Consequences = Events occurring after the behavior (regardless of our positive or negative opinion).
Consequence strategies are about appropriately responding to behavior. This includes responding to the behaviors of concern when they occur, AND responding to the desired behaviors to make them more likely to happen again .
In schools, the term "punishment" usually means a penalty or restriction, and is often equated to exclusionary practices or shaming.
Remember, behavior problems are caused by skill deficits. It is not ethical to "punish" students for behaviors they cannot help!
Check here for more information on "punishment".
It is important to have a response plan that reduces the likelihood behaviors of concern continue and increases the likelihood the student will use more effective and appropriate alternative behaviors. (In Behavior Analysis, we call this "punishment" and "reinforcement." Terminology can be confusing!)
Responding to the behavior of Concern:
When Student engages in the problem behavior:
1. Redirect or Prompt the student to use the alternative behavior
- This should help to prevent escalation by meeting the student's need
- Provide a subtle gestural or verbal prompt to remind student to use the replacement behavior can effectively get the student on-track
E.g., Raising your hand to prompt hand-raising behavior OR saying: “If you raise your hand you can take a break.”
- When the student engages in the replacement behavior, quickly provide the student with an outcome that matches the function of the problem behavior
E.g. if student raises hand to request an easier, substitute assignment in order to escape difficult tasks, then quickly provide the easier assignment
2. Extinguish Problem Behavior (minimize the reward so the behavior is no longer effective):
- Identifying a response that does not result in the desired pay/off or the function of the problem behavior
E.g., if the function of problem behavior is to escape the task, make sure when the student engages in problem behavior they do not escape the task (e.g., must stay in for recess to complete the task)
Time out may not be effective if the function of student behavior is to escape the task
Escalation Curve Response Plan
Addressing Noncompliance and Disruption (IRIS Center Module)
Responding to the alternative or desired behaviors (REINFORCEMENT TIPS):
When the student uses the desired alternative behavior OR more desired behaviors, Reinforcement should be provided.
1. The reinforcer must be valued by the student
–The function of behavior is a good place to start when identifying valued reinforcers
e.g. If the function of behavior is to Gain Peer Attention, the reinforcer should give access to Peer Attention
e.g. if the function of behavior is to Avoid Difficult Task the reinforcer could be a “Free Homework Pass”
2. The timeframe for goals for desired behavior must be reasonable
–In the Beginning try to Reinforce Every occurrence or approximation
•Probably NOT Reasonable Time frames for reinforcement
–If student turns in all worksheets for week 1, he will earn 15 min. in skate park on Friday
–If student is in seat and on-task for the entire period, he will earn a candy bar
•More Reasonable Time frames for reinforcement
–If student completes 5 problems, he can choose 3 problems to cross off the worksheet
–If student is on task for 10 min., he will earn 4 min. of computer time
Q & A Reinforcement
Free Reinforcer Ideas
Reinforcement in BSP
Above information adapted from Loman/Borgmeier @ Portland State University. Thank you!