Preventative interactions (4)
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Preventative interactions (4)
Preventive Interactions in
Behavioral Support Strategies for the
• Use a respectful, direct and “business-like” tone when
giving behavioral expectations to students.
• Present a specific predictable response or correction
sequence to non-compliant students.
• Describe how to prevent power-struggles.
• Louis is in a regular classroom, not eligible for special
education services. He is a disruptive student and has
a long history of arguing with teachers, shouting out,
throwing books and tearing papers angrily. He rarely
stays on task. At the moment, Louis is arguing with
• How will you handle this situation? Write your
thoughts and impressions in your reflection journal.
Best Behavior (Sprague & Golly, 2004)
Alpha and Beta Commands
ALPHA CommandsALPHA Commands
•• Minimal number of wordsMinimal number of words
•• Clear, concrete, and specificClear, concrete, and specific
•• Business-like demeanorBusiness-like demeanor
•• Reasonable amount of time for behavior to occurReasonable amount of time for behavior to occur
BETA CommandsBETA Commands
•• Often convey feelings of frustration or angerOften convey feelings of frustration or anger
•• May contain many sets of directionsMay contain many sets of directions
Alpha vs. Beta
How does the recepient of an alpha vs. beta feel?
•Imagine your boss wants to interrupt you to work on an urgent project.
– Alpha: “I need you to stop working on this and work on the project mentioned in today’s
– Beta: “Weren’t you listening? I thought you would already have started working on the
new project by now!”
•How does each command make you feel?
•Which one makes you want to eagerly get started?
•In either case, how do you feel about the person delivering the message?
•What kinds of thoughts are occupying your mind?
Record your thoughts and impressions in your reflection journal.
• Review the teacher and student behavior you haveReview the teacher and student behavior you have
encountered in alpha and beta command situations.encountered in alpha and beta command situations.
• List different scenarios needing different alpha commandsList different scenarios needing different alpha commands
and what they may look and sound like.and what they may look and sound like.
• Record your thoughts and impressions in your reflectionRecord your thoughts and impressions in your reflection
–Which command got quicker compliance?
–Which command resulted in more student frustration?
–Which command might have been more embarrassing for
the student, since the class was watching?
–Which student got more teacher attention for the
–Which interaction might have more easily escalated into a
The “Coercive” Process
• The student is both a ‘victim and architect’ of a failing
– The child’s responses serve as a stimulus that sets the
occasion for repetition of adult demands
– There are specific consequences provided by adults
(and other students) which serve to maintain the
– In extended interactions, the behavior of the student
and adult create “mutual” effects, which maintain the
• Patterson (1982)
When dealing with
• In a matter-of-fact, business-like tone, deliver the correction
or negative consequence which is either a penalty or loss of
– Arguing with the student
– Holding a grudge
– Trying to make the student feel bad or guilty for previous
– Using threats or intimidation
• It’s not about you!
“Simple Choice” Scenario
The student is not following directions after the teacher gave clear directions and verbally
acknowledged other students for doing the right thing.
1.Calmly tell the student what she should be doing. Use the behavior expectations language you
have learned about.
2. Walk away calmly. Stay in the vicinity of the student and unobtrusively notice what happens.
3. If student makes an attempt to follow directions within ten seconds, tell student: “You’re
making a good choice.”
4. If student is still noncompliant after ten seconds, repeat your alpha command calmly and
5. If student makes an attempt to follow directions within the next ten seconds, tell student:
“You’re making a good choice.”
6. If student is still noncompliant after a further ten seconds, say calmly: “You need to . . . or . .
. .” State a preplanned consequence (e.g., lose preferred activity, go to time out, and stay after
school). Walk away.
7. If student engages in dangerous behavior (e.g., throwing, hitting, kicking) isolate the
student from others and seek additional assistance.
Regardless or Nevertheless:
The Magic Words
• Teacher: "Please open your book to page 5."
• Student: "I'm not going to open this stupid book!"
• Teacher: [Pause briefly to check your own feelings before responding to the student.]
• Teacher: "Regardless, open your book to page 5."
• Student: "You can't make me!"
• Teacher: [While looking at other students not giving eye contact to target student:] "Never-the-
less, open your book to page 5."
• Student: "My mother is going to sue you! You F…."
– Warning: Do not take these negative comments personally! They have nothing to do with
you. There is something else going on; this is not about you. Do not engage in a power
– Teacher: Walks calmly among other students giving them positive feedback, such as: "I
noticed you have your book open to page 5." "Thank you for opening your book to page 5
Then, tells target student, ”Regardless, open your book to page 5."
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you
will avoid one hundred days of sorrow.
The 2–Minute Rule
• If a staff member can’t successfully correct or deal with
a problem behavior within two minutes, that problem
should be referred to an alternate, more supportive
setting/staff member for processing (environmental
• If a student is compliant when confronted with a
correction or consequence, the process should take no
more than a couple of minutes to complete. Remember
to acknowledge/reward compliance.
The 2–Minute Rule
If a student presents defiant, disrespectful, or non-
compliant behavior in response to a reasonable
and respectful correction or consequence, then
the chances of that particular staff being able to
successfully get the student back on track in a
reasonable time without using threats or
intimidation (never recommended) are probably
slim to none.
Not an escape-hatch strategy…
• If a staff member does refer a student to an
alternate setting or staff member for support
and resolution, the original staff member
needs to “repair” their relationship with that
student at a later, more conducive time, and
process the problem and resolution enough to
re-establish a pro-social relationship with each
Colvin’s Approach to Defusing Escalation
• Stop and think.
• Restate the expected behavior and bring other students on
• Recognize other students for acceptable behavior
• Speak privately to the student, and acknowledge agitation
• Isolate, ignore, or offer support to the “escalating” student.
• Give the student a positive choice (e.g., “You can either get
back to work or go to the office.”)
• Step away and give the student time to respond (“I will give
you a chance to think about it.”), unless it is an emergency.
• If the student complies, recognize and acknowledge
• If the student continues to escalate, implement the preplanned
consequence school emergency procedures as appropriate
(e.g., room clear, get other adults).