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Identifying the Function of Behavior and Managing it in the Classroom

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1 Identifying the Function of Behavior and Managing it in the Classroom
Dr. Jennifer Foster Psychologist, Coordinator of Mental Health Programs Perth Amboy Public Schools

2 Agenda Brief Overview of Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Oppositional Defiant Disorders Conduct Disorders (Early & Late Onset) Disruptive Behavior Disorders (NOS) ABC’s of Behavior Functions of Behavior Management of Acute and Chronic Behavioral Problems CPI Crisis Development Model District Referral Process

3 What is a Disruptive Behavior Disorder?
Attention-Deficit Disorders and Disruptive Behavior Disorders are the two categories considered under “Disruptive Behavior Disorder” Disruptive Behavior Disorders are broken down into to 3 major categories of mental health disorders Oppositional Defiant Disorder Conduct Disorder (Early & Late Onset) Disruptive Behavior Disorder (NOS)

4 Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) Diagnostic Criteria
A persistent pattern of defiant, angry, antagonistic, hostile, irritable, or vindictive behavior Most often directed toward authority figures Pattern of behavior must be present for 6 months Extremely difficult to manage due to confrontational nature Behavior must be causing significant problems, in school and in relationships with family and friends

5 ODD Diagnostic Criteria
Must have 4 of 8 symptoms occurring frequently Loses temper Argues with adults Actively defies or refuses to comply with adult’s requests or rules Deliberately annoys people Blames others for own mistakes or misbehavior Touchy and easily annoyed by others Angry and resentful Spiteful of vindictive

6 ODD Signs & Symptoms Stubborn and noncompliant
Contentious and argumentative Quick to shift blame Highly Defensive See demands as unreasonable Passive aggressive/systematically ignore others Refusal to negotiate Deliberate annoyance of others Threatens/intimidates others Verbally aggressive Present with low self-concept or inflated self-esteem

7 Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Average age of onset is 6 years old, symptoms can be seen in children as early as 3 years old Symptoms usually manifests by 8 years old, with most children diagnosed during preadolesence Early onset of ODD is more likely to persist and lead to subsequent development of CD More prevalent in males than females prior to puberty, but evens out in adolescence Comorbid with: CD, learning disabilities, ADHD, depression, anxiety 80%+ with ODD have comorbid ADHD 65% with ADHD have comorbid ODD

8 Criteria for Conduct Disorder (CD)
A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior that involves violation of age appropriate social norms and the rights of others Four categories of aggressive behaviors and violations of rules and age appropriate norms Aggression toward people and animals Destruction of property Deceitfulness or theft Serious violations of rules Aggression to people or animals includes: engaging in frequent bullying or threatening often starting fights using a weapon that could cause serious injury (gun, knife, club, broken glass) showing physical cruelty to people showing physical cruelty to animals engaging in theft with confrontation (armed robbery, extortion, mugging, purse snatching) forcing sex upon someone Property destruction includes: deliberately setting fires to cause serious damage deliberately destroying the property of others by means other than fire setting Lying or theft includes: breaking into building, car, or house belonging to someone else frequently lying or breaking promises for gain or to avoid obligations (called "conning") stealing valuables without confrontation (burglary, forgery, shop lifting) Serious rule violations include: beginning before age 13, frequently staying out at night against parents' wishes running away from parents overnight twice or more or once if for an extended period engaging in frequent truancy beginning before the age of 13

9 Criteria for CD (Cont.) At least 3 of the 15 items, present for 12 months Of which one symptom in the past 6 months Significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning Differences in age of onset Early Childhood Onset—onset of at least one criterion characteristic of CD prior to age 10 Outcomes are poor, ingrained behavior is highly resistant Adolescence Onset—absence of any criteria characteristic prior to the age of 10 More resilient b/c they developed better coping skills at earlier age Early Childhood Onset Usually male, frequent display of physical aggression, disturbed peer relationships, may have had ODD in early childhood, usually have many symptoms that meet full criteria for conduct disorder prior to puberty These individuals more likely to have persistent CD with the possibility to develop adult Anti Social Personality Disorder Adolescent-Onset Type Less likely to display aggressive behaviors Tend to have more normative peer relationships, although tend to display conduct problems in the presence of others Less likely to have persistent CD or develop ASPD Lower male to female ratio than Early onset type Age of onset of CD is critical The earlier the age of onset the worse the prognosis Comorbid with: ADHD, substance abuse, depression

10 Signs & Symptoms of CD Aggressive behavior that harms or threatens other people or animals (i.e., physical altercations, intimidation, bullying) Destructive behavior that damages or destroys property Manipulation via lying, deceit Theft Truancy or other serious violations of rules Early tobacco, alcohol, and substance use and abuse Precocious sexual activity Show little remorse for their actions, empathy, or concern for the thought or feelings of others Read hostile intent in the actions of others, reactive Fake feelings to get lesser consequence, seek to blame others Possible causes of CD include: Early maternal rejection Separation from parents, without an adequate alternative caregiver Early institutionalization Family conflict/neglect Abuse or violence, family neglect Parental mental illness Parental marital discord Large family size Crowding Poverty Brain Damage Genetic Vulnerability

11 Disruptive Behavior Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DBD NOS)
This category of DBD was created for children who demonstrate similar behaviors as children with ODD or CD but do not display the same frequency /severity and only met one or two of the behavior criteria for this disorder. Like ODD and CD, this disorder causes significant impairment in the child’s life.

12 Antecedent Behavior Consequence ABC’s of Behavior
Every behavior happens for a reason. The ABCs of behavior were bourn out of development of basic Learning Theory which states that learning is defined or demonstrated by a change in behavior that endures over time The components of behavior include: Antecedent: That which occurs before a behavior this can include an instruction, command, event, the presence of another person, a setting, or a particular situation Behavior: The action or series of actions which create a given response direction following, a verbal response, quiet sitting, appropriate use of work related materials, a tantrum, Non compliance Consequence: That which occurs immediately following a behavior individual is rewarded, individual is ignored, verbally reprimanded, removal from the setting, someone laughs, someone screams, chaos, all eyes and attention on this student. All behavior is maintained, changed, or shaped by the consequences of that behavior To change behavior we need to alter the consequence. Can also change the Antecedent--This is more of a preventative approach

13 The Dance of Behavior Antecedent Behavior Consequence
Teacher giving lesson Child raises hand Teacher continues with lesson Teacher continues with lesson Child calls out Teacher asks child to quiet down Child keeps talking Teacher moves onto another activity, singing and dancing, and asks the class to stand up Child refuses to stand up Teacher asks child to stand up Child refuses and remains seated on the floor Teacher walks over to child and tries to physically pick him up Child becomes weightless as teacher tries to lift him Teacher whispers, “Either I can pick you up like mommies pick up their little babies or you can stand up on your own,” in his ear. Child stands up Teacher continues with activity Child is cooperating and enjoying himself The song and dance ends and teacher says, “okay, now we are going to sing the color song”

14 Antecedent Behavior Consequence
The song and dance ends and teacher says, “okay, now we are going to sing the color song” Child calls out “I win, I win, I win” Teacher asks children to sit down on the floor Child sits down Teacher passes out colored blocks Child calls out “I want orange, I want orange” Teacher gives the child an Orange block Child is happy and shows his blocks to his friend Teacher realizes that the color orange is not in the song and asks the child for the block back Child puts block behind his back and says “no” Teacher tries to grab the block out of child’s hand Child holds on to the block tight and tries to pull it away from the teacher Teacher tells child there is no orange in the song, and tries to give him a blue block instead Child refuses to give her the orange block Teacher tells child that he can keep the orange block on the floor next to him, but he has to use the blue block Child puts the orange block by his side on the floor and takes the blue block Teacher begins song with children

15 Reinforcers are consequences that strengthen behavior
Punishment are consequences that weaken behavior Behavior modification techniques rarely fail, rather thay are either applied inefficiently or inconsistently, which leads to less than desired change To manage behavior through consequences, the following 4-step approach can be applied: Define the problem, usually count by description Design a way to change the behavior Identify an effective reinforcer Apply the reinforcer consistently to shape or change the behavior Reinforcement and Punishment follow a clear set of basic principles: Both always follow the behavior Both follow the target behavior immediately Both fit the tartget behavior and must be meaningful to the child Multiple reinforcers or punishments are likely to be more effective than single reinforcers or punishments Point is to respond with a consequence that is going to increase the likelihood of the behaviors reoccurrence Reinforcement is always the better choice Effective in helping children develop alternative behaviors—more functional behaviors It is not bribery if used properly Schedules: Should use a variable schedule rather than a fixed schedule w/fixed the child usually works diligently when getting closer to the reward, and slows down after—good for shaping w/variable, they don’t know when they’re going to get rewarded—keeps a child guessing—but not if intervals are too far apart—good for maintenance

16 Functional Analysis Determining the function of the behavior
The process of gathering information to determine the relations between variables, particularly functional relations Looking to answer the question “What is the function of the behavior?” A functional relationship exists when a cause and effect relationship between variables has been experimentally established Trying to find what contingencies maintain the behavior Can be environmental Can be “internal” environmental effects Must “listen” or observe behavior to determine causes! Careful assessment and systematic evaluation to isolate precisely the factors that control and maintain behavior Purpose is to prove that the hypothesized relationships are in fact causal The antecedents and consequences are identified, but the function is hypothesized, we haven’t proven them yet Contents of a functional analysis Key Elements Assessment-Identification of Patterns of Behavior Development and Evaluation of Hypotheses about factors that control behavior Intervention Steps are Continuous rather than Discrete An Experimental Phase Provides Evidence that Behaviors are Influenced Under Certain Conditions Hypotheses are tested directly by assessing the target behavior as various conditions are changed If one or two conditions are considered to control behavior, the situation is manipulated to see if changing the condition alters the behavior This is an experimental phase designed to evaluate if the controlling conditions can be identified

17 Primary Functions of Behavior
Escape/Avoidance: from person, task, environment, etc. behavior usually occurs in response to specific person, event or requests to perform activity. Tangible: desire for a specific item or activity behavior often occurs when something has been denied or taken away -- it is not person or event specific Attention (positive or negative): desire for attention from peers, adults, can include “power” behaviors usually occurs when specific individuals are present -- may be all the time if the desire is for attention from peers -- it is person specific -- not event or location. Sensory: the behavior feels good or meets a sensory need. behaviors occur anytime, anywhere--not person, event or location specific but may occur more often when under stress

18 Functions of Behavior Behaviors may result from a combination of function Escape and sensory are often related to circumstances that are stressful or boring Attention and escape may result from difficult/boring curricular demands and not much attention Tangible in combination with any of the others may be a result of boredom. Combinations of 2 or more functions require a careful look at curricular requirements, basic classroom management, and availability of noncontingent reinforcement. Noncontingent reinforcement: A method for changing behavior that consists of providing an individual with rewards without linking the rewards to particular behaviors. 

19 Questions To Be Answered. . .
What are the setting events (i.e., conditions that alter the probability of a behavior occurring What are the antecedents of the challenging behavior (i.e., specific events that precede a behavior)? What are the consequences for the challenging behavior, which may reinforce it? What does the student gain? What does the student avoid?

20 When Samantha misses her 12:30 medication & teachers present multiple task demands, she makes negative self-statements & writes profane language on her assignments. Teaching staff typically send her to the office with a discipline referral for being disrespectful. Avoid difficult tasks What function? Setting event Antecedent Response Consequence Semantha makes negative self- statements & writes profane language Teacher sends Samantha to office for being disrespectful Misses 12:30 medication Teachers make multiple task demands

21 Caesar has dyed his hair three colors & is teased several times by his friends before class. When he enters the class, his teacher stares at his hair. Caesar immediately says “what are you staring at?” His teacher immediately sends him to in-school detention. Escape adult & peer attention What function? Setting event Antecedent Response Consequence Caesar is teased several times about his hair by his friends before class His teacher stares at his hair in class Caesar asks his teacher what she’s staring at His teacher sends him to in-school detention

22 Cleo is new to the 6th grade, & English is her second language
Cleo is new to the 6th grade, & English is her second language. When another student approaches & says something to her in English, Cleo turns away. The other student walks away. This happens several times during the day. Escape peer attention What function? Setting event Antecedent Response Consequence New student Student approaches & speaks in English Cleo turns away Other student walks away

23 When his teacher asks him what the capitol city of a country is, Napoleon gives the correct answers. His teacher praises his correct answer, & tells him he may work by himself or a friend on the rest of the assignment. Access peer & adult attention What function? Setting event Antecedent Response Consequence Teacher asks what capitol city of country is Napoleon give correct answer Teacher gives verbal praise & time to work with a friend None

24 As Manny is walking, other kids look at him & say “what’s up
As Manny is walking, other kids look at him & say “what’s up?” He looks back and says: “Who ya lookin’ at?!” “Ya want some of this?!” “Ya talkin’ to me?!” Kids shake their heads & call him “weirdo.” Access peer attention What function? Setting event Antecedent Response Consequence ?? Look at him. “What’s up!” “Who ya lookin’ at?” “Ya want Some?” “Ya talkin’ to me? Kids shake heads & call him “weirdo”

25 Describing the Problem Behavior?
Note the type of problem behavior Note where the problem behavior occurs Note when the problem behavior occurs Note characteristics of the setting and events related to the problem behavior Note situations or personal events that might induce the behavior include actions of others that increase or trigger the behavior. Note the consequences associated with the problem behavior. Once this is understood, you can test a hypothesis Type of Problem Behaviors Head banging, Being physically aggressive, Being truant, Biting, Crying, Defying authority, Destroying property, Pushing, pulling others, Running away, Threatening others, Throwing things, Inappropriate sexual behavior, Failing to complete assignments, Failure to follow directions, Failure to remain seated, Fighting ,Yelling, Cursing, Talking out of turn, Use of inappropriate language Where does the Problem Behaviors occur? Auditorium, Bus, Bus stop, Cafeteria, Classroom (Reading, Writing, Math), Computer room, Hallway, Bathroom, Library, Special classrooms, Walkways When does the Problem Behaviors Occur? Subjects being taught (history writing, reading, math, etc.) Time of day (before school, morning, afternoon) Instructional activity, or lack of, (individual assignments, group activity, small group Nonacademic activity (changing class, playground, lunch) Situations or setting events…. Arguing with parents before school, Fight with peer, Getting in trouble previously, Dislikes or has difficult time with assignment or required activity, Being teased, harassed or intimidated by a peer, Fatigue, illness, Test anxiety, Social conflict Consequences Additional writing assignments, Alternative educational placement, Being given alternative task, different from peers, Being sent to office or removed from the class, Suspensions, Loss of privileges, Ignoring, Physical restraint, Call to parents, Referral to counselor

26 Developing/Testing a Hypothesis
Develop a hypothesis based on the information gathered Test the Hypothesis—Experimentally evaluating precisely whether the antecedents and consequences that may control behavior, actually do. Testing the hypothesis is important because important information may have been overlooked during data collection Intended to reveal what is likely to be an effective intervention before moving to the intervention stage

27 Example of hypothesis statement
When he misses breakfast & peers tease him about his walk, Caesar calls them names & hits them. Teasing stops.

28 Hypothesis Statement Setting Events Triggering Antecedents Problem Behavior Maintaining Consequences Name calling & Hits. Misses breakfast. Teased by peers. Teasing stops. Function Escape aversive social contact Function Escape negative social contact Once you have a have a hypothesis, you can experiment with interventions

29 The Conflict Cycle A stressful incident occurs (i.e., frustration, failure) which ACTIVATES a troubled student’s irrational beliefs (i.e., "Nothing good ever happens to me!" "Adults are unfair."). These negative thoughts determine and trigger his feelings. His feelings and not his rational forces DRIVE his inappropriate behavior. His inappropriate behaviors (yelling, threatening, sarcasm, refusing to speak) INCITE adults. Adults not only pick up the student’s feelings, but also they frequently MIRROR his behaviors (yell back, threaten, etc.) This negative adult REACTION increases the student’s stress escalating the conflict into a self-defeating power struggle. Although the student may lose the battle (i.e., he is punished), he wins the war! His SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY (i.e. irrational belief) is REINFORCED and therefore, he has no motivation to change or alter his beliefs or his inappropriate behaviors.

30 Crisis Development Model (CPI, 2005)
Level 1: Student presents with Anxiety Noticeable increase or change in behavior such as pacing, finger drumbing, wringing hands, staring, crying, facial tension, self injurious behaviors, disrupting other Level 1: Staff Approach is Supportive Staff Member responds with an Empathetic, nonjudgemental approach and attempts to alleviate anxiety through the use of redirection, offering a break, or creating distance Level 2: Student becomes Defensive This is the beginning stage of the loss of rationality At this point the individual often becomes belligerent and challenges authority Level 2: Staff Approach is Directive Meaning that the staff member takes control of a potentially escalating situation Staff member is going to want to provide students with a choice, perhaps use “first-then” verbally or via a board depending on the age Here is the point where you need to pick your battles—sometimes its not worth escalating the situation to the crisis level Level 3: Student is now Acting Out This is a total loss of control which often results in a physical-acting out episode Behavior falls into the “Danger to self, Danger to others” category Hitting, kicking, biting, spitting Level 3: Staff Approach is Non-Violent Physical Crisis Intervention Safe-nonharmful control and restraint techniques used to control an individual until he/she can regain control of his/her behavior These techniques should be used as a last resort Level 4: Student exhibits Tension Reduction Noticeable decrease in physical and emotional energy which occurs after a person has acted out, characterized by the regaining of rationality Use of compliance directives are appropriate here Level 4: Staff Approach is to develop Therapeutic Rapport An attempt to re-establish communication with an individual who is experiencing tension reduction Crisis Development/Behavior Levels Staff Attitudes/Approaches Anxiety Defensive Acting Out-Person Tension Reduction Supportive Directive Non-Violent Physical Crisis Intervention (last resort) Therapeutic Rapport INTEGRATED EXPERIENCE: The concept that behaviors and attitudes of staff impact the behaviors and attitudes of those in their care

31 Proactive Approaches Maintain sufficient personal space
Awareness of non-verbal cues from body language It’s not what you say, but how you say it Set Limits Empathetic Listening Personal Space Varies from individual, usually between 1.5 to 3 feet Gender, age, culture, size, hygiene all impact personal space Invasion of personal space tends to increase a persons anxiety Body Language Includes facial expressions, gestures, posture, and movements Be aware of nonverbal body language, signs of anxiety of individual in your care Staff body language can escalate and deescalate a situation Use a supportive stance—when student is facing you stand sideways with your arms to the side-palms up Communicates respect, honors personal space, contributes to staff personal safety and allows for a way out It’s not what you say, but how you say it Tone: avoid inflections of impatience, condescension, or inattention—think about how this makes you feel when it happens Volume: Keep volume appropriate for the distance and the situation Cadence: Deliver message using an even rate and rhythm Keys to Setting Limits Recognize that you cannot force individuals to act appropriately Offer choices and state the consequences of those choices—starting with the positive first Set limits that are simple and clear—quiet hands, quiet mouth (should be developmentally appropriate) Set limits that are reasonable—if you the limit is to high of an expectation, the student will fail and ultimately so will you Set limits that are enforceable—if you can’t carryout the consequence—positive you will anger the student, negative—you will lose your creditability Empathetic Listening This is an active process to show understanding of what a person is saying Be nonjudgemental Give your undivided attention Listen carefully to what the person is really trying to say—focus on feelings not just facts Allow silence for reflection Use paraphrasing and restatement to clarify messages

32 When Responding… Do Don’t Remain Calm Isolate the Situation
Enforce Limits Listen Be aware of Non-Verbal cues Be consistent Overreact Get into power struggles Make false promises Fake attention Be threatening Use jargon—tends to confuse and frustrate

33 Effective Environments
Problem behaviors are irrelevant Aversive events are removed Access to positive events are more common Problem behaviors are inefficient Appropriate behavioral alternatives available Appropriate behavioral alternatives are taught Problem behaviors are ineffective Problem behaviors are not rewarded

34 District Behavioral Referral Process
Speak to your student’s Child Study Team Case Manager and/or Crisis Counselor to determine if a referral is warranted. Children diagnosed with Autism are an automatic referral. If the student sees a Crisis Counselor, the referral is submitted by the student’s Crisis Counselor If there is no Crisis Counselor assigned, then the case manager should complete the form Once submitted & reviewed, a behavioral consultant will be assigned to the case and contact the Crisis Counselor/Case Manager Initial observations will be conducted A meeting will be coordinated with the consultant/crisis counselor and/or case manager, and teacher Recommendations will be made. This may or may not include the decision to conduct a functional behavioral assessment and develop a behavior plan. Case follow-up will continue throughout the process.

35 Questions??

36 Contact Information Dr. Jennifer Foster Psychologist, Coordinator of Mental Health Programs Office: Department of Special Services/Administration Building (best way to contact) Phone: Ext Fax:

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