Behavioral Intervention

Arizona District To Use Online Intervention Plan Builder With Autistic Students

A school district in Central Arizona will use behavior intervention software to help its students with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental and behavioral disorders.

The Maricopa Unified School District in Maricopa, AZ, which has a self-contained special education program with about 60 students, is implementing the Skills Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) Builder, which provides resources for teachers of special education students who exhibit challenging behavior.

The BIP Builder software is based on the principles of applied behavior analysis, which assumes that a student's difficult behavior is a function of the individual's environment, not his or her diagnosis. It is intended to address the challenges of students with repeated and unusual vocalization, aggression, property destruction and the inability or reluctance to follow instructions.

Using the principles of applied behavior analysis, clinicians and teachers customize programs and identify replacement behaviors that should be taught to specific students. The program is designed to ensure consistency while safeguarding the student and teacher.

"The BIP Builder increases the effectiveness of the teacher-student interaction," said Skills Managing Director Eliana Ferreira, "which makes students feel successful while giving teachers more time to focus on their classrooms as a whole."

When using the software, teachers can follow a four-step process:

  • Answer a series of questions about the student's challenging behavior;
  • Follow prompts to design a BIP by selecting modifications, replacement behaviors and potential consequences for inappropriate behavior;
  • Customize and store the BIP for updating later; and
  • Graph and analyze the data to evaluate the plan's effectiveness.

"Our teachers are very excited to use the Skills BIP Builder," said Maricopa USD Exceptional Student Services Director Maria Sapelli. "It offers solutions to address challenging behaviors that might not have been thought of before."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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