Addressing Behavioral Challenges through Habilitation
Some of the individuals we serve have behavioral challenges that we are provided the opportunity to help them grow through.
A full and active life supported by caring relationships can reduce the occurrence of challenging behaviors in people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. However, if such behaviors occur, people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and those who support them must have access to positive behavioral supports that focus on improved quality of life as well as reductions in the behaviors.
People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities need supportive and caring relationships to develop full and active lives.
Research-based positive behavioral supports are readily available in our support settings. We feel that families, caregivers, educators, direct support personnel, and other professionals and paraprofessionals should be provided with training and support in implementing effective positive behavioral interventions and supports in all environments.
Behavioral supports are individually designed and positive, emphasize learning, offer choice and social integration, and include modifying environments as needed.
H.A.S. Inc. is opposed to all aversive procedures, such as deprivation, seclusion and isolation. Interventions must not withhold essential food and drink, cause physical and/or psychological pain or result in humiliation or discomfort. Physical restraints should only be used as a last resort and only to eliminate the danger of physical injury to self or others.
The following factors should be considered in developing a positive behavioral intervention plan:
- The circumstances and environment in which the behavior occurred;
- The perspectives of the individual, his or her family and their social/cultural background and values;
- The contributing factors, such as physical or medical conditions, social and environmental influences;
- The completeness and accuracy of any data which has been collected about the behavior;
- The nature, extent, and frequency of the perceived challenging behavior; and
- The function of the behavior, especially what the person may be trying to communicate.
Further, any positive behavioral inventions must also include consideration of:
- The potential secondary effects and risks associated with the intervention;
- The legal, social and ethical implications;
- The ease and practicality of implementation; and
- The consistency with values of the individual’s culture.
Positive behavioral supports should be:
- Designed in a person-centered process involving the individual;
- Developed within the broader context of providing quality medical, psychological, educational, and facilitative services;
- Based on a functional analysis of the behavior and the circumstances under which it occurred, a thorough assessment of everyone’s unique abilities and contributions, and an understanding of how previous interventions worked;
- Provided through a least restrictive strategy and described in a written plan;
- Grounded in evidence-based procedures that will:
- teach new skills that may replace challenging behaviors;
- prevent the on-going reward of a challenging behavior;
- reinforce positive behavior;
- ensure safety (when necessary); and
- provide systemic information on the effectiveness of the support.
- Used in a humane and caring manner respecting individual dignity; Implemented in positive, socially supportive and culturally appropriate environments, including the home;
- Carried out by individuals (i.e., staff, family members and others) who have been trained and are qualified to effectively apply positive, non-aversive approaches;
- Include adaptations to the environment and reinforcers that people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families identify as positive; and
- Monitored continuously and systematically to ensure appropriate implementation and that the support is consistent with individual needs, positive in its methods, successful in achieving established goals, and changed in a timely fashion if success is not evident or occurring at an appropriate rate.