Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports - OSEP

OSEP Technical Assistance Center


The link between families and positive behavioral interventions and supports is an important one. When families are meaningfully involved in educational activities their children do better in schools. Families play an important part in their child's education and social development.

Positive Behavior Support for Family

The presence of parents in schools not only provides additional academic supports but also creates community and cultural connections. In many schools, family participation in the school-wide positive behavior support process is growing. Family members are part of state, district, and school planning teams and participate in school-wide activities in a variety of ways. Family members participate in the assessment and problem solving process to create individualized positive behavior support plans for their children.

Please navigate through the left-side menu for resources about family engagement or partnership with PBIS.


Conference Presentation on Student and Family Engagement

February 28, 2013 NWPBIS conference in Eugene, OR.

School, Family & Community Partnerships (Universal Level Training- Illinois PBIS Network)

This universal level training specifically focuses on family inovolvement in SWPBS.

UTA300: Developing Your Universal System, Part 3 (1-Day)

A tier 1/ universal system training from Illinois PBIS network - Part 3.

U200: Developing Your Tier 1/Universal System, Part 2 (1-Day)

A tier 1/ universal system training material from Illinois PBIS network - part 2.

U100: Developing Your Tier 1/Universal System, Part 1 (1-Day)

A tier 1/universal system training material from Illinois PBIS network.

PBS Makes a Difference: One Family's Story (National Forum on PBIS 08)

A successful family story. A closing session of National Forum on PBIS- Integrated Systems for All Students in 2008.

Family/Community Partnerships & PBS (Chicago Forum-07)

The presentation provides opportunity to reflect on current status of school/family/community partnerships, discusses the larger systems context for this work from the state and district levels, focusing on training and technical assistance models, and finally reviews systems, data and practices which enhance these valuable partnerships between school, family and community.

Cultural Fit Within a SW System of PBS: Universal & Secondary Examples (Chicago Forum-07)

The presentation describes SW PBS system for culturally diverse children and youth.

Family Implementation of Positive Behavior Support with a Child with Autism: A Longitudinal, Single Case Experimental and Descriptive Replication and Extension

As the number of schools implementing systemic, schoolwide positive behavior support (PBS) processes expands (nationally, at least 5,000 schools are participating), increasing attention is being paid to the efficacy of implementation. This article describes a case study of the experiences of Florida's Positive Behavior Support Project, which used a systematic process to understand barriers and facilitators to the successful implementation of schoolwide positive behavior support by schools implementing at high and low levels of fidelity, and the degree to which the project could impact barriers and facilitators. Results indicate that schools implementing with low fidelity tend to identify practical, operational barriers, whereas schools implementing with high fidelity struggle with systems issues. Both high-implementing and low-implementing schools identified the same facilitators to implementation; however, they differed in their views of which facilitators the project could impact. Implications for state PBS project activities are discussed, along with suggestions for future data collection and providing a model of data-based decision making at a macro level.

Toward a technology of “nonaversive” behavior support

A book chapter in the book "Positive behavior support:  Critical articles on improving practice for individuals with severe disabilities."

Family-centered intervention to resolve problem behaviors in a fast food restaurant: A case example

Assess family-centered intervention to resolve problem behaviors of children with disabilities in fast-food restaurants in the United States. Measurement of disruptive behavior and task engagement; Impact of intervention on disruptive behavior during arrival, mealtime and departure; Use of multiple-baseline design.

Positive behavior support as a family-centered endeavor

This article presents information related to positive behavior support as a family-centred endeavor. Many authors have noted that optimal positive behavior support is conducted with sensitivity to the family's need, goals and circumstances. Such family-centered positive behavior support (PBS) has the potential to produce substantial and durable improvements in a child's behavior and, importantly, to yield lifestyle benefits for other family members. Although a number of authors have advanced these positions, there remains a need for more research and practical reports regarding the process and outcomes of family-centered PBS.

A not so good job with “Good Job”: A response to Kohn 2001

Comments on the article "Five Reasons to Stop Saying, 'Good Job'," by Kohn (2001). Involvement of the field of early intervention in the debate between proponents of behavioral teaching strategies and professionals against it; Argument that saying "good job" manipulates children in order to maximize adult convenience.

Positive behavior support with families

A book chapter in the book 'Families and positive behavior support: Addressing problem behaviors in family contexts.'

Families and positive behavior support: Addressing problem behaviors in family contexts

The parents and professionals who wrote this book have remarkable stories, insights, and research to share - all about children with a range of disabilities who overcame difficult behavior challenges with the help of positive behavior support (PBS).

Person-centered planning

A book chapter in the book 'Encyclopedia of Behavior Modification and Cognitive Behavior Therapy.'

Antecedent intervention: Recent developments in community focused behavior support

A book chapter in the book 'Antecedent intervention: Recent developments in community focused behavior support.'

Factors affecting the outcomes of community-based behavioral support: II. Assessing the relative importance of factor categories

This study was conducted to identify relative priorities among variables mediating the outcomes of community-based behavioral support for individuals with severe disabilities. Data were obtained through questionnaires completed by individuals representing three constituency groups: parents/guardians, direct service providers, and trainers/consultants. The questionnaire asked participants to rate and rank 12 factor categories that were identified in a previous phase of this investigation (Hieneman & Dunlap, 2000). The results showed that all 12 factor categories were considered at least "somewhat important;' and the factor labeled "buy-in with intervention" was identified as the most important category. Comparisons of relative priorities revealed considerable consistency across the three constituency groups. The results add support to the notion that effective community-based support is based on an array of variables related to the context, individuals, and systems involved.

Research partnership: One family’s experience with positive behavior support

A book chapter from the book "Families and positive behavior support: Addressing problem behaviors in family contexts."

“We can’t expect other people to understand”: The perspectives of families whose children have problem behavior

Open-ended interviews in which 20 family members discussed issues related to their child's problem behavior revealed three major themes: the difficult process of coming to terms with the child's disability, the importance of having support from caring people, and the pervasive impact the problem behavior exerts on family functioning.

The Teaching Pyramid: A Model for Supporting Social Competence and Preventing Challenging Behavior in Young Children

This article describes a framework for addressing the social and emotional development and challenging behaviors of young children. This pyramid framework includes four levels of practice to address the needs of all children, including children with persistent challenging behavior. An example is provided demonstrating how to implement this model in a preschool classroom.

Young children and challenging behavior: Issues and considerations for behavior support.

The critical importance of intervening early to promote the social and emotional development of young children is a recurring theme in several reports commissioned by national organizations and leaders (i.e., Child Mental Health Foundations and Agencies Network; National Research Council of the Institute of Medicine; U.S. Surgeon General). There is an increasing awareness that social-emotional difficulties and problem behaviors in young children are highly likely to continue in school. In addition, young children who show the most chronicity and stability of problem behavior are more likely to be members of families who experience marital distress, parental depression, and poverty. Young children in urban environments who have problem behavior are likely to also face challenges in health, poverty, and access to quality childcare and other services. In this article, the complexity of the urban context is described with a focus on the lives of young children and their families. The authors present a discussion of appropriate practices and research that provides a foundation for the development of effective early intervention programs for young children affected by environmental and developmental challenges. The emphasis of program recommendations is on comprehensiveness in the design of family-centered behavioral support options.

Early intervention, positive behavior support, and transition to school

This article describes positive behavior support as it is applied in the context of early intervention and as children progress into elementary school. Variables that contribute to effective interventions are discussed, as are issues that must be considered in order to construct optimally beneficial transitions for children with behavioral challenges.

Vincent’s story: From Head Start to fourth grade

Positive behavior support is a longitudinal, team-based process. For
children with developmental and behavioral challenges, it is often
desirable to develop a dynamic milieu of support that involves school
and family, and that is continually adjusted to meet the needs to the
growing child in ever-changing environments. Functional behavioral
assessment and positive behavior interventions can be key elements in
support plans that enable children to benefit from appropriate, least
restrictive educational opportunities.

Early intervention with families of young children with autism and problem behaviors

A book chapter from the book "Families and positive behavior support: Addressing problem behaviors in family contexts."

Family involvement in functional assessment and positive behavior support

Dunlap, G., Newton, J. S., Fox, L., Benito, N., & Vaughn, B. (2001). Family Involvement in Functional Assessment and Positive Behavior Support. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 16(4), 215-221

Discussion of family involvement in functional assessment (FA) with individuals who have autism or related disabilities first provides a rationale for family involvement, then reviews the literature and offers guidelines including: recognize, respect, and accommodate families' individuality; create a context for family centered participation; take a comprehensive perspective; and develop and maintain a team partnership.

Discovering School-wide PBS: Moving Towards a Positive Future

This DVD contains a 24 minute awareness video on school-wide PBS that can be shared with districts and schools to solicit interest and buy-in. There are also 5 video segments on getting buy-in, using data for decision-making, teaching expectations and rules, providing effective consequences, and developing reward systems. The DVD can be ordered from the Florida DOE at: http://www.firn.edu/doe/bin00014/clermail.htm

Impact of PCP and PBS Plan Tool

This tool is used to review the impact of the PCP and PBS plan on the student as reflected by the written report for intensive tertiary support. This could be considered as a more in depth analysis of a PBS plan for a very complex plan.

Designing School-Wide Systems for Student Success

This chart shows how the universal, targeted, and intensive behavioral system pairs with the academic Response to Intervention (RTI) system.

Illinois Statewide Technical Assistance Center (ISTAC) Systematic Information Management for Educational Outcomes (SIMEO) Home, School, Community Tool (HSC-T)

This is a questionnaire in which a teacher, parent/caregiver, and youth's facilitator complete in order measure a student's needs and/or strengths.

Illinois Statewide Technical Assistance Center (ISTAC) Systematic Information Management for Educational Outcomes (SIMEO) Family/Caregiver Satisfaction Tool (FS-T)

This is a checklist in which parent's/caregiver's rate their experience in working with teams (i.e., IEP Team).

Maryland PBIS Newsletter 2005

This document provides information about the PBIS project and it also describes the effects on schools once implemented.

Online Academy Positive Behavior Support Modules

These materials are used to train professionals to facilitate teams implementing individualized positive behavior support plans. The content is meant to be completed in conjunction with onsite case study support and field-based activities.

Targeted Interventions Training Manual

Training curriculum for PBIS school-based targeted teams.

Blank PATH Form

Blank PATH form to aid coach in person-centered planning.

Arizona Behavioral Initiative Lake Valley Video

An on-line video (real player format) in which an elementary school's personnel describe the impact of PBIS. To view the video click on the following link. http://abi.ed.asu.edu/basics/video.htm

Understanding Problem Behavior (An Interactive Tutorial)

An on-line beginning level tutorial on the foundations of applied behaivor analysis. An excellent precursor to functional assessment training.

Example Letter to Parent- Elementary School Example (North Carolina)

A sample letter explaining SWPBS system, school behavior rules, and behavior consequences to parents.

Example Letter to Parents (Explaining SW expectations: Spanish version)

A Spanish version of sample letter to parents for PBS program. The letter explains schoolwide expectations and school rules for safe environment to Arvada middle school parents in Colorado.

Example Letter to Parents (Explaining SW expectations)

A sample letter to parents to explain schoolwide expectations and acknowledgement system.

Example Letter to Parents (Colorado Department of Education)

A sample letter to parents for PBS program. The letter explains schoolwide expectations and school rules for safe environment to Arvada middle school parents in Colorado.

Getting Behavior in Shape at Home (Spanish Version)

The document provides behavior support skills with family members. 

Getting Behavior in Shape at Home

The document provides behavior support skills with family members.

Tips for Parents: Incorporating Positive Behavior Support (PBS) into the IEP

The document provides essential tips for parents for IEP preparation which helps incorporation of PBS into the IEP.

Tips for Educators: Incorporating Positive Behavior Support (PBS) into the IEP

The document provides essential tips for the development of IEPs that fully incorporate PBS. It describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of IEPs as a tool for ensuring the effective delivery of individual PBS support.

Matrix for Family Invovement (example)

The tool example shows a careful plan of family involvement in PBS.

NYC- Team Implementation Checklist (TIC)- Part C: Family Involvement and Family Support

The tool is designed to check family involvement and support in PBS.

Family Engagement Checklist

The checklist measures the climate of the school for parent involvement, learning activities at home, communication with parents/families, and parent involvement at school.

Bridging the Communication Gap

The presentation slides describe 1) NYS PBIS expectations for developing partnership programs; provide an overview of partnership model, 2) NYC's strengths and resources, 3) setting a clear goal for partnership planning for NYC schools implementing PBIS, 4) approach to designing a comprehensive district program to meet specific goals, and 5) plan for implementation in NYC for next academic year 2005/2006.

Description of Wraparound and Case Example

The newsletter article provides research base, relevant target population, case example, and suggested readings for wraparound service.

Preparing for an FBA Meeting: What Should I Bring?

The newsletter provides detailed information on FBA preparation as a team.

Tips for Educators: IEPs as an Essential Element of Individual Support Within Schoolwide PBS

The newsletter focuses on the development of IEPs that fully incorporate PBS. The article especially describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of IEPs as a tool for ensuring the effective delivery of individual PBS support.

1,3,3.5,5 and 10 day trainings in individual level PBS

This resource is no longer available.

Consensus, engagement, and family involvement for young children with autism

After reviewing articles that discuss educational approaches for young children with autism, this article concludes that engagement is a critical feature, it is not clear that one approach is more effective than another, applied behavior analysis is a common foundation, and approaches may benefit from a more complete consideration of the family system.

Collaborative research with families on positive behavior support

A book chapter from the book 'families and positive behavior support: Addressing problem behaviors in family contexts.

Contextual fit for behavioral support plans: A model for “goodness of fit.”Contextual fit for behavioral support plans: A model for “goodness of fit.”

A book chapter in the book 'positive behavioral support: including people with difficult behavior in the community.'