July 21, 2013
Joseph is a fourth grade student who is having a hard time staying out of trouble during lunch and on the playground. Joseph is referred to the social worker for a functional behavioral assessment because of his acting out by hitting other students and pushing them. Joseph is living with his maternal grandmother since both of his parents are incarcerated. Joseph has a history of being physically and emotionally abused as a child. Joseph does not appear to have many friends in school and doesn’t get along well with his three other sibling either. Joseph often complains of having a stomach aches in the mornings and around lunch time. Joseph has been taken to a physician and they have ruled out any medical problems. In the assessment we will come up with an intervention plan for Joseph to hopefully get him back on the right track in school and hope that he will make better choices and learn to make new friends.
Functional Behavioral Assessment/Behavior Intervention Plan
Student: Joseph Black| Date: July 1, 2013|
District: Paradise Valley Schools| Building: Elementary| Grade: 4th|
Brief summary of the problem: Social worker reports student is not engaged during classroom activities and often gets picked last in groups. Student reports to have stomach aches in the morning and before lunch almost every day. Student is acting out on the playground and has been reported throwing rocks and pushing other student’s. |
BEHAVIOR SPECIFICATION (Select 1 or 2 behaviors)
1| List and describe the observable behaviors associated with the problem(including frequency, intensity, duration and initial onset): The student appears to be upset in the mornings before having to come to school. With reports from Joseph’s grandmother this happens every day as soon as he wakes up and when he gets to school. Joseph also complains about having a stomach ache every day before the children go to lunch. He often puts his head down for long durations of time before the teacher asked him to sit up. Joseph does not like to go outside or to recess and when he does he often acts out with violence to the other students on every occasion.| | | 2| List antecedents to the behaviors (including when, where, with whom, under what conditions, after what events, and following what actions of others): Joseph’s behavior occurs in the morning at home when he is asked to get ready for school by his grandmother which are typically followed by complaints of stomach pains. Joseph pushes the children in the classroom when asked to line up for lunch, and after being told to keep his hands to himself he is sometimes sent to the principal’s office when he does not comply with his teacher’s request. During recess Joseph acts violently towards the other students. Often pushing them over or throwing rocks at them. During this time Joseph is often alone and does not engage with any of the other student’s on the playground. The following actions in Joseph’s situations usually end in him being sent to the principal’s office.| | | 3| List when the problem behaviors do not occur (including when, where, with whom, under what conditions): Joseph has his best days on Wednesday during art class. He enjoys the class so much and has a close bond with the art teacher.Joseph also has good behavior at the end of the school day around two in the afternoon in the classroom with his homeroom teacher.| | | 0| List consequences to the behaviors (including immediate, long term, natural, formal, positive or negative): Joseph’s consequences have been primarily immediate once he is found acting out in the classroom. His attitude and behavior is not tolerated and he is often disciplined for his behavior on the playground. These consequences and actions seem to have a negative effect because they are not teaching him any lessons and yet he only continues to do them over and over again.| | |
BEHAVIOR FUNCTION (HYPOTHESIS)
1| What does the student gain or avoid by maintaining the behaviors specified above? The student appears to gain a reputation by the other children on the playground as a bully and that he is not one to be picked on. Joseph avoids other students in the classroom when it’s time to buddy up for assignments. Joseph continues to avoid coming to school and going out on recess by his constant complaints of an upset stomach.| | | 2| In what other ways might the need be addressed? The student does establish a good relationship with the school art teacher. The student is never reported to be violent or disrespectful in her class and is always excited to go.| | | 3| What skills could be taught to support behavior change? I think that enforcing positive behavior rewards for Joseph might be a good start in helping with his behavior change. It might be effective for the art teacher and Joseph’s homeroom teacher to meet with the school social worker and come up with some rewards if Joseph stays in school throughout the entire day and is not harming any students or being violent.| | |
BEHAVIOR INTERVENTION PLAN
Describe the specific desirable behavior(s) to replace the problem behavior. The specific desirable behaviors for Joseph are to be cooperative in the classroom and respectful to teachers and other students throughout the day.
How might changing this behavior contribute to solving the identified problem? Our staff feels that by teaching Joseph the basic values of respecting others and proper behavior in school that this might help his initial fears about being in the school setting.
How will improvement in this desired behavior be measured?
We will start off by giving Josephs entire class a presentation on respect and what type of behavior is expected of the students in the school so that Joseph does not feel as if he is being singled out. The following week for two weeks we can speak to Joseph first thing in the morning to remind him of how students are supposed to behave an mention to him that if he gets through lunch and recess without pushing the other students or throwing things at them then he can have some extra time in the art room once a week. After measuring this behavior for a couple weeks we will see if there are any improvements and if so we can move onto building relationships with Joseph and other students in his grade.
STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE
* Environmental changes
Providing the student with extra time in the art room once a week if he makes it through lunch and recess without any problems.
* Procedures for prompting and cueing
When Joseph does not want to engage in classroom activities or starts to push another student remind him of the ways that students should be acting and that good behavior is often rewarded. Giving Joseph something to look forward to might help him get through the day easier. The teacher may find that giving Joseph constant reminders that he’s halfway there or counting down minutes until he can go to the art room will ease the pressure or tension in the beginning of the assessment.
* Goals and objectives
Have student make it through the first half of the day without any disruptions or violence. Joseph will do this by constant reminders to stay on track and to keep a positive and respectful behavior to his teachers and the other students.
* Skills to be taught
Joseph will learn the importance of being a responsible and respectful student. Joseph will learn patience when asked to wait in line with the other students without pushing or shoving. Joseph will learn the importance of anti-violence and our hope is that he will gain new friendships once he is not viewed as a bully.
* Reinforcement procedures
We will use reinforcement from Joseph’s homeroom teacher and art teacher and grandmother to keep him focused on positive and respectful behavior. The consistent reminder that Joseph will earn extra art time will help him when he feels like an outburst is about to occur.
* Data collection methods
We will measure Joseph’s behavior each day for two weeks at the start of the school day until the bell rings after recess. We will measure to see if the positive reinforcement that is pushed in during Josephs hardest parts of the day help to improve his behavior. At the end of the two weeks we will discuss our findings and if the plan seems to be effective we will reevaluate other areas that we think may help Joseph and maybe increase his reward system for his behavior.
* New plan for immediate problem behavior
If our initial plan does not follow through we have to remind Joseph of the consequences for his and the other student’s actions if they do not act as respectful students. We could warn Joseph that if he gets sent to the office too many times that he will be suspended from school and remind him what he loves about school and that his art teacher would be very disappointed.
* Follow-up consequences for student
If student continues to push and throw things at the other students he will have to have a meeting with his grandmother and the principal to discuss his behavior.
Who| Will do what | When|
Teacher| Will send him to the office if he acts aggressively| During the school day| Art Teacher| Will be disappointed and remind Joseph that he needs to be respectful in order to be able to participate in extra art time with her| Daily reminders at the beginning of the school day and before lunch| Grandmother| Encourage Joseph to be a responsible respectful student and to work hard in school| Constant reminders in the morning on the way to school and after school when she picks him up| Principal| Remind Joseph to keep up the good work | When he is on track with his positive behavior| | | | | | |
Criteria for Discontinuation:
If Joseph severely harms himself or another student he may be suspended from school until further review from the school board.
Date of next team meeting:
Two weeks from todays date.
Parent Participation Statement:
_____I have participated in the development of this Behavior Intervention Plan. _____I was unable to participate in the development of this Behavior Intervention Plan, but have conferred with a representative from the team.
With this specific student it’s important to let them know that he has support. It sounds like he doesn’t have much of that type of support at home with grandma being overwhelmed with new responsibilities and Josephs parents remaining absent from his life. As social workers it’s important to show the child that there are people that are here to help him and that because he was abused and neglected as a child does not mean he needs to act violently towards other students to prove a point. We must install positive behavior with him and work on building his coping skills. Based on the data provided the social workers feel that Joseph needs support and guidance while in the school setting. Eventually we might want to set him and his grandmother up with resources for outside support but now based on his history of acting violently towards other students unfortunately we feel that this represents a lot of his upbringing with his abusive parents. Evidence shows that children are most likely to become violent if they were abused or neglected themselves as a child. It’s important that social workers intervene early on to break many of these learned behaviors and teach Joseph the positive ways to interact with other peers and adults. The school social worker has set up a behavior plan for Joseph for two weeks. Based on studies we feel that this positive behavior therapy will help him with the parts of the day that he seems to be struggling with.
Raines, J.C., & Dibble, N.T. (2011). Ethical Decision Making in School Mental Health. New York, New York: Oxford University Press.
Filter, K.J., & Alvarez, M.E. (2012). Functional Behavior Assessment: A Three-Tiered Prevention Model. New York, New York: Oxford University Press.
Kelly, M.S., Kim, J.S., & Franklin, C. (2008). Solution-Focused Brief Therapy in Schools: A 360-Degree View of Research and Practice. New York, New York: Oxford University Press.