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Module 3 (Weeks 3 and 4): Individualizing Behavioral Interventions

Module 3 (Weeks 3 and 4): Individualizing Behavioral Interventions

Managing student behavior can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. All teachers are charged with making critical and timely decisions about the most effective behavioral supports and interventions and how to implement them. As a special educator, you will help general education teachers evaluate students who may need special services for behavioral intervention. To create individualized behavioral interventions, special education professionals must first define the behavior, identify the antecedents for the behavior, and analyze the consequences for the behavior. From that information, special educators identify a function for the behavior and begin to develop individualized behavioral interventions to put into place for the student. It is the responsibility of the special education teacher to collaborate with other school staff to plan and implement effective instruction and manage the overall learning environment for all students. Furthermore, special education professionals need to communicate with families to ensure there is consistency between home and school.

In this module, you will examine foundational information that will help support you in planning proactive behavioral supports and interventions for a wide range of student behavior problems, from mild to severe. You will apply this foundational information and insights gained to several case scenarios for the Discussions and Assignment this module.

Note: This is a 2-week module (Weeks 3 and 4 of this course). Be sure to review all deadlines and submission dates for your Discussions and Assignments prior to beginning work in this module.

Learning Objectives

Learners will:
  • Analyze evidence-based interventions for severe behaviors
  • Evaluate policies on restraint and seclusion for students with exceptionalities
  • Analyze behavioral data to determine interventions
  • Apply evidence-based interventions to student behaviors
  • Analyze the impact of disruptive behaviors on inclusive classrooms

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Crone, D. A., Hawken, L. S., & Horner, R. H. (2015).Building positive behavior support systems in schools: Functional behavioral assessment (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guildford Press.

  • Chapter 4, “Designing a Behavior Support Plan” (pp. 66–82)

Dutt, A. S., Chen, I., & Nair, R. (2016). Reliability and validity of skills and needs inventories in functional behavior assessments and interventions for school personnel. Journal of Special Education, 49(4), 232–242.


Kern, L., & Wehby, J. H. (2014). Using data to intensify behavioral interventions for individual students. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(4), 45–53.


Council for Exceptional Children. (2009). CEC policy on restraint and seclusion. Retrieved from https://www.cec.sped.org/~/media/Files/Policy/CEC%20Professional%20Policies%20and%20Positions/restraint%20and%20seclusion.pdf

Wrightslaw. (2015). Behavior problems & discipline. Retrieved from http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/discipl.index.htm


Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016). The Northgate School [Multimedia file]. Baltimore, MD: Author. 


For this module’s Discussion and Assignment, enter the Northgate School, click on “Matt,” and locate the “Matt Kemper Data Sheet” hot spots.


Optional Resources

Mouzakitis, A., Codding, R. S., & Tryon, G. (2015). The effects of self-monitoring and performance feedback on the treatment integrity of behavior intervention plan implementation and generalization. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions17(4), 223–234.

Semmelroth, C. L., & Johnson, E. (2014). Measuring rater reliability on a special education observation tool. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 39(3), 131–145.

Discussion 1: Severe Behaviors

Think of time when you have experienced a student who exhibited severe behaviors that could have been potentially dangerous to the student, school staff, or other students in the area. How was this behavior handled? Was the behavior addressed in accordance with laws and standards? Did the staff in the building follow the school-wide behavior plan? How could the behavior have been prevented? These are questions that special education professionals must constantly ask themselves, and how to address the behavior is often one of the toughest decisions that a behavior intervention team must make. Special education professionals must have a solid understanding of federal and state laws, professional standards, and crisis prevention initiatives to address severe behaviors that may be exhibited by students with exceptionalities.

For this Discussion, you will analyze current behavioral issues that are happening in schools and then have a philosophical discussion with your colleagues regarding when it is permissible to use restraint and seclusion practices.

To prepare

  • Read Chapter 4 in the course text. Reflect on the two main goals for intervening with the problem behavior listed and compare them to your own practices with behavioral interventions.
  • Recall your work in EDUC 6781 and the information you explored on the Wrightslaw website in that course. Review the Wrightslaw link in the Learning Resources regarding behavior problems and discipline.
  • Analyze the CEC Policy on Restraint and Seclusion in the school setting, and reflect on your experiences with the topics and situation the policy covers.
  • Research evidence-based practices for intervening with severe behaviors. As you conduct your search, reflect on any gaps you see between what you are reading and what you are seeing being implemented in schools.
  • Research current issues, court cases, or other news stories regarding severe behaviors of students in special education in the school setting. If you cannot find recent issues, court cases, or news, there are several historical cases listed on the Wrightslaw website located in the Learning Resources.

Based on one of the current issues, court cases, or news stories you found regarding severe behavior of a student in special education in the school setting, post a response that explains the following:

  • A current issue, court case, or news story regarding severe behavior of a special education student in the school setting and whether the action(s) taken by the school and/or district in the event aligns with CEC policy
  • Two evidence-based strategies or interventions that the school could use to manage the identified problem with behavior (Be sure to explain how the evidence-based practices you selected align with CEC policy.)
  • Whether (and when) it is permissible to use restraint and seclusion interventions for students who exhibit severe behaviors (Explain any experiences you have regarding severe behaviors as well as restraint and seclusion interventions.)

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