What is a Behavioral Intervention Plan?

This is a plan to adjust the usual program of a child who has exhibited some form of troubling behavior. This strategy is one that is based on the results of a functional behavior assessment after keeping an eye on the child over a certain period and noticing problem behavior that needs to be addressed.

A behavioral intervention plan (BIP) should have three key elements, namely:

  1.     Identification of the baseline measure of problem behavior, including the targeted behaviors’ duration, frequency, latency, and/or intensity. Such baseline must, to the level it’s feasible, include data taken across settings, activities, times of the day, and people. Additionally, the baseline data must be used as a benchmark to ascertain performance criteria, against which the effectiveness of intervention measures will be evaluated;
  2.     Intervention strategies that are planned to be used to change antecedent events to avert the occurrence of the behavior, teach the student alternative and adaptive behaviors, and provide consequences for the targeted inapt behavior(s) and alternative tolerable behavior(s); and
  3.     A plan to determine the success of the interventions, including the targeted behaviors’ duration, frequency, and intensity at listed intervals.

To develop a behavioral intervention plan, the school will put together a team to examine the student’s behavior. The team may include the class teacher, the school psychologist, a clinical social worker, and a paraprofessional. This team will interview the student, the teachers, and other staff. They will also monitor the student over a certain period and talk to the family to understand what’s happening. They could even seek information from other adults who spend time with the student. Testing (like functional behavioral assessment) might be used too, along with a review of past incidents or report cards.

The emphasis of a behavioral intervention plan should be on good behaviors that can replace the targeted bad behaviors, when it’s doable. By creating a BIP, everyone can be in agreement when addressing the student’s behavioral issues. It’ll also enable counselors, behavior specialists, family members, teachers, and anyone else involved with the student to follow the same procedure while dealing with problem behavior. However, it’s important to remember that a BIP isn’t always a success at first.

Implementing a BIP for a student must consist of regular progress monitoring of the duration, frequency, and intensity of the behavioral interventions at planned intervals, as set out in the behavioral intervention plan. Such review and monitoring are crucial as students change over time, and the plan may need to be tweaked accordingly.

The results of the progress monitoring of a student’s behavioral intervention plan must be written and reported to the student’s parents and the CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education) or CSE (Committee on Special Education). They must be taken into account to decide if any revision in the BIP is needed. 

Though BIPs are effective, they don’t always work, primarily due to two reasons. First, if there’s a mismatch between the student’s behavior and the strategies adopted, it’ll fail. For instance, if a student is disturbing the class by talking to hide his reading difficulty, letting him take breaks won’t help. Second, outdated plans that haven’t been reviewed in a while and haven’t changed with the student will soon become useless.

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