Behaviour Intervention Planning
Outcomes and Performance Objectives: Team Thinking Process
The purpose of the plan was to have "Jim develop sufficient social skills and self control to gain positive acceptance and support from his peer group." The team knew that the outcomes needed to lead toward this purpose. System needs included the following:
- Jim stop hitting or kicking children on the playground
- Jim must stop threatening and belittling children in the classroom
- An alternative to being sent home at noon hours be developed
The team felt that if these needs were addressed, the purpose would be partly achieved. Accordingly, the team decided to use these as the basis for determining the outcomes and performance objectives.
Outcome 1 and Performance Objectives
The team decided it was critical that Jim stop hitting and kicking children on the playground. They looked at the positive alternatives to these behaviours which were identified by the social learning needs. The one that stated "Jim be taught new responses to dealing with angry feelings" should produce positive alternatives to Jim's problem behaviours. However, everyone felt that a reduction in the negative behaviour was the critical factor and decided that the outcome would be a reduction in this behaviour. Some information had already been obtained and this gave them a base-line starting point. Accordingly, they decided to choose an outcome that would reflect a percentage reduction in the problem behaviours. Since Jim was sometimes not allowed out at recess during the more difficult days, the measure would only be used when he was outdoors. The following outcome was agreed upon:
"Jim will reduce physical attacks at recess by 90% by May 31."
The team knew that part of the goal was also to have Jim handle difficult situations by himself and to be able to handle unstructured physical activities so they developed performance objectives with this outcome. They included the following:
- Jim could play outside with other children during recess, with the teacher assistant helping him with planning and cuing him when difficulties start to arise with a prearranged interrupt. This would reduce target behaviours by 90% by December 1.
- Jim could play outside with other children during recess and handle some conflict situations in the presence of the teacher assistant. This would be used in particular with a group of students who would be primed by the counsellor to engage in a specific problem-solving approach. The approach would be the one that Jim had experienced when working with the counsellor to resolve difficulties. This, together with the cuing, would reduce targeted behaviours by 90% by March 25.
- Jim could play outside with other children during recess and handle some conflict situations on his own with the teacher assistant being in the vicinity but not directly involved in the interactions. This would reduce targeted behaviours by 70% and with intervention by another 20% by May 30.
Outcome 2 (No Performance Objectives identified at this time)
The team knew that "Jim must stop threatening and belittling children in the classroom" if he was to gain positive acceptance and support from his peer group. There was no specific data on the number of threats and belittling statements he used in a day or week, and it was felt that it would be wasteful and possibly hurtful to begin gathering such information. The team decided instead to gather information on any signs that he was interacting positively with other children or that other children wanted to involve him in classroom activities. This measure would not meet the SMART criterion initially, but would be reviewed by the team at the end of December when more information was gathered. The following outcome was agreed upon:
"Jim will become involved with other children in the classroom in positive ways, and children will begin to ask for him to be part of their workgroups by December 15."
The team believed that Jim's behaviours should change once his personal/emotional needs were being addressed in school, and that further gains would be made as he learned to handle his fears through cognitive-behavioural training. They felt that there was no need for performance objectives in this instance since the accumulative effects of the programming should produce results. If by December there was no apparent change, then the team would decide whether to address this issue directly through some form of intervention.
The team created guidelines on what types of positive behaviours might occur to assist staff in watching for change:
- Jim handles a conflict with a child in a way other than blowing up
- Jim handles his upset (usually signalled by an extremely red face) by calming himself down rather that exploding
- Jim makes a request of another child
- Another child makes a request of Jim
- Jim asks to be part of a group
- A child asks for Jim to be part of their group or welcomes him into the group
- Jim works along side other children quietly, focusing on his work
- Jim works cooperatively with other children, providing some help
Children in the classroom would be protected during this time by the teacher, who would direct Jim to leave the classroom if his threats were beyond the bounds set for a safe classroom. The number of times this was required should also be reduced and the team decided to make a third outcome connected to this fact.
Outcome 3 with Performance Objectives
Although no specific data was collected regarding the number of times that Jim was asked to leave the room, team members knew that it was a number of times per day and that sometimes Jim spent most of his day outside of the classroom. The team decided that the interventions, if successful, should produce an increase in the time that Jim spent within the room and chose an arbitrary starting point based on the perceived amount of time he was presently sent from the room. They did not want to be too aggressive with their outcome since the knew Jim had trouble with some class activities and needed time outside the classroom, particularly on difficult days. They agreed on the following outcome:
"Jim will work within the classroom 70% of the time, using acceptable classroom behaviours, by May 31."
They clearly felt that there would be a progression with the interventions identified and decided on the following performance objectives:
- Once Jim gets into the classroom, he will be able to remain within the classroom until recess time 80% of the time by November 30.
- Once Jim gets into the classroom, he will be able to remain within the classroom until recess time 90% of the time, and when he returns to the classroom after a problem will be able to remain within the classroom until recess 70% of the time by February 28.
- Jim will accomplish the above, increasing the 70% to 90% and will be able to stay within the classroom after recess and into the next recess at least 60% of the time by April 30.
- Jim will choose to be in the classroom and be able to remain within the classroom at least 70% of the time by May 31.
It was felt by the team that these objectives were quite obtainable and that failure to reach them would require the team to re-evaluate their plan.
Outcome 4 with Performance Objectives
The team agreed that an alternative to being sent home at noon hours be developed. It was their hope that Jim would be able to be at school full-time for noon hours. However, they did not want to harm the good work they hoped to achieve with their plan by having Jim hurt children, and knew that this was the hardest part of the day for him to handle his behaviours. However, being optimistic and feeling some pressure to provide full educational opportunities, they agreed to the following outcome:
"Jim will be able to stay at school for noon hours at least four days out of five by November 30."
The type of involvement Jim would have with staff and students would vary depending upon his ability to handle this highly unstructured time where there is usually a lot of physical activity. The teacher assistant that normally works with him, and teaching staff would need a break so this required some careful planning for re-entry if it was to be an effective process. Accordingly, the staff decided to develop performance objectives to provide direction in this matter. They include the following:
- Jim will be at school during lunch hours twice a week assisting the physical education teacher (coach) in refereeing basketball by October 1. This will be done together with the coach and Jim will each lunch in the coach's office. He will need to demonstrate some interest and ability to do this before the next step is initiated.
- Jim will be at school during lunch hours three times a week assisting the physical education teacher in refereeing basketball by October 21, and will ref one of the games with the younger children without adult intervention (although the regular duty teacher will be present). He will need to be able to demonstrate the ability to handle this activity without adult intervention before the next steps are tried.
- Jim will be offered the opportunity to stay at school for the remaining two days of the week by November 15 when there is a formal school activity, or to help teachers in the school (primarily with younger children). He will be able to take part in the "staff versus student" gator ball games where he shines and where there are sufficient staff to redirect him if problems arise. On occasion, he will be given the opportunity to take part in some of the formal recess activities to begin the connection with his peers around these. This will be done through discussion with the counsellor who will help him make a presentation to the principal requesting this opportunity. It will only be done he has had a fairly successful record at handling recesses. Success in being with peers in formal activities will determine when the next step will occur.
- Jim will be offered the opportunity to attend school during lunch times by November 30 and, after some discussion with the counsellor, will be allowed to play with peers as part of a formal activity or will have the opportunity to do an alternate activity alone or as part of a small group.
This was a cautious area for progress and the words in italics indicate some of the additional riders that were given around each objective. With these riders, the team believed that this would represent a gentle and workable re-entry process and that it would help Jim use his strengths and interests. It would also give him some physical activity and reduce the likelihood of conflict. However, the team was not sure whether them time-line was too aggressive and all agreed to slow down the entry process if he appeared unable to handle it.