Behaviour Intervention Planning
Outside Supports: Explanation of Critical Component
Schools have an important role to play in helping children with severe emotional/behavioural disorders. Schools have the opportunity to become environments that respond differently to existing behaviours and provide models for alternate behaviours. However, many children with emotional/behavioural problems have difficulties with school settings. They are emotionally vulnerable and function poorly under stress. Schools are highly verbal environments with constant demands to produce and requirements that children behave according to external schedules. This can be quite stressful to children with learning specific disabilities, language disorders, kinaesthetic learning styles, and specific emotional or behavioural disorders. It is always stressful when primitive fears or anxieties are activated. These can move the children into psychological states where they are oppositional, emotionally volatile, and threatening.
A school with carefully developed behavioural intervention planning may be able to reduce a number of stressors and be a protective factor in a child's life. However, the plan may also need to address the internal dynamics and/or biochemical factors that produce some of the child's vulnerability and the stressors that occur in the child's living/learning environments outside of school. For this reason, it is important that the child receive supports from individuals outside the school. This can include services or programs provided through Family Services, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and Youth Corrections. There are also a range of private agencies and individuals providing supports directly to children and their families.
It is often difficult to determine with the parent(s) or guardian(s) when one of the services identified above should become involved with a child. The criteria for involvement and severity can vary greatly from organization to organization. However, when one of these groups are involved, it becomes critical that we work together to ensure that we all have a thorough and shared understanding of the child and to support each other in developing and implementing an effective plan that will benefit the child.