Steps in Creating a Behavior Support Plan

Steps for Creating Positive Function-Based Behavior Support Plans
Muscott and Mann (2006)
Goal: To create a function-based behavior support plan for a student based on a functional assessment
and monitor its effectiveness.
Step 1: Function-Based Summary Statement. Review the summary statement developed from either
the quick, intermediate or comprehensive functional assessment. A complete summary statement should
(1) An operational definition of the behavior (or class of behaviors) that is observable and measurable;
(2) Information pertaining to the frequency/rate, duration, and intensity of the behavior;
(3) A description of the antecedents or immediate triggers that occur just prior to the problem
behavior (e.g., child or adult behaviors, routines, etc.)
(4) A description of any distant setting events that increase the likelihood or probability that the
immediate antecedent will trigger the problem behavior (e.g., make it more likely to occur);
(5) A description of any distant setting events that decrease the likelihood or probability that the
immediate antecedent will trigger the problem behavior (e.g., make it less likely to occur);
(6) Only one hypothesized maintaining consequence or function of the behavior (why he continues to
do it) which describes the relationship between the behavior and the maintaining consequence.
Example: During math class, Jack gets into arguments with his math teacher if she asks him to correct his
mistakes. Arguments are defined as verbal objections, protests or statements about his unwillingness to
redo the work or about his teacher in general. The behavior occurs 3-4 times a week and is of moderate
intensity. This behavior is more likely to happen if he has had difficulty with another subject prior to
coming to math class or if he gets more than 10% of the problems wrong. It’s less likely to occur if the
math teacher provides verbal praise before discussing corrections or if he gets less than 10% of the
problems wrong. It is likely that Jack’s behavior results in him being able to avoid correcting his work.
Step 2: The Replacement Behavior(s). For the behavior (or class of behaviors) of concern, describe an
appropriate replacement behavior you want the student to exhibit instead of the problem behavior. Be
sure that the replacement behavior is designed to meet (or at least delay) the same function as the problem
Step 3: Competing Behavior Pathway Chart. Create a competing behavior pathway chart from the
information you have gathered.
Step 4: Identify Intervention Strategies. Brainstorm and select intervention strategies for each of the
areas below that will make the problem behavior less effective, less efficient, and less relevant than the
replacement or desired behavior.
1. Intervening Prior to the Problem Behavior: Design the strategies and interventions you would
use to:
a. Make the immediate triggering antecedents ineffective so they are less likely to trigger or
occasion the problem behavior;
b. Minimize or neutralize the distant setting events so they have less impact on the triggering
antecedents (If possible);
c. Teach the student the replacement behavior to make the problem behavior less efficient
and effective so that more acceptable behaviors are easier to do and more likely to be
reinforced; and
d. Reinforce (meaningfully and practically) the replacement or desired behavior when it
occurs so that they are strengthened.
Be specific about types of reinforcers, the schedule of reinforcement or system used, specific
teaching interventions, any social/affective skills programs or lessons you would use, and how the
immediate triggering antecedents and distant setting events might be manipulated to increase the
likelihood the replacement behavior would occur and decrease the likelihood the problem behavior
would occur.
2. Intervening After the Problem Behavior is Observed: Design specific consequence strategies or
interventions you would use after the student displays the problem behavior to make the
maintaining consequences of the problem behavior inefficient (either no longer present or less
reinforcing). Be specific about the types of consequences, assignments, and/or strategies you
would use that are aimed at decreasing the occurrence of the problem behavior.
Step 5: Develop a Plan to Monitor Progress. Design a plan for monitoring student progress that
1. The observable and measurable outcomes of the plan that address changes in the problem behavior
or replacement behavior and specific criteria for success;
2. A data collection form for data-based decision-making to monitor progress;
3. A schedule for assessing progress; and, if needed
4. Emergency procedures if behavior escalates.
Step 6: Develop a Detailed Action Plan to Implement the Behavior Support Plan. Design a detailed
action plan that includes:
1. Who will do what by when;
2. How the plan will be shared with other members of the team, staff and family;
3. Any training necessary to support fidelity of implementation; and
4. Who the person responsible for coordinating the plan will be.
Step 7: Implement and Evaluate the Behavior Support Plan.
1. Implement the plan;
2. Assess progress based on outcomes;
3. If outcomes achieved, celebrate and monitor periodically;
4. If outcomes not achieved, assess fidelity of implementation;
5. If plan was implemented with fidelity, review hypothesized function for accuracy;
6. If accurate, modify plan and reassess periodically;
7. If hypothesized function was inaccurate, modify hypothesized function using intermediate or
comprehensive FBA and redesign support plan.
June 12, 2006