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Behavioral Support / Crisis Response

Why This Is Important

The greatest impediment to inclusion, and to a quality life, is the occurrence of challenging behaviors. Challenging behaviors include a broad range of acts that are destructive (such as aggression), disruptive and inappropriate to the social milieu (such as excessive noise making), severely irritating to others (such as repetitive and perseverative speech), or any other behaviors that serve to exclude a person from necessary or preferred social contexts or routines. Many people with and without disabilities have challenging behaviors of various levels of severity, and the intensity and frequency of the behaviors tends to have a direct impact on the quality of life experienced by the person as well as his or her family, friends, community contacts and caregivers. Positive behavior support (PBS) is a broad approach that has come to be accepted as the best general strategy for addressing challenging behaviors. PBS is based on person-centered values and it is founded on scientifically-based procedures for conducting assessments and positive, nonaversive interventions. PBS is a process that includes planning, functional assessment, and the development, implementation, and ongoing monitoring of assessment-based interventions and supports. The main focus of PBS interventions involve instruction, environmental design, environmental enrichment and social reinforcement. In the past ten years, a great deal of research has documented the overall efficacy of the PBS approach. It has become increasingly important for people who are involved in giving care and support to be knowledgeable about PBS principles, possibilities, and resources. Parents and educators need to be aware of PBS because the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act now requires PBS and functional assessments under some circumstances. In addition, a number of other state and federal laws and regulations have mandated PBS as the approach to be used when agencies are confronted by challenging behaviors. The main reason, however, that PBS is important is that it offers the most current, proactive, dignified, and effective approach for addressing the problem of challenging behaviors. This department also includes information about how agencies, states, and systems have addressed "crisis response" in innovative ways, designing processes and supports to help prevent crises ahead of time or deal with them in the most person-centered ways possible.

This web site is maintained by the Research and Training Center on Community Living with support from the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Human Services Research Institute and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. E-mail weste050@umn.edu.
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