As part of Related Service, behavior counselors work with students to addresses maladaptive behavioral patterns with replacement behaviors with emphasis on trauma informed therapy and the acquisition of social skills through individual and group therapy. Most importantly, behavior counselors provide opportunity to learn and practice social emotional learning. Behavior counselors utilize Zones of Regulations to help students identify their emotions, choose coping strategies of their choice.
The program coordinators provide behavioral management supervision and supports to the para-educators and teachers. The implement Applied Behavior Analysis theories and concept in effectively managing student behavior. The Antecedent Behavior and Consequence model is utilized to properly identify the nature of the behavior before implementing behavior modification strategies. Through strategic planning, the Program coordinators help maintain a neutral and safe environment for all participants to learn.
Applied Behavior Analysis
The behavioral management plan is vital to our program success. The Childhelp School of Village West behavior management program derives from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) principles which emphasizes positive reinforcement. The behavior program offers a therapeutic environment and a token economy level program with incentives to reward positive and desirable behavior. Efforts to address behavior are not merely limited to reducing frequency and intensity, but are targeted toward the acquisition of behavior and social skills necessary for optimal psychologist and socio-emotional functioning. Middle school and high school students participate in a Transferable Skills program that prepares them for work experience. Students are rewarded with monetary compensation every two weeks based on behavior level system. This program allows students to learn about budgeting, savings, money management, time management and work ethics. Teachers and paraprofessionals implement BSPs and BIPs as specified in the IEP, including special factors to accommodate and support student learning and minimize behaviors. The school adopted Boys Town social skills to help students build social skills and reduce maladaptive behaviors. Individual and group services are also available to help students orientate, acclimate and provide emotional support. All staff are Pro-ACT trained on evidence-based techniques required to deescalate student behavior through crisis communication and intervention strategies.
Positive Intervention Plan
A PBIP is a very detailed plan that is based on information gathered during the Functional Assessment. It provides support and strategies that can be used to reduce the problematic behavior and replace it with something else that is more socially acceptable. The Positive Behavior Intervention Plan lists many recommendations and strategies to be used, many of which are described under Specialized Classroom Management (Boys Town Educational Model).
Academics and behavior management are intertwined. A creative and engaging lesson plan can help minimize student behavior. While an effective behavior management program can help increase student engagement for learning. Teachers use evidence-based Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and best practiced instructional strategies to meet all learners unique learning styles. Furthermore, teachers and the behavior management team use the behavior tier model to design a Behavioral Support Plan or Behavioral Intervention to better support and manage student behavior. Lastly, our school-wide token economy model is designed for students to earn points. This is considered the Leveled Point System (Levels 1-4). Students earn Classroom stores and Level 1 students has access to Student stores every Friday.
Transferable Skills Program
An incentive program designed to provide students work and vocational experience that is transferable for independent living skills or vocational trade. Our students gain a valuable experience in the kitchen, library, transportation department, custodian, etc. We provide students a bi-weekly paycheck as they learn the intricacies of daily living skills. Students on Levels 1 and Levels 2 meet the eligibility of the transferable skills program. For those who are interested, it is first come first serve basis and it also depends on the availability and specifics of the transferable skills program. The wage categorization is based on our Level Point system. Level 1 students earn higher wages than level 2 students. The transferable skills program is a strong incentive for positive behavior reinforcement.
Independent Living Skills
The Independent Living Skills (ILS) coordinator facilitates lessons on adaptive living skills, social skills and life skills on a daily basis. Teaching strategies are evidenced-based with emphasis on Applied Behavior Analysis, discrete trail training, task analysis, incidental teaching, video modeling and coaching. ILS lessons are based on grade levels, age-appropriate or developmental abilities. Students learn these skills and gradually gain self-advocacy skills which leads to greater independence.
Childhelp School of Village West takes pride in behavior modification. There is a strong emphasis on ABA principles and PBIS to help students refrain from maladaptive behaviors. Childhelp School of Village West has a multidisciplinary team that investigates student behaviors. Upon investigation, the team recommends intervention strategies to be implemented. Per CDE requirement, a disciplinary policy has been established to guide our multidisciplinary team on egregious or unwarranted student behaviors as outlined in the disciplinary policy.
Professional Assault Crisis Training
Pro-ACT is based upon a set of principles that focus on maintaining client dignity while keeping clients and staff safe. With a focus on offering professionals the skills needed to reduce or avoid restraint, the Pro-ACT curriculum provides Train-the-Trainer programming as well as Employee In-service training and is designed to:
- Respect client rights
- Build a non-coercive treatment environment
- Minimize the risks associated with emergency response to assaultive behavior
- Emphasize the role of supervision of employee behavior
- Support continuous upgrading of skills and knowledge
- Be free of gender bias
- Emphasize team skills
- Provide experience in problem solving
- Pro-ACT is Principles, Not Technique
The Pro-ACT curriculum builds a framework of principles that guide critical thinking and establish parameters within which to problem-solve. These principles incorporate issues of professionalism, preparedness, de-escalation, teamwork, risk assessment, and crisis communication into a framework for decision-making.
Pro-ACT Principles and Restraint
Development and implementation of an individualized primary, intervention, or treatment plan is the most important tool for maintaining safety. The need for restraint, then, can be viewed as a break down in the primary plan. When the primary plan breaks down and assault occurs it is considered a treatment failure. In such instances, restraint may be the determined choice, but only as a last resort. Guidelines for restraint include specific principles, each of which requires careful assessment and critical thinking prior to, during, and following application. All employees at Childhelp School of Village West are Pro-ACT trained and must adhere to the guiding principles of crisis communication/intervention strategies.