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Behavioral Intervention Plans

I’m seeking support in addressing our nation's school systems and their accountability to provide Behavioral Intervention Plans that honor students’ autonomy, their individual methods of reaching allostasis (Merriam-Webster: the process by which a state of internal, physiological equilibrium is maintained by an organism in response to actual or perceived environmental and psychological stressors) and emotional needs because I believe tackling this issue will greatly improve any and all school.  I believe state Departments of Education should be responsible for using or making fidelity sheets that ensure students perceive positive effectiveness from the support of Behavioral Intervention Plans.

There is not a set of checks and balances to ensure the driving hypothesis developed from a Functional Behavioral Assessment is correct or being addressed meaningfully in the BIP.  There isn’t anyone attempting to look at situations from the students’ perspective when developing or implementing Behavioral Intervention Plans derived from the Functional Behavioral Analysis hypothesis.  Our current system presumes all students will find similarly stated cues as positive interventions, as gentle reminders of what to aim for; “you earn your points by speaking in respectful terms”, “your timeout starts when you are sitting quietly”, “first complete your math worksheet, then you can read or play cards” .

I don’t believe measurements are used to analyze whether these phrases are received as reasonable directions or as verbal jabs rendering a hidden visceral reaction and therefore as a person living with the conditions of Oppositional Defiance Disorder, or Pathological Demand Avoidance, or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or Gifted, or etc. the “reasonable direction” cuing is a form of emotional abuse because it is received as ‘I am bad, I am retarded because I can’t ‘.

I believe this style of providing “positive redirection of expectations” reinforces the adult using it as the “person in charge, the person who is responsible for making another perform a certain way” and the adult using these phrases is more likely to project “you won’t do, I can get you to do”, rather than understanding “you can’t do this the way I would want you to do it, so I’ll show understanding and explain how your words and actions are bigger than most are accustomed, so let’s work on accommodating each other.”

Our current system’s continuum, understands that the key factor of determining post secondary success is exposure to typically developing peers to model necessary skills to participate meaningfully in one’s community.  However, the continuum only offers the above mentioned tactics with more force and frequency in more and more isolated settings: general education classes minimized for self contained settings, and when that doesn’t work a variety of more isolated conditions; home bound services, services in settings with no typical peer models, or a classroom of one child with 2-4 adults (this model really emphasizes that a student’s perspective is ignored in favor of making them perform certain ways).

I believe students even at the preschool level need to be included in developing, maintaining, and eventually eliminating Behavioral Intervention Plans.  Currently, this seems to only be a theoretical goal ‘preached’ about because eliminating the need of Behavioral Intervention Plans isn’t something that has been researched and student voices are rarely included in developing behavioral plans initially or as they continue to be used/provided.

I believe undesirable behaviors can be changed without having “to weather extinction burst storms”.  I have great concern that behaviorists work towards this particular means to end undesirable behaviors because it lacks concern for how the student’s nervous system and psyche will be as a result.

It seems too many students receiving services that include behavioral intervention are exposed to trauma loops from the system, I believe, enforced control for stress behavior is like spanking a child for hitting.  I am seeking ways to put measurement practices in place to ensure “preventative” and “treatment” practices are not causing further psychological, emotional, or physical abuse upon those they are designed to serve and shape into “socially acceptable” members of community.


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