Often, children with disabilities or special health care needs use their behavior to tell us something isn’t okay with them. That behavior may be the only way that they can get their message across. But that doesn’t mean that they know why they’re acting a certain way or what’s wrong. Many times children who are younger or who have a younger developmental age don’t understand why they do what they do. If your child is having a lot of meltdowns, disrupting class, being aggressive, refusing to do schoolwork, or using very inappropriate language at school, you might feel like whatever you or your child’s teachers are doing just isn’t working.
This is when schools or parents might decide to use a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) or Behavior Support Plan (BSP). These positive behavior support plans are designed to help children replace problem behaviors with more positive ones. A BIP or BSP says how the adults in your child’s life (parents, teachers, school staff, and other caregivers) are going to support your child and teach them the skills that they need to use more positive behavior. The things the adults do are usually called positive behavior supports, or just behavioral supports.
Your child’s BIP should include:
*Results of their Functional Behavioral Assessment.
*A list of their specific behaviors––and which ones are most important to work on first.
*Things that trigger (or lead to) your child’s negative behavior so that adults can avoid them.
*The behaviors you and the school want to see more of – and the ways teachers and school staff will support those behaviors.
*What happens when there’s a problem behavior.
*Who is responsible for helping with each part of your child’s BIP.
*What will happen if your child’s BIP isn’t working.
*A plan for updating or ending the BIP when your child meets their behavior goals.