudden forward motion or straightening of the arm and wrist. Johnny usually throws whatever object that is in his reach.
Function of Scratching: Max appears to scratch others when he is frustrated and cannot do as he pleases. Most of the times when he scratches , and lowers his head and wait for someone to cry out he continue until someone goes to him tell him to stop. If a teacher does not go to Max, he will walk around and scratches whoever is in his reach. Sometimes he would even come to where the teacher is standing and do it. The word “no” seems like a trigger for Max. Apart from been frustrated with a requested task, Max’s behavior could be a “cry” for the teachers to see his point of view and to be more understanding.
Replacement Behavior: Instead of outright telling Max “no”, the teacher (s) can try to use other phrases like this, “Max let us go back to the table and do something very exciting!” By doing this, the teacher is passively taking Max’s attention away from what he originally wanted to do and redirecting his attention to what she wants to accomplish. Of course the teacher has to make sure that the intended activity is indeed exciting or this approach will not work.
Intervention (s): (1) It appears that Max scratches stdets in frustration. Because of this, Max should be showed (modeled) the correct way to react if something is bothering him. It should be enforced that instead of throwing things; he should come to the teacher and talk about his problem. Whenever Max does the right thing, he should be rewarded. (2) Max should be actively involved in the lesson. Kids like Max love the spotlight, so by doing this, it reduces the chances of him becoming frustrated.
Method of Recording: An hour-by-hour data sheet will be used to record the frequency of thrown objects. Each object thrown will be recorded by Max’s special education teacher on the data sheet as it occurs.
List of Measurable Changes: Within the first three weeks of implementation of the interventions, Max’s behavior should be reduced. It is expected that the behavior be reduced to twice a month within three months.
Schedule for Review: The effectiveness of these interventions will be reviewed by the director, general education teacher, special education teacher and assistant teacher three weeks from the initial date of implementation. The effectiveness of these interventions will be reviewed monthly, with summaries of each review being sent home to the parents.
Provisions for Home Coordination: Parents can have access to any of Max’s data, at any time. They will be given summaries of each review, as stated in Schedule for Review, above. Max’s behavioral team (director, general education teacher, special education teacher, assistant teacher and his parents) will meet in three months to discuss the current status of Johnny throwing objects, and make changes to the behavior plan, if need be.