Effective Strategies in Behavior Intervention Plans

Discover effective behavior intervention plan strategies to navigate autism, from chaos to calm.

reuben kesherim
Ruben Kesherim
July 7, 2024

Effective Strategies in Behavior Intervention Plans

Understanding Behavior Intervention Plans

Before diving into the strategies involved in behavior intervention plans, it's important to first understand what these plans are and their role in managing and improving behaviors, especially in children with autism.

Purpose of Behavior Intervention Plans

A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is a written plan designed to assist students who are struggling with behavior in class. Its main objective is to promote positive behaviors by rewarding good conduct and providing clear behavioral goals and strategies. A BIP can be requested by teachers, school counselors, or parents, and any child whose behavior affects their ability to learn can receive a BIP, regardless of whether they have an individual education plan (IEP) or a 504 plan [1].

In essence, a BIP serves as a blueprint for changing behavior, guiding treatment, and ensuring consistent responses to behaviors. The intention is to reduce challenging behaviors by implementing interventions selected based on the hypothesized or demonstrated function of the behavior. For more insight, you can explore our behavior intervention plan examples to understand how these strategies can be implemented in real-life scenarios.

Role of Functional Behavioral Assessment

To create an appropriate BIP, a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is conducted. This assessment aims to determine the functions of a child's problem behaviors in a school setting. The FBA identifies the purposes of these behaviors (functions) and involves multiple observations in the classroom by professionals, along with input from family members and other adults who interact with the child.

FBAs and BIPs must be created by professionals with training and experience in behavioral psychology, such as clinical social workers or psychologists. These assessments are part of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, an approach that focuses on understanding the reasons behind behaviors and identifying antecedents and consequences of behaviors.

In summary, behavior intervention plans and functional behavioral assessments are powerful tools in managing and improving problematic behaviors. By understanding the purpose and structure of these plans, and by using resources like our behavior intervention plan template, parents, teachers, and school counselors can effectively support children in their journey towards improved behavior.

Developing Effective BIP Strategies

The creation of a successful Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) largely depends on the strategies incorporated. These strategies must be personalized to meet the unique needs and circumstances of each child. In this section, we will cover both proactive and reactive techniques used in BIPs.

Proactive BIP Techniques

Proactive strategies aim to prevent the occurrence of problematic behaviors. These strategies often involve manipulating the environment to eliminate triggers or provide scheduled or free access to items/events that evoke behaviors when denied or limited [3].

For example, the use of visual schedules can help children understand what is expected of them, reducing anxiety and off-task behavior. Teaching strategies are also crucial. These involve equipping individuals with the skills needed to utilize the tools described in the plan, such as self-monitoring systems, token systems, and functional communication to express emotions [3].

Specific rewards can be incorporated to motivate the child, like earning stickers for on-task behavior. It's important to remember that these rewards should be meaningful to the child and reinforce positive behaviors.

Reactive BIP Approaches

Reactive strategies, on the other hand, are employed to manage behaviors when they occur. These strategies involve the events that follow behaviors, which can strengthen or decrease behaviors. Consequences can include positive feedback for positive behaviors or loss of privileges for negative behaviors.

It's important to note that reactive strategies should not be punitive, but rather aim to teach the child a more appropriate response. This can be achieved by providing immediate, consistent, and clear feedback about the appropriateness of the behavior.

Developing effective behavior intervention plan strategies requires careful planning and a deep understanding of the child's behavior. For more information and examples of BIPs, see our articles on behavior intervention plan examples and behavior intervention plan template. Remember, creating a BIP is a dynamic process that may require adjustments over time to ensure the strategies remain effective and relevant to the child's evolving needs.

Key Components of a Behavior Intervention Plan

A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP), when developed and implemented effectively, can significantly improve the problematic behaviors of children with autism. The success of a BIP relies heavily on its key components, including SMART goals and well-defined behavioral targets, along with a system for tracking progress.

SMART Goals in BIPs

A BIP should include goals that adhere to the SMART principle. This means they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These goals should target a maximum of four or five behaviors at a time, allowing for focused attention and effort on each behavior. The goals should be determined based on the child's progress during the assessment period and should aim for gradual improvement over time. This gradual progress will help reduce the need for support and increase behavioral consistency Child Mind Institute.

For example, a SMART goal in a BIP could be: "By the end of the month, the child will reduce instances of classroom disruption from five times a day to two times a day."

Behavioral Targets and Progress Tracking

In addition to SMART goals, a robust BIP should clearly define behavioral targets. These targets should be based on behaviors that need to be addressed, such as aggression, self-injury, or disruption. Each target behavior should be described in detail, making it easy to identify and monitor.

Once these targets are set, a system should be in place to track the child's progress towards achieving these behavioral goals. This tracking system can include data collection procedures and should be easy for all involved parties to understand and use.

For further insights into what a comprehensive behavior intervention plan looks like in action, visit our behavior intervention plan examples page. And to create your own BIP, you can use our behavior intervention plan template.

The primary components of a behavior intervention plan include:

  1. Identifying Information: Basic details about the child, including their name, age, and school.
  2. Description of Behaviors: Detailed descriptions of the problem behaviors.
  3. Replacement Behaviors: Alternative behaviors that can replace the problem behaviors.
  4. Preventive Strategies: Strategies to prevent problem behaviors, such as manipulating the environment to eliminate triggers.
  5. Teaching Strategies: Methods to teach the child the skills needed to utilize the tools described in the plan.
  6. Consequence Strategies: Events that follow behaviors which can strengthen or decrease behaviors.
  7. Data Collection Procedures: Processes to collect and analyze data on the child's behaviors.
  8. Duration of Plan: The time period for which the plan will be in place.

For more detailed information on each of these components, refer to Aspergers101. With these essential components in place, a behavior intervention plan can effectively address and improve problematic behaviors in children with autism.

Implementing Behavior Intervention Plans

Implementing a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is a crucial step in managing challenging behaviors in students, particularly those with autism. The successful implementation of BIP depends on professional expertise in BIP creation and the application of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) in the plan.

Professional Expertise in BIP Creation

A BIP is a written plan designed to assist students struggling with behavior in class by encouraging positive behaviors and providing clear behavioral goals and strategies [1]. The creation of Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) and BIPs should ideally be undertaken by professionals with training and experience in behavioral psychology, such as clinical social workers or psychologists.

These professionals are adept at understanding the reasons behind behaviors and identifying the antecedents and consequences of behaviors. This understanding forms the basis of the BIP, which serves as a blueprint for changing behavior and ensuring consistent responses to behaviors [2].

The creation of an effective BIP requires practice and careful consideration of various factors that impact the usability of the plan. The plan should be specific, using clear, jargon-free language that is easily understood by all parties involved. For examples of well-constructed BIPs, refer to our collection of behavior intervention plan examples.

Applied Behavioral Analysis in BIPs

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior, and it plays a key role in the creation and implementation of BIPs. This therapy focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, and academics, as well as adaptive learning skills, such as fine motor dexterity, hygiene, grooming, domestic capabilities, punctuality, and job competence.

In the context of BIPs, ABA strategies are used to understand and change certain behaviors. The BIP includes interventions selected based on the hypothesized or demonstrated function of the behavior with the aim of reducing challenging behaviors.

BIP goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) and should target no more than four or five behaviors at a time. Goals are determined based on the child's progress during the assessment period and should aim for gradual improvement over time, reducing the need for support and increasing behavioral consistency [1].

The successful implementation of BIPs using ABA strategies can be a game-changer in managing challenging behaviors in children, particularly those with autism. To learn more about the application of ABA strategies in BIPs for children with autism, visit our dedicated page on behavior intervention plan for autism.

Evaluating Behavior Intervention Plans

Once a behavior intervention plan (BIP) is implemented, it's of utmost importance to consistently evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention strategies. This evaluation is a two-fold process, involving data analysis of the intervention's effectiveness and the treatment's integrity and fidelity.

Data Analysis in BIP Evaluation

The primary step in evaluating a BIP is analyzing data related to the intervention's effectiveness. This involves comparing data collected during the intervention to the baseline data. This comparison helps to determine whether the desired behavioral change is taking place and if the student is making progress towards meeting the goals outlined in the behavior intervention plan.

Take, for example, David's case study. After implementing the BIP, David's problem behavior (off-task) dramatically decreased, and his replacement behavior (on-task) increased significantly. Initially, David was off-task for 90% of the time, which improved to him being off-task only 10% of the period. This progress led the team to continue implementing the plan with slight modifications, demonstrating the importance of data analysis in BIP evaluation [4].

Treatment Integrity and Fidelity

Treatment integrity and fidelity play a crucial role in the evaluation of a BIP. This involves assessing whether the intervention is being implemented as designed. An observer typically calculates the percentage of steps completed with fidelity.

In David's case, not only did his on-task behavior improve, but the improvement was also observed in different subjects as teachers extended the time he was expected to stay on task. This is an example of generalization. Maintenance occurred when David could stay on task even after all prompts were faded, demonstrating the fidelity of the implemented strategies [4].

Addressing any issues with implementation fidelity is critical before considering changes in the intervention. For more examples of behavior intervention plan strategies and their evaluations, you can refer to our article on behavior intervention plan examples.

Evaluating behavior intervention plans is an ongoing process that requires consistent monitoring and adjustments based on the student's progress and response to the intervention. This ongoing evaluation ensures that the behavior intervention plan for autism remains effective and continues to support the student's behavioral development.

Evidence-Based Practices for Behavior Interventions

As we delve into the final segment of our discussion on behavior intervention plan strategies, it's crucial to highlight the role and importance of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in this field. EBPs are interventions that have been scientifically tested and proven to be effective. These practices play a significant role, particularly when creating behavior intervention plans for autism.

Importance of Evidence-Based Practices

The EBP movement started almost half a century ago with Dr. Archie Cochrane in the United Kingdom, who emphasized the need for health care to be based on scientific research. Today, EBPs are mandated by federal laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act.

When selecting interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it is essential to rely on EBPs. Many claimed interventions lack scientific evidence of effectiveness, and only a small number have been deemed safe and effective through rigorous research [5].

27 Evidence-Based Strategies for ASD

In 2014, The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum (NPDC) identified 27 different interventions as EBPs based on specific scientific criteria [5]. These interventions have been found to be effective methods for students with ASD. These strategies include:

  1. Antecedent-Based Interventions
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Intervention
  3. Differential Reinforcement
  4. Discrete Trial Training
  5. Functional Behavior Assessment
  6. Social Skills Training
  7. Video Modeling
  8. (and 20 more…)

Each EBP is designed to address specific behaviors and skills in individuals with ASD. Therefore, intervention approaches for individuals with ASD must be highly personalized, considering factors such as age, developmental level, personality characteristics, values, and preferences of the individual and family. The effectiveness of these EBPs will vary depending on these individual factors, and a combination of EBPs may be necessary.

In conclusion, when forming a behavior intervention plan, professionals must use these evidence-based practices to ensure the most effective outcomes. For more practical examples of how these plans can be implemented, refer to our article on behavior intervention plan examples and use our behavior intervention plan template as a guide.


[1]: https://childmind.org/article/what-is-a-behavior-intervention-plan/

[2]: https://masteraba.com/behavior-plan/

[3]: https://www.aspergers101.com/components-behavior-intervention-plan/

[4]: https://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/fba/cresource/q4/p12/

[5]: https://behavioruniversity.com/index.php?route=blog/article&article_id=9