Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tier 1 Interventions
Tier 2 Interventions
Tier 3 Interventions
  • Active Supervision s
  • Defusing techniques
  • Varied Pacing
  • Visual and verbal prompting
  • Many opportunities to respond
  • Instructional delivery
  • Parent involvement
  • Social skills instruction – general skills
  • Assignments on academic level
  • Reading seatwork at academic level
  • Reinforce positive behaviors, not punish negative behaviors
  • Proximity Control
  • Token economy à earn bucks to spend at class store
  • Flexible grouping
  • Collaborative planning with grade level teachers and SPED team
  • Explicit teaching of expectations
  • Consistency when enforcing the rules/expectations

  • Role play to demonstrate appropriate responses
  • Change the setting to take away what may trigger behaviors – for example if proximity to a particular child or location within the room will trigger a bad response move the student’s seat away from those locations
  • Fading out support
  • Precorrection—intervene before triggers occur (analysis necessary)
  • Task interspersal
  • Social skill instruction – specific to student need, or small group need
  • Debriefing sessions
  • Alternate difficult tasks with not difficult tasks
  • Follow every non-desired activity with a desired activity
  • Frequent breaks during undesired activities
  • Serve a detention the length of the amount of academic time wasted
  • Scheduled time to catch up on missed work
  • Safe spot/Buddy Room

  • Triage in the morning and afternoon
  • Reduce number of responses on required assignments
  • Receive points or praise for attempts to complete work
  • Provide choices
  • Self-Management or self-monitoring – reminder to stay on task delivered every four minutes…maybe the use of a timer that goes off every four minutes, a walkman that will prompt you to stay on task
  • Visual schedule so students could see when they are going to have to transition and will know what the upcoming activities are
  • Have students show their mastery based on their learning style – orally, visually, or written
  • Reinforce positive behaviors, not punish negative behaviors
  • Provide Illustrations for directions
  • Provide illustrations for all rules/expectations
  • Picture cards for communication
  • When the student receives a certain amount of pluses they will go to the teacher to receive praise or a reward
  • Use visuals to show how you’re a feeling instead of throwing a fit
  • A journal allowing the student to write down how they are feeling when they are frustrated instead of throwing a tantrum or shutting down
  • Increase frequency of rewards
  • Tape line boundaries within the classroom that the student is not allowed to leave without permission from the teacher
  • Offer choices---within limits that meet academic standards, such as: deciding which of two activities to do first, deciding which two crayons to use in a drawing etc…
  • Provide explicit vocabulary instructions in smaller grouping with focus on one student per day, hour, or activity as much as possible.
  • Use mnemonic devices
  • Utilize graphic organizers
  • Allow student to complete work and allow for student correction without penalty
  • Give students an example of how another student completed the same assignment
  • When work is missed or not completed check for understanding of concepts before counting against grade.
  • Get the student to keep a to do list and show them how to mark off completed items. Expect the student to present each day or week. When correct give extra time or grade point.
  • Tell the students that a reward will be given for assignments turned in early to teach the student to avoid procrastination

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Topic 16: Interventions at the Tier levels

The first step in the process is to define the problem, and embedded within this step is noting who is experiencing the problem and what level of support (i.e., Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3) is warranted. Look at the student’s actual or current performance and desired or expected performance. . By looking at the data and where the student is and where they should be the educator will have a clear idea of where to begin and what type of data to collect with what type of strategies.

One important question that schools need to consider is whether a student should receive Tier 1, 2, or 3 services. Tier 3 services are designed to address the needs of students who are experiencing significant problems and/or are unresponsive to Tier 1 and Tier 2 efforts. Clear guidelines for Tier 3 support should be identified by the schools and what type of services will be given at each level. Second, there should be a measurement tool which will evaluate the needs for Tier 3 services without warranting the extra strategies and trials before allowing these type of services.

When a student has been identified as being in need of Tier 3 intervention supports, the next is selecting the appropriate strategies and supports. (.,;%20http//;%20

A second option is what is called the SIT team at our school. This is a team approach and stands for the Student Improvement Team. The teachers follow a strict guideline and focus on the strengths of the student and try a variety of strategies before then asking for even more interventions or support by asking for an evaluation of the students needs.

If the information we gather suggests that the reading problem is not a skill problem, but rather a performance (i.e., won’t do) issue, then the intervention should focus on addressing the function (e.g., escape task) of the behavior. Much has been written about linking assessment to intervention through functional behavioral assessment, and when problems are performance issues, interventions can address behavior function in several ways. When a student’s behavior is maintained by escape from a task, for example, the intervention might reduce the student’s motivation to escape the task by making the task less aversive (e.g., adjusting the choice of materials to increase interest), teach the student a more appropriate way to communicate that the task is aversive (requesting a brief break), or allowing escape from the task following performance of the task for a specified time period.

Tier 3 interventions are designed to address significant problems for which students are in need of intensive interventions. As a result, Tier 3 interventions require careful planning. Specifically, an intervention plan should describe the following:

1. What the intervention will look like

2. What materials and/or resources are needed

3. Roles and responsibilities with respect to intervention implementation (i.e., who will be responsible for running the intervention, preparing materials, etc.)

4. The schedule (i.e., how often, for how long, and at what times in the day?) and context (i.e., where, and with whom?)

5. How the intervention and its outcomes will be monitored (i.e., what measures, by whom, and on what schedule?) and analyzed (i.e., compared to what criterion?).

A resource developed by the institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Ed .

Step 3: Did the student’s problem get resolved as a result of the intervention?

Accurate data should be kept on students going through interventions at the Tier levels. At Tier 3 the process is incomplete until educators ask if the student’s problem was resolved as a result of the intervention. The best way to determine whether a student is making progress toward the desired goals in RTI is to collect ongoing data. Intervention does not stop until the student’s problems have been resolved therefore accuracy and validity of data is imperative for the process to continue to work.(for further information, see Olson, Daly, Andersen, Turner, & LeClair, 2007)


Daly, E. J., Chafouleas, S. M., & Skinner, C. H. (2005). Interventions for reading problems: Designing and evaluating effective strategies. New York: Guildford Press.

Daly, E. J., Witt, J. C., Martens, B. K., & Dool, E. J. (1997). A model for conducting a functional analysis of academic performance problems. School Psychology Review, 26, 554–574.

Deno, S. L. (2002). Problem-solving as “best practice.” In A Thomas and J. Grimes (Eds.) Best practices in school psychology IV, Volume 1 (pp. 37-55). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

Ervin, R. A., Schaughency, E., Goodman, S. D., McGlinchey, M. T., & Matthews, A. (2006). Moving research and practice agendas to address reading and behavior schoolwide. School Psychology Review, 35, 198–223.

Ervin, R. A., Schaughency, E., Goodman, S. D., McGlinchey, M. T., & Matthews, A. (2007). Moving from a model demonstration project to a statewide initiative in Michigan: Lessons learned from merging research-practice agendas to address reading and behavior. In S. R. Jimerson, M. K. Burns, & A. M. VanDerHeyden (Eds.), The handbook of response to intervention: The science and practice of assessment and intervention (pp. 354–377). New York: Springer.

Ervin, R. A., Schaughency, E., Matthews, A., Goodman, S. D., & McGlinchey, M. T. (2007). Primary and secondary prevention of behavior difficulties: Developing a data-informed problem-solving model to guide decision making at a schoolwide level. Psychology in the Schools, 44, 7–18

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Topic: 15 PBS PLAN

PBS refers to positive behavior supports. SWPBS is a school wide positive behavior support program that an entire school takes part in. Evaluation of these programs is essential to maintaining its effectiveness. The National PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports) website provides all the information necessary to evaluate a SWPBS plan. The first section is comprised of school wide evaluation tools. This also includes case studies and examples. The second section focuses on tiers 2 and 3. This section includes checklists and functional behavior assessments. The third section contains SIMEO tools. SIMEO represents Systematic Information Management for Educational Outcomes. This provides resources to schools, families, and students.


Evaluating Positive SPIN News
Special Connections “An Introduction to Positive Behavior Support Planning”
“A Preliminary Study on the Effects of Training using Behavior Support Plan Quality Evaluation Guide (BSP-QE) to Improve Positive Behavioral Support Plans” by Diana Browning Wright
“Behavior Support Plan Quality Evaluation Scoring Guide II” by Diana Browning Wright

Topic 14: Cultural Competence


Culture is a pattern of knowledge, belief and behavior that is passed down through within families. Culture is not just based on a person’s ethnicity, but is a compilation of things such as religion, ethnicity, language, and other things. A person’s culture can be outwardly displayed in a variety of ways. Some of the ways that we are most likely to see cultural differences in school are personal space, family, non-verbal cues, topics of conversation, and how problem behavior is perceived.

Cultural competence is defined as the integration of knowledge about people into specific standards, beliefs, practices, and policies, and attitudes (Mark King, Anthony Sims, David Osher There are many different levels of cultural competence:

1. Cultural Destructiveness-- When attitudes, policies, and practices are destructive to cultures and to individuals within these cultures. Assumption that one’s culture is superior and individuals seek to eradicate other cultures because of their perceived sub-human condition.

2. Cultural Incapacity-- When agencies do not intentionally seek to be culturally destructive, but rather have no capacity to help people from other cultures. Belief in the superiority of the dominant group is present

3. Cultural Blindness-- Well intended philosophy that “Americans do not have their own culture” however, this belief can often camouflage the reality of ethnocentrism. This system suffers from a deficit of information

4. Cultural Pre-competence implies movement towards reaching out to other cultures. The pre-competent agency realizes its weaknesses in working with people of other cultures and attempts to improve that relationship with a specific population.

5. Cultural Competence-- Acceptance of and respect for differences, continuing self assessment regarding culture, careful attention to the dynamics of differences, and continuous expansion of cultural knowledge and resources.

6. Cultural Proficiency-- Characterized by holding culture in high esteem. These agencies actively seek to hire a diverse workforce.

It is important that schools and individual staff members self-assess where they are on the cultural competency scale. If a school or individual is able to see where their strengths and weaknesses are, they will be able to improve their cultural competence. Children are most likely to be successful in school if their parents and other family members are involved in their education and school life.

A culturally competent educator is respectful of the cultural values of their students. They are also aware of how their own culture and beliefs can affect how they plan and teacher their students. A teacher needs to be able to teach from a “multicultural” perspective and have a general knowledge of all their students cultures. It is typical for students from a culturally diverse family to have struggles in school, due primarily to a lack of understanding of their culture and the way they are taught at school.

There are several things that a teacher can use to become a culturally competent educator. This list is gathered from :

1. Participate in diversity training opportunities

2. Use materials from a variety of cultures in lessons

3. Provide students with the opportunity to see the similarities and differences among cultures

4. Learn as much as possible about your students culture

5. Attempt to communicate with families in their native language, or on a method that is typical for their culture

6. Don’t stereotype your students

7. Revise teaching materials that students have access to in order to remove bias

8. Use visual aids when necessary and appropriate

9. Be aware that limited English proficiency doesn’t mean that a student isn’t intelligent

Topic 17 : Bullying Prevention

Topic 17: Bully Prevention

Bullying – exposing another person to either verbal or physical harm, or threatening to harm another person with the purpose of controlling the other person’s thoughts and/or actions (Throckmorton, 2005)

School bullying is when a student or group of students behave in a way that is intended to harm their victim. Three conditions allow bullying to take place: a person who has the will to hurt others, a potential victim, and opportunity (Wright 2003). It is hard to get a true measure of how many students are bullied because bullying is not always reported by the victims due to fear of retaliation.

There are two different types of bullying: direct and indirect.

Direct Bullying

1. Physically aggressive acts – pushing, kicking, punching, hitting, stealing

2. Verbal Aggression – Mocking, name calling, taunting and teasing, dirty looks, verbal threats

3. Intimidation

Indirect Bullying

1. Social Alienation – gossiping, spreading rumors, humiliating, exclusion from activities, social rejection

According to Jim Wright there are four things that teacher must do to reduce bullying:

assess the extent of the bullying,

make sure the students understand what bullying is and why it is wrong, confront students who are bullying firmly and fairly,

have suitable consequences for bullying.

One suggestion for determining the extent of bullying is the use of observation in informal settings. Have outside staff members observe the student(s) or/and have students complete a questionnaire. There are also several suggestions for making sure students understand what bullying is such as conducting a class meeting or having individual conferences with students. It is vital that school staff inform students that bullying behaviors will not be tolerated and that they have a responsibility to report bullying that they have observed. If bullying behavior is witnessed by school staff it needs to be confronted and discussed with the offending student. Do not allow the student to blame the victim!

Another form of bully prevention focuses on educating potential victims on how to avoid becoming a target of bullying behavior. Victims of bullying may be reluctant to come forward about incidents of bullying. One way to combat this problem is to allow students to complete anonymous forms reporting bullying. Also carefully examine the schools daily schedule and look for time periods where bullying is most likely to occur and increase adult presence during those time periods. Finally, potential victims need to learn ways to stand up to the bullies and not allow themselves to become victims. Some suggestions are: don’t allow bullies to see you are upset, walk away from the situation, don’t allow the bullies to talk you into inappropriate behavior, and report the incidents of bullying to adults.

Strategies for Victims

1. Avoid bullies if possible

2. Tell adults about bullying

3. Be assertive and say things like “Stop it”, “Leave Me Alone”

4. Stay calm

5. Walk away

6. If you are in an area where bullying may happen surround yourself with a group of trusted friends

7. If in significant danger run

Use the witnesses of bullying as a prevention tool. Frequently students who observe bullying occurring will not intervene to stop the bullying, and will often begin to engage in the bullying behaviors themselves. Teachers need to inform students that they are also responsible for assisting in the prevention of bullying behaviors, and that if they witness it occurring they have a responsibility to intervene, and that they are also accountable for their behaviors. The witnesses need to understand that while they may not instigate the bullying, if they encourage the bully during the behaviors they are as guilty of bullying as the original bully. Finally, teachers need to focus on creating a bond between observers and victims of bullying so that students will feel sympathy for the victims and will want to care for them and support them.

Responsibility of the Bystander/Observer

1. Intervene

2. Support the victim of bullying

3. Report the bullying to an adult if the victim won’t

4. Write down the bullying you have witnessed and the names of all student involved in the bullying

Strategies to Make a School Safer

1. Increase adult presence in the transition areas, hallways, stairways, and bathrooms, where bullying is most likely to occur

2. Keep older and younger children separated during times where there are less adults present and bullying is more likely to occur

3. Train all staff members how to handle bullying behavior and how to intervene when they witness bullying occurring

4. Arrange classroom furniture so that there are not areas where bullying can occur outside of the view of the teacher or another adult

Bully Prevention Material and Resources


• Committee for Children

• ERIC/CASS Bullying in schools

• No Bully

• Preventing Bullying: A Manual for Schools & Communities

• The ABC’s of Bullying: Addressing, Blocking, and Curbing School Aggression (online course)

• Bully Police

• Olweus Bullying Prevention Program



• “Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do” by Jim Wright

• Safe and Responsive Schools “Early Identification and Intervention: Bully Prevention”

• “Bully Prevention Information: Resources for Schools” by Warren Throckmorton

Topic 13


Issues Regarding Seclusion and Restraint

Federal Policies

• Federal legislative information is made available to the public as a primary source on the Library of Congress’ Thomas site.

• House Resolution 4247: Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 3, 2010.

• On March 4, 2010 Senate Bill 2860 was read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

• Specific information about the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion Act now being reviewed by the Senate can be found on the Thomas Site at:

Support and Opposition

• Over 100 organizations have gone on record as being in support of HR4247 and SB2680. These organizations include Council for Children with Behavior Disorders, and the Council for Exceptional Children. The list of supporters with links to each of their sites can be found at:

o CCBD has released position papers regarding the use of seclusion and restraint:

• There is also opposition to some aspects of the bill

o The American Association of School Administrators:

o The AASA sent a letter to Congress opposing content in HR4247. The letter can be accessed from:

State Regulations

• On July 31, 2009, Secretary Arne Duncan sent a letter to the states and territories urging them to develop, review and/or revise their state policies and guidelines.

• Read Arne Duncan’s letter to states and territories:

• The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education compiled information concerning the status of each state's efforts with regard to limiting the use of seclusion and restraint in schools. Several states have developed guidelines for documenting and reporting, while some states have developed actual regulations and statutes regarding the use of seclusion and restraint in schools. A summary document of this information is available for download and a state-by-state summary table can be viewed at:

• Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) provides a detailed policy for school personnel in an online annotated state regulation site. Code:13A.08.04.03 is entitled Student Behavior Interventions Authority and reads as follows:

o School personnel are encouraged to use an array of positive behavior interventions, strategies, and supports to increase or decrease targeted student behaviors.

o School personnel shall only use exclusion, restraint, or seclusion:

 After less restrictive or alternative approaches have been considered, and:

o Attempted

o Determined to be inappropriate;

 In a humane, safe, and effective manner;

 Without intent to harm or create undue discomfort; and

 Consistent with known medical or psychological limitations and the student's behavioral intervention plan.

• Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is currently working on a Model policy. The Missouri General Assembly has declared, “By July 1, 2011, the local board of education of each school district shall adopt a written policy that comprehensively addresses the use of restrictive behavioral interventions as a form of discipline or behavior management technique. The policy shall be consistent with professionally accepted practices and standards of student discipline, behavior management, health and safety, including the safe schools act.” Read more on this Missouri State Statute at:

• Oregon’s State Board of Education adopted new provisions on the use of physical restraint and seclusion in Oregon public schools in 2006. Several policy and procedural changes where required as of September 1, 2007. These included:

o Each school district establishing written policies and procedures on the use of physical restraint and seclusion.

o Each district identifying the training program(s) or system(s) of physical restraints and seclusion to train appropriate staff.

The Oregon Department of Education provided schools with a technical assistance document. This document can be accessed through:

• Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction developed and posted directives in 2005. Wisconsin adapted Maryland’s (COMAR) regulations.

Website Resources

• National Disability Rights Network advocates for the enactment and vigorous enforcement of laws protecting civil and human rights of people with disabilities. They have release the report, “School is Not Supposed to Hurt” in 2009.

• Beach Center on Disability proposes a multi-tier approach to eliminating school seclusion and restraint except in emergency situations of imminent risk to the health or safety of the student or other persons.

• Disability Scoop is an on-line national news organization serving the developmental disability community. To read news articles about seclusion and restraint issues go to:

• Families Together is a parent training and information center serving Kansas families who include a child with disabilities. This section of the Families Together website provides resources and links for families.

• Kansas Department of Education offers guidelines for the use of seclusion and restraint. The state is also developing and providing training on data collection systems for documenting and reporting seclusion. More information and resource documents can be found at:

• Missouri Families Against Seclusion and Restraint is a grass roots organization in Missouri.

Additional Tools and Resources

• The following link is an on-line video presentation produced by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.

o Title: Seclusion and Restraint: The Impact of Federal and State Policy on the Classroom

o Presenter(s): Dr. Joe Ryan, Amanda Lowe, & Bill East

o Length: 1 hour 33 Minutes

o You must use Internet Explorer in order to view

• Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law provides several resources related to mental health policy for children. While Protection and Advocacy (P&A) information is available, specific resources are available around the topic of seclusion and restraint.

• Ryan, et. al. (2007) provides information regarding commonly reported reasons among school staff for using seclusion and restraint.

Reasons Stated for Using Seclusion Staff Reports

Leaving Assigned Area 32.6%

Non-compliance 31.9%

Disrupting Class 11.2%

Property Misuse 10.1%

Disrespect 4.5%

Physical Aggression 2.8%

Harassment 2.4%

Threats 2.0%

Reasons Stated for Using Restraint Staff Reports

Non-compliance 48.4%

Leaving Assigned Area 19.4%

Disrespect 7.3%

Property Misuse 7.3%

Disrupting Class 6.5%

Physical Aggression 3.2%

Threats 3.2%

Horseplay 3.2%

Harassment 0.8%

• Training Programs: The following is a resource list of training programs that include a) a prevention focus, b) a behavior support emphasis, c) de-escalation strategies, and d) crisis response techniques.

Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI), Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training Program:

• Philosophy: Providing a balanced behavior management system while maintaining care, welfare, safety and security for both the student and staff.

• Methodology: Provides a holistic system for defusing escalating behavior and safely managing physically aggressive behavior. CPI methods focus on effective communication and an understanding of human physiology during aggressive moments.

“Since 1980, more than 5 million human service professionals around the world have participated in the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training program to learn its proven strategies for safely resolving situations when confronted by anxious, hostile or violent behavior, while still protecting the therapeutic relationships with those in their care.

CPI is committed to continuing its research, support, and delivery of the highest quality behavior management training and resources, and to serving as a positive change agent for helping professionals and the individuals in their care.” From the CPI website at .

Handle With Care (HWC):

• Philosophy: Handle With Care was designed for agencies caring for people who have the potential of being aggressive, violent, suicidal, and out of control.

• Methodology: HWC’s training program consists of verbal de-escalation (including theoretical models and role play) and non-violent physical interventions.

“The individual components of Handle With Care technology are integrated with each other, creating a system that is beautifully simple, coherent and adaptable to the classroom environment. Teachers who complete the training will have the practical tools to manage students effectively to avoid a crisis. When a crisis does occur, we teach you how to work as a team in “real time real speed” interventions. It is a program that your faculty will believe in because it is rooted in practicality, the ethical treatment of students and common sense.” From the Handle With Care website at .

The Mandt System:

• Philosophy: The Mandt system is based on the principle that all people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. All individuals have the right to a personal identity, the right to normalization, and the right to the least restrictive and most appropriate environment.

• Methodology: The Mandt System teaches the use of a graded system of alternatives, which use the least amount of external management necessary in all situations.

“The Mandt System is a systematic training program designed to help you de-escalate yourself and other people (e.g., co-workers, spouse, children, friends, clients, patients, residents, students, etc.) when you or they have difficulty managing their own behavior. We believe that until you and the other person are de-escalated, no training (i.e., behavior program, etc.) or work will take place. The Mandt System blends well with a Behavior Support approach.” From the Mandt System website at

References & Readings

• COMAR: 13A.08.04. Student Behavior Interventions Authority. Students. State Board of Education, Annotated Code of Maryland Regulations. Available from:

• National Disability Rights Network. (2010). School is not supposed to hurt: Update on progress in 2009 to Prevent and Reduce Restraint and Seclusion in Schools. Available through download from the National Disability Rights Network at:

• Office of Student Learning and Partnerships. (2007). Technical assistance: Use of physical restraint and seclusion. Oregon Department of Education. Salem, Oregon. Available from:

• Peterson, R.L., Ryan, J., Otten, K., Couvillon, M. (2010). Reducing restraint and seclusion in schools: An update and analysis. Presentation at the Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders. February 27, 2010: Kansas City, Missouri.

• Ryan, J.B., Peterson, R., Rozalski, M. (2007). State policies concerning the use of seclusion timeout in schools. Education and Treatment of Children. 30 (3) 215-239.

• Ryan, J.B., Peterson, R. (2004). Physical restraint in school. Behavioral Disorders 29 (2) 154-168.

• Ryan, J.B., Robbins, K., Peterson, R., Rozalski, M. (2009). Review of state policies concerning the use of physical restraint procedures in schools. Education and Treatment of Children. 32 (3) 487-504.

• Ryan, J.B., Peterson, R.L., Tetreault, G. & Van der Hagen, E. (2007). Reducing Seclusion Timeout and Restraint Procedures with At-Risk Youth. Journal of At-Risk Issues. 13(1), 7-12.

• Sailor, W., Doolittle, J., Bradley, R., & Danielson, L. (2008). Response to intervention and positive behavior support. In M. Roberts (Series Ed.) & W. Sailor, G. Dunlap, G. Sugai, & R. Horner (Vol. Eds.), Issues in clinical child psychology. Handbook of positive behavior support (pp. 729-754). New York: Springer.

• Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. (2009). WDPI directives for the appropriate use of seclusion and physical restraint in special education programs. Madison, Wisconsin.

Glossary of Terms

• Ambulatory Restraint - manual restraint, therapeutic holding involves one or more people using their bodies to restrict another individual’s body movement

• Chemical Restraint - uses medication to control behavior or restrict individual’s freedom of movement

• Exclusion - the removal of a student to a supervised area for a limited period of time during which the student has an opportunity to regain self-control and is not receiving instruction or educational services

• Mechanical restraint - the use of any device or material attached or adjacent to the student's body that restricts freedom of movement or normal access to any portion of the student's body and that the student cannot easily remove. (Tape, tie downs, hand cuffs) "Mechanical restraint" does not include a protective or stabilizing device.

• Physical restraint - the use of physical force, without the use of any device or material, that restricts the free movement of all or a portion of a student's body.

• Protective or stabilizing device - any device or material attached or adjacent to the student's body that restricts freedom of movement or normal access to any portion of the student's body for the purpose of enhancing functional skills, preventing self-injurious behavior, or ensuring safe positioning of a person.

Protective or stabilizing devices include:

a) Adaptive equipment prescribed by a health professional, if used for the purpose for which the device is intended by the manufacturer;

b) Seat belts; or

c) Other safety equipment to secure students during transportation in accordance with the public agency or nonpublic school transportation plan.

• Restraint - any method of restricting an individual’s freedom of movement, physical activity, or normal access to his or her body

• Seclusion - the involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving.

• Time out - removing a student for a short time to provide the student with an opportunity to regain self-control, in a setting from which the student is not physically prevented from leaving. Types of Time-out include:

o Inclusion - takes place in the classroom; access to instruction

o Exclusion - takes place outside the classroom; no access to instruction

o Seclusion - takes place in a special room or location and the student is prevented from leaving and has no access to instruction

Monday, April 12, 2010

TOPIC 12 - Crisis Management Plans

Many times when the word ‘crisis’ is used in a school one thinks – intruder, especially in the inner-city schools. Yet when looking closely, a crisis when in reference to special education takes on clearly another role. Crisis in schools or in the special education population deals largely with a student who is out of control and what the teacher should do in a situation in which a student reaches that point. Many schools have steps to be followed in these types of instances just as they do for intruders, fires, and or natural disasters. A good plan should evaluate the effectiveness of their plan and be practiced to the point that students and professionals are able to calmly and quietly respond in the event a true crisis were to occur.

Crisis planning occurs at the building, district, team, and community level. Each building should have its own plan.

A “crisis” may take a variety of forms within the school. This includes death of a student, faculty, staff member, recent graduate or member of a student’s immediate family. In addition, many other situations can be perceived as a “crisis” or “critical incident” such as natural disasters, fire, etc. Whatever the situation, local school personnel need to make the decision of when to call upon the crisis management team and how to formulate an appropriate response.


• Identify and manage hazards in the school

• Prepare and respond for emergencies in school

School Crisis Plan - A Plan to lead staff in the event that a true crisis was to occur within the school
Objective of a Crisis Plan
• Identify and manage hazards in the school
• Prepare and respond for emergencies in school
Steps to follow in creating a plan
Awareness among the school and communities of the need for a plan

Establish Crisis Management Team

Identify the vulnerabilities of school and develop brainstorm of the plan

Prepare the Crisis Management documentation and prepare for staff/associates

Distribute plan to members and make sure all aspects have been thought of and gone over

Training of staff and students proper behavior and procedures for following the plan

Annual update of the plan- evaluate your plan - did it work?  Was is too hard for students to follow?  Did the individuals involved have any difficulties following the plan?  How can it be improved to become more useful in the future?

Here are a few places to look for general guidelines on school based Crisis interventions

Friday, April 9, 2010

TOPIC 11: Social Skills Interventions for groups

Social Skills Interventions designed for groups of students.
There are some main themes that should be apparent in good social skills intervention groups:
1.  They should be based on the 3 Tier model - part of the schools' design for PBS
2.  Use the same language as school - wide expectations
3.  ALL students receive the social skills training
4.  Small groups for interventions

Each lesson should have the following components:
-rules for when to use the skill
-teach the rule (TELL)
–demonstrate the skill (SHOW)
–students practice the skill (PRACTICE)
–review and test the skill (PRACTICE)
–assign homework (PRACTICE)

Here are a few programs widely available

Second Step Program
This is the program used in District 500 by most of the elementary schools.  I have used this program and I do have to say it is very easy to use but does not lend itself well to the busy curriculum that is evident in an urban school.  The program is very useful in teaching students ways to defuse their own anger and to use their words when other students are 'invading' their space.  It teaches the students it is okay to show feelings and how to read other peoples feelings.  Although these are great skills to teach in kindergarten or first grade, the program curriculum for third grade is very similar to that of the kindergarten level.  This program is scripted and tells the teacher what to do and even gives ideas for extended use within the curriculum.  Unfortunately most teachers feel that this curriculum is an extra burden that they must endure. 
All in all this is a good program for a dedicated staff!

The multi-tier interventions
This intervention sight was discussed earlier in this blog.  For more information on teaching social skills to small groups with a  focus on appropriate behavior this is another program that is available.
This type of model would contain data, practice and the system  - make sure each of the components are in place to have a reliable intervention group.
Data would refer to how the group was decided upon
Practice would refer to strategies involved in the program or lesson
System would refer to the process which the program/lesson was presented

Social Stories
Students who have autism or other processing problems often do well with social stories.  "Social stories provide students with accurate information about those situations that he may find difficult or confusing. The situation is described in detail and focus is given to a few key points: the important social cues, the events and reactions the individual might expect to occur in the situation, the actions and reactions that might be expected of him, and why. The goal of the story is to increase the individual’s understanding of, make him more comfortable in, and possibly suggest some appropriate responses for the situation in question." (

*Develop your own as a team
*Programs on classroom management
*Individualized based on FBA's

Lewis/Powers Social Skills power point

Teaching Children with Autism

Second Step Website

R. Freeman SPED 843:  Advanced Methods & Assessment:  Strategies for Students with Social and Emotional Needs March 31, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

An example of operational definition and some lessons to support student

When student is given directions or non preferred activity to complete student will show inappropriate behaviors.  Student will yell, throw paper, throw pencil, throw self, or reach out to squeeze persons hand or arm who has given instruction  or given the student direct instruction to complete a task

Examples of this behavior:  Student directed to complete math page, yells out NO to teacher, teacher goes over to student and tells student "You do or I 'll do for you"  student continues to refuse work instructions, teacher then does one part of problem for student.  Student then throws paper on floor and pushes chair back from table and seems to 'throw' self back in chair then slides down to floor. 

Non example of behavior:  Student directed to complete math page, yells out 'NO' the teacher redirects and states,"You do or I'll do for you" student then complies and follow directions and completes the page.

Lessons to teach student appropriate response to instructions:

Lesson 1 - Instruct all who work with student the correct procedure for dealing with inappropriate responses from student.

Lesson 2 - Prepare student for math completion by interacting prior to instructions that he needs to finish work first.  Introduce a 'pass' to student that states 'I need a break"  which he may use one time during one instructional time the first day.  The student should be given the break as soon as he states or hands the 'pass' to adult.  His break should only last 5 minutes then he must complete task without anymore breaks.

Lesson 3 - Student should be using the 'I need a break" pass during time SLC teacher is in the room only at this time.  When student has shown understanding and generalization with use of pass the student should then be told and instructed that the pass can be used three times during the day only.  He is to hand or state what he needs before break is given.  A timer should be used to allow student a visual of time allowed.  When the break pass has been generalized throughout the day with use from all adults he interacts with daily then a new pass should be introduced in the next lesson.

Lesson 4 - Student will be given sentence  pass folder - in the folder will be a variety of feelings (angry, frustrated, tired, hungry, hurt, sick, etc) For student to use within his sentence prompt I feel______I need a break.  This prompt should be given only three times per day and should replace the prior prompt ( I need a break)  Student should be encouraged to verbalize the sentence but only allowed to use three times per day.  If student verbalizes statements the response should be , "I'm sorry, but you need to finish your work".  All adults involved with student should be non-emotional and  use smaller sentences with direct and frank instructions.  He should not be given extra attention during 'fits' but given 5-10 minutes of time to calm down and then given redirection before adult in charge begins hand over hand instruction to have student complete task.  Each time a step is completed thank the student and then direct to next task, 'you do'  and continue until 50% of work is completed then give stu dent break to go to bathroom and get drink.
Basically, if the student has no passes left and 'tantrums' through a lesson IF he completes the task he will get another break. 

This should continue until student follows instructions with the use of verbal prompts only.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Resources that remain helpful through Kansas Department of Education Website

After reviewing the Kansas Department of Education's Website I found the following links would be helpful to my practice as well as to Parents understanding of what to expect through the IEP and special education process.  Enjoy browsing at your leisure:)

Resources for Identification of a child who qualifies for Special Education services

Laws and Regulations in the state of Kansas

Parents guide to special education

Parent resources

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

TOPIC 10: Function based Interventions for students

Function Based Interventions for Students
-First we need to understand what is meant by Function Based Interventions.  Let us begin by looking at each word and how it is viewed in relation to behavior.
Function - this word is used to tell WHY a behavior is occuring - what is the student gaining from this behavior?  To find out the team (parents, teachers, special educators, administration team) must sit down together and answer some important questions.
  • What is happening right before the behavior?
  • What the behavior really looks like
  • What happens directly after the behavior?
Based - this means that the team found what the function is and now they must find the perfect fit of a replacement behavior.  This simply means find another activity that the student can do in the place of the undesirable activity.

Intervention - intervention means to intervene, come before in my mind.  This means the team makes a plan that will fit this kid - not all kids - just this one.  The team puts into place what will replace the negative behavior and they plan for teaching it to the student and then how will all people involved react when the problem behavior occurs after student is taught the 'replacement behavior'.

When a behavior occurs which is not manageable by common practices within the classroom a teacher will call for help from others involved with the student.  This calling together is generally within the school setting in which a variety of teachers come together and offer up suggestions.  The school in which I work calls this the SIT Team - Student Improvement Team.  If this still is not beneficial then the special educators begin filling out what is called a Functional Behavior Assessment.

Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)- is a process of gathering Baseline DATA/Information to determine WHY a behavior is occurring and WHY the behavior does not change after using typical interventions.
When do we use a Functional Behavioral Assessment?  Good professional practice dictate a problem solving approach to managing problem behaviors in the school (Crone, Deanne A., and Horner, Robert H., 2003).
What type of situation would warrant this?
  • behavior is severe and/or complex (danger to self and/or others)
  • IEP team determines the behavior as a High level of concern
  • Schools are required to conduct an FBA for any student with a disability who is at risk for expulsion, alternative school placement, or more than 10 days of suspension.
  • more information is needed to determine effective and appropriate interventions
  • Relevant antecedents, consequences and functions have not been identified through other avenues
  • Behaviors and problems that connot be defined
How can a FBA be conducted?:
  • Informal observations
  • Formal observations
  • Interviews
  • Checklist
  • Data Sheets
  • Baseline Data
  • Scatter Plots
  • ABC Chart
What is the process of making a FBA for a student?
ERASE is one quick question format for teachers on the run
E - Explain - What is the problem?
R - Reason - What do you think the student is getting or avoiding ?
A - Appropriate Behavior - What do you want the student to do instead?
S - Support - How can you help this happen more often?
E - Evaluate - How will we measure success?

1.  Identify measurement system
  • observations
  • problematic behaviors
  • Interviews
  • Identify routines, settings and people associated with behavior
  • Define behaivor - stay away from using labels (ADHD, Austistic)
  • Avoid vague descriptors - be very clear and concise and give a clear beginning and end to the behavior
2.  Look for escalating chain of problem behaviors
  • Restless movement
  • taps or engages in repeated movements
  • objects verbally
  • turns over desk, throws books and pencils across room
3.Look for same 'Response Class" - a group of behaviors that may occur for the same function
4.  Use Direct observation strategies
  • permeanent product
  • event recording
  • Interval recording
  • latency recording
  • duration recording
5.  Inter Rater Agreement- include many individuals taking data at a variety of times through the day
  • helps to confirm that the operational definition is objective
  • Creates consistent approach to measuring behaivor
  • Increases confidence that you are measuring what you said you were going to measure
6.  Pull the team together and get some baseline information about the Function of the Behavior - is it
  1. Escape mechanism
  2. Control issues
  3. Attention seeking
  4. Tangible - need
While the team is together brainstorm the parts of the hypothesis
  1. Setting events - what is happening in students life?
  2. Antecedent - What is happening right before behavior?
  3. Behavior - what is the behavior?  Use clear language that could explain to person who has not met the child
  4. Consequence - what happens just after the behavior or as a result of the behavior?  What has the student gained?
The team then should create a three part intervention plan.  In this plan there should be :
  1. Preventing section - How will you change the situation that seems to be associated with the behavior problem?
  2. Teaching section - What other behavior or skill will you teach the child that will help the child get their needs met in an acceptable manner
  3. Reacting and Crisis Management section - How will you react when the problem behavior occurs in a way that does not 'feed into' the students inapporpreate responses and/or cause greater stress in the classroom?
What are some interventions that work?  For each student it is something different, with each plan there is a different focus.  There are some techniques, if you will that work but the only way to find the right fit is to practice and look for the best fit for your student.
Ideas for good interventions?
  • Planned ignoring
  • signal interference
  • proximity control
  • involvement in interest/relationships
  • activity interruption
  • regrouping
  • restructuring
  • humor
  • refuse to participate
  • removal from the group
  • seek assistance
FBA Cookbook compiled by Kathy Growney, Kristi Schang, Melanie French, Sue Werner
Notes from R. Freemans SPED Class843 2/17/10

Thursday, March 4, 2010

TOPIC 9: Parent Involvement

Parent Involvement

As Educators we know the most important link to success in any plan prepared for one of our students is the connection and support of the parents.  We also know that at times, it is hard to include parents in the planning process as well as designate roles and responsibilities to this all important team member.
The keys to involving parents is to open a line of communication without the negative connections.
Some ideas to open a positive line of communication are:
  •  Establish a positive line of communication early in the year
  •  Send home classroom calendars
  •  Send home Newsletters
  •  Send home Good news notes
  •  Call home with Good News
This will help alleviate any negative concepts if problems do occur later in the year.

When negative behavior does occur use the same format and plan as for the Functional Behavior Assessment.

     Walker et al. (2004) Anitsocial Behavior in School Evidenced-Based Practices., Second Edition. Chapter 9

Check out these web sites:,1607,7-140-5233-23090--,00.html

TOPIC 8: Encouraging Team Collaboration

Team Members:  Any member of the staff who works with or interacts with the student this may include:
  • Para professionals
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Principals
  • Special education teachers
  • Speech Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Cafeteria personnel
  • Custodians
  • Bus drivers
  • Office personnel
  • Social workers
  • Case managers
  • Physical Therapist

Some ways to encourage Team Collaboration:
  • Establish a clear vision and purpose for the meeting
  • Prepare ground rules for team behavior and interaction
  •  Define roles and responsibilitis of all members
  •  Prepare an agenda and write up meeting minutes
  • Base ALL decisions on data
  • Dialogue and Team Collaboration ( problem solve, brainstorm strategies, use reflective listening)
  • Prepare a diagram of behaviors with hypothesis to be filled in by the team on chart paper
Walker et al. (2004). Chapter 3
R. Freeman SPED 843 classroom notes ( January 2010 - March 2010)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


• Kim wants a home.

• She wants to have a large house with a yard.

• She wants to have a guest room

• She wants to have a room for just ‘her stuff’

• She would also like to be finished with school work


The people in my family People in my community People as friends

John                                    Pastor                      Ann
JT & Jackie                           School buddies           Pat
Jennifer                                College buddies         Jennifer
Jessica & Steven                                                   Cindy
In - laws
Mom & Dad


• With school and work there is not much time for the things I used to do in the community such as sing in the choir, go swimming, PTA when my children were younger

• Without the time, I really don’t do as much as I should

School Home community

IEP planning Cleaning Church

Team building Relaxing



Eat veggies every day

Use the stairs daily

Daily interactions that are


Visit doctor yearly

Eat three meals a day?

Eat too many sweets
don't have a regular exercise routine
Don't say NO


1. Born 1965

2. Moved to Missouri in 1968

3. Moved to Lawson Mo. 1973

4. Grandma dies in 1978

5. Grandpa dies Christmas 1982

6. Graduate from high school 1983

7. Meet my husband 1984

8. Marry my husband 1985

9. Have my son 1985

10. Have my twin daughters 1987

11. Go back to college 1992
12. Get my Recreation therapy associates 1995

13. Worked three years as activity director

14. Went back to school 1999 began working as a Para educator

15. Graduated with a BS in education 2003

16. Worked as a Kindergarten teacher 2003 – 2008

17. Began poise program 2008

18. Today


Academic & Work

When and how to complete assignments

What classes to take

If I want to come to class

How I get to class
What to wear

How to arrange the house
When to clean & how
Where do I put my things?
What to wear
How to arrange my closet


• Respect is what you give

• You must give respect to earn respect.

• I feel that today – too many people do not understand the way they talk to people is a form of respect.

• We have gotten away from giving respect due to age

Gains Respect

• Do what I say I will

• Give respect

• Allow room for differences

Looses Respect
* Tell others I don't have the answer
* What I wear
*  Weight

Talk it out
Discuss the concerns and brainstorm

Tell me when I make hurtful or

Unfeeling comments

Writing a note


Talking behind the back

False praise

Facial judgment

Ignoring the problem

Keeping it all inside


• I will do well in the two classes I am enrolled in this semester

• I will pass the capstone

• I will live to see my grandchildren

• I will one day own a home


• That people do not respect me

• That I don’t have a true understanding of Christ

• Failure

• Losing my parents

• Losing my job

• Not being what God has intended


• Low self esteem

• Defeat us attitude

• Do not always see the positives in self

• Rely on gut feelings rather than logical answers


• A lot of people who believe in me

• KCK backing me in many decisions

• Family supports

• A God who understands

• Strong support by in-laws


The Theme realized is one

Of strong family supports

Strong desire to own a home

Strong belief in God


• Continue to work on academics and continue to improve best practices

• Work on treating self to exercise and work out – get that heart beating!
• Learn as much as possible
• Believe in self


Continue to work diligently on course work

Work extra hard on doing work the RIGHT WAY

Learn as much as possible through interacting with as many people

As possible

My to Do List

What                                               Who                    When

Continue studying                      Me                      NOW

Get finances in order                  Me & husband       5 years

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Topic 6 : PCP and Wrap around


Person centered planning (PCP)

The process that creates a whole life plan based on the targeted individual. One important aspect of Positive behavior system. PCP’s are said to increase quality of life as it reduces any apparent problem behaviors. PCP is the foundation or starting point of any information gathering performed by a team of individuals. This may sound like the before mentioned FBA process but it is different in the direction members take while evaluating needs of the individual. Instead of focusing on what the individual cannot do until behavior is changed, the PCP process focus’s on what the individual needs to be successful.

Those involved in the PCP process are all members involved in the individuals life The parents and the individual are key elements in designing an effective plan. The Values are rooted in building upon an individuals positive strengths and building from the strengths up, the PCP and wrap around process do not look at the negatives in an individual but just the opposite. It is also important to realize these plans do not focus on experts or proven research models. Just the opposite they focus on the person and where to go from there is dependant upon the individual’s needs


• Increasing involvement in community activities

• Creating, developing and enhancing relationships

• Increasing individuals chance to make choices and express themselves

• Creating respect based relationships and life activities

• Improving the quality of life by use of skills and expertise

In the PCP process the vision develops the individuals ability to change or use strategies to address the individuals needs.

PCP Process is ongoing or cylical:

1. Develop a vision

2. Develop a plan

3. Evaluate the plan

4. Make any needed changes or adjustments

Preparing for a PCP or wrap around meeting? Here are some steps to follow:

1. Strategize the way to introduce the PCP strategies that will be incorporated – the facilatator may need to meet with family and other individuals prior to the wrap around meeting

2. Get to know the individual so you have a strong understanding of the individuals strengtObOhs, preferences and preferred communication styles. The individual can share their desires for the results of the meeting.

3. Obtain a list of people the individual would like to have in attendance and confer with the individual prior to the meeting about who will be there and the expectations.

4. Final task is to schedule the meeting at a time all team members and those asked to attend can meet

Problems that may occur:

• Individual indicates they do not want a particular team member in attendance

• Emotional connections to issues discussed

• Rapport with some individuals is not agreeable

• Do all involved understand the positive contributions the individual is able to contribute?

• Do all involved understand the PCP process?

• Contacting individuals who are not involved and trying to get them involved

• Building positive rapport with all individuals

Before the meeting steps to follow:

1. Collecting and organizing materials used in planning the meeting to ensure the smooth flow of the meeting process

2. Make sure there are activities for all to be involved in using chart papers to encorporate all voices in the meeting

3. Use visual reminders during the meeting to focus members on the strengths and needs in all areas

4. Establish ground rules for the meeting sessions to encourage professional and safe environment for all involved

5. Make sure individual is involved in the planning process

After completing the first meeting set dates for follow up meetings to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan

Evaluate team process

Evaluate team changes

Evaluate system change

Facilitator’s role in follow up meetings

* schedule the meetings in cooperation with individual and their parent

* respond to team members requests for information

* Assis the team in reviewing data

* Brainstorm new goals with the team as needed

* summarize and document the changes to vision or plan of action

Wrap around planning includes all individuals involved in working with the targeted individual including the individual and their family members.
Wrap around planning covers 10 domains of life
•Family support,
•Living situation,
•Basic needs,
•Emotional/behavioral, and
•Cultural/spiritual issues