BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS
Presented by: Steven Vitto, M.A., CCII., CTCI., MIBLSI Coach, Behavior Specialist, Muskegon Area ISD
MIBLSI State Conference 2009
The key to controlling
someone else is teaching
them how to control
you!!
DEFIANCE
What it looks like…
STRATEGIES FOR DEFIANCE
Competing Behavior Model
Long-term
desired
behavior
Setting Events/
Slow Triggers
Antecedents/
Fast Triggers
Desired
Behavior
Reinforcing
Consequence
Problem
Behavior
Reinforcing
Consequence
alternative,
functionally
equivalent
behavior
Replacement
Behavior
An Initial Line of Inquiry
Strengths of student: What the student does well. Student’s strengths, gifts, & talents.
Slow Triggers
(Setting Events)
Fast Triggers
(Antecedents)
Behavior
Problem
Actual
Consequences
Events that may
occur before and/or
during the targeted
response that causes
the student to
respond to a
“typical” situation in
an “atypical” way.
Specific conditions,
events, or activities
that make the
problem behavior
worse? (missed
medication, history
of academic failure,
conflict at home,
missed meals, lack of
sleep, history of
problems with
peers…
Events with a
discrete onset
and offset, that
occur
immediately
before the
challenging
behavior (e.g.,
task demand,
teacher direction,
social
interaction)
An
observable
and
measurable
description of
the
behavior(s)
of concern.
Those events that
occur after the
behavior (e.g., peer
attention, escape
task) or as a result of
the behavior (e.g.,
time out,
suspension,
detention, …)
What usually
happens after the
behavior occurs?
(e.g., teacher’s
reaction, other
students’ reactions,
power struggle …)
Perceived
Function
Obtain
Attention
Escape or
Avoid
Avoid adult
control
Obtain
Sensory
Beginning the Pathways
Defining the behavior
 Define
the behaviors of concern
 Refusing to follow directions
 What does the behavior look like?
 How often does it occur?
 How long does it last?
 How intensive is it (swearing versus
saying “ no way”?
 Prioritizing and clustering behaviors
Identifying and Defining the
Problem behavior
 Why
frequency may be skewed.
 Why other kids may be doing the same
thing and it may not be as problematic.
 What does it mean to be out of control?
 Can someone be out of control and still
have boundaries- i.e., absence of
swearing, threatening ?
What are the triggers or
antecedents of your child’s
behavior?
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Given a group or individual direction
Given a demand to perform a task or routine
Expectation to follow a rule or expectation
(keep hands to self, wait your turn, sit quietly)
The removal or reduction of direct adult supervision
(recess, cafeteria, alone time)
Limited access to a preferred item or activity
Expectation to terminate a desired activity
Being told “no” or “not now”
Behavior targets peers and/or adults
Consequences
What are the consequences when your child
engages in the problem behavior
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Ignoring
Reprimands and social disapproval
Looses privileges or rewards at school or at home
Loss of credit or bad grades
Time out
Forced compliance
Gets attention from adults and peers
Gets different reactions from different adults
Sent to office or suspended
Phone call home
Spanked or punished at home
Gets Status or Attention from other Students
Gets out of school work or non-preferred tasks or activities
Other
A Setting Event
A pre-existing condition
 The “origin” of the behavior
 Effected by history
 Effected by biology
 Something we may or may not be able to
change

Setting Events
 What
are the causes of defiant
behavior?
ATTACHMENT DISORDER
OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANCE DISORDER
CONDUCT DISORDER
ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
EMOTIONAL IMPAIRMENT
ASPERGERS SYNDROME
DOWN SYNDROME
What is Social Maladjustment

Many special education programs receive pressure from various sources to serve students
who exhibit only social maladjustment. However, the law specifically excludes "socially
maladjusted" students from special education services unless the student can also be
shown to be emotionally disturbed.
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Students who are socially maladjusted (or more precisely Oppositional Defiant or Conduct
Disordered) typically display a persistent pattern of willful refusal to meet even minimum
standards of conduct. Their behavior and values are often in conflict with society’s
standards. They exhibit a consistent pattern of antisocial behavior without genuine signs
of guilt, remorse, or concern for the feelings of others. These students often engage in
simulations of these behaviors but typically display them only when there is an immediate
consequence for the absence of such displays.
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Their antisocial behavior is most frequently seen as resulting from their tendency to place
their own needs above those of all other people and the immediate gratification that such
behavior brings them.
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These students are not in chronic distress (one of the criteria for emotional disturbance
under the law) although they can exhibit situational anxiety, depression, or distress in
response to certain isolated events - particularly facing the consequences of their own
actions.
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These students do not typically respond to the same treatment
interventions that benefit emotionally disordered students.
Maladjusted/Conduct Disorder
students:
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perceive themselves as normal
are capable of behaving appropriately
choose to break rules and violate norms.
view rule breaking as normal and acceptable.
are motivated by self-gain and strong survival skills
lack age appropriate concern for their behavior
displayed behavior which may be highly valued in a small
subgroup
display socialized or unsocialized forms of aggression
due not display anxiety unless they fear being caught
intensity and duration of behavior differs markedly
from peer group
What is Oppositional
Defiance Disorder?
Definition of ODD
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Oppositional Defiant Disorder is the persistent
pattern (lasting for at least 6 months) of
disobedient, hostile, negativistic, and defiant
behavior in a child or teen without serious
violation of the basic rights of others
(mentalhealth.com).
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If a student displays the same kinds of behavior that
DOES violate the basic rights of others it is often
labeled conduct disorder. Children with ODD often
become adults with conduct disorder if the right steps
aren’t taken to control the behavior. (Bailey and
Northey and Silverman and Wells 2003)
Why Educate Ourselves About
ODD?
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Because each year we can expect to have at
least 1 student with ODD, and several more that
exhibit oppositional behavior at some time.
 Because our lives will be a lot easier, and our
classes will be more productive, if we know how
to deal with oppositional behavior.
 Because all students have the right to learn in
our classes, even those with ODD.
 Because good teachers know that there are no
bad students, just bad behaviors. When we
appropriately deal with the bad behaviors we get
to see how awesome the student can truly be.
Understanding Aggressive
Behaviors
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Reactive Aggression
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Affective or expressive aggression
Loss of control and emotional flooding
Emotions are dominant
Proactive Aggression
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Instrumental or operant aggression
Goal oriented
Cognitions are dominant
TCI TRAINING [11]
Scott
The Grocery Store
IS THIS CHILD IN CONTROL OF HIS BEHAVIOR???
What Causes Oppositional
Defiance Disorder?
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The cause of Oppositional Defiant Disorder is unknown at
this time. The following are some of the theories being
investigated:
It may be related to the child's temperament and the family's
response to that temperament.
A predisposition to ODD is inherited in some families.
There may be problems in the brain that cause ODD.
It may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Children with ODD have often experienced a break in
attachment or bonding during the first 2 years of life
Prognosis:
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Eighty percent of children with Oppositional
Defiance Disorder showed insecure
attachment.
 Insecurely attached children often grow up to
become insecurely attached parents, and the
cycle continues
Characteristics or Symptoms of
Attachment Disorder:
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Superficially charming: uses cuteness to get her or his way.
Cruel to animals or people.
Fascinated by fire/death/blood/gore.
Severe need for control over adults even over minute situations.
Manipulative-plays adults against each other.
Difficulty in making eye-contact.
Lack of affection on parental terms yet overly affectionate to
strangers.
Bossy.
Shows no remorse---seems to have no conscience.
Lies and steals.
Low impulse control.
Lack of cause/effect thinking.
Destructiveness to self, others and material things.
Students with conduct disorder engage in
deliberate acts of self-interest to gain attention or to
intimidate others.
They experience no distress or self-devaluation or
internalized distress.
How does a student with ODD think?
(Frank et al. )
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I am the equal of those in authority- no one has
the right to tell me what to do.
Yes, I sometimes do the wrong thing, but it is
usually your fault.
When you punish or reward me, I feel that you
are trying to control or manipulate me.
Because I know how much you want me to
change, I will be very stubborn about changing
behaviors. In spite of experiencing your intended
punishments and/or rewards, if I change, it will
be on my time and for me.
My greatest sense of control comes from how I
make others feel.
OTHER SETTING EVENTS
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Biomedical conditions, ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome
Problems with changes in routine
Highly oppositional
Moody or temperamental
ODD
Problems at home
Problems on the bus
Hunger or poverty
History of abuse neglect
Sensory Regulation Problems
Language Delays
Medication
Adversarial Home School Relationship
Many Kids Have Low Self Esteem &
Negative Self Concepts Due To?
• Rotten childhoods filled with negative experiences.
•Abuse, neglect, and/or consistent messages of rejection.
•Inconsistently due to multiple care-takers using very
different practices, and/or giving very different messages.
•Inconsistent caretaking from primary adults who are:
•alcoholic/substance addicted
•mentally ill (unmanaged)
•manic-depressive (unmanaged)
•negatively oriented authoritarian personalities
•incompetent due to lack of childrearing knowledge.
Reiterated negative
labels & messages:
“You rude little son of a b----. When I catch you, I’ll…”
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“You little criminal. You’re going to end up
dead or in jail someday.”
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“Man, you’re strange.”
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“Why don’t you use your head once in a
while? Stupid.”
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“What’s wrong with you, anyway? Get outta my
face before I…”
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“You little loser. Why can’t you be like Fran?”
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“You evil little beast! I’ll beat the devil out of you!”
Client to psychologist friend of mine when the parent was
asked what he does when his 10 year old son acts up:
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“I tell him he’s an a- -h-le.”
The Perceptions That Might Develop From
Maltreatment, Neglect, Rejection
• “My parents treated me badly.” (Fact)
•“I can’t count on my parents to care for
me or treat me well.” (Fact)
•
“I was treated badly because I am a bad person.
Because I’m ‘BAD’, no one could ever like me,
care for me, or treat me well.” (Distorted belief)
•“You say that you want to help me, but I know adults…
When I show you why I’m not likeable, you’ll quickly
reject and hurt me like my parents (and past teachers).
(Identity and reaction pattern become further ingrained~)
• You say you’re different… While I hope that is true,
you’ll have to PROVE IT! ”
(over & over again as I seek reassurance that you really are different).
The Evolution of Adversarial
Relationships and Subversion
 As
aberrant behaviors begin to surface an
unhealthy communication paradigm
emerges
 A phone call home, a detention slip, a
suspension
THE STAGE IS SET
The Reaction Continuum
“My son wouldn’t do that!!
“I will punish him.”
“ What do you expect me to do?”
“You guys are always kicking him out!!
At this point a shift begins and the parent and
school are at risk for developing an
adversarial relationship.
THE FIRST SIGNS
 “ He says other kids were doing the same
thing and nothing happened to them”
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The Downward Spiral
 Without
evidenced based decision making
the school continues to respond in the only
way they know how-punishment and
exclusion.
 Without proper supports, the parent
becomes trapped in a dilemma. Do I
blame myself, my child, or the school?
 And a day comes when the parent begins
to blame the school, and the real damage
begins…
What Johnny Learns
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Johnny is becoming increasingly dis-enfranchised with
school
Johnny figures out that he if he tells his parents he was
picked on, singled out, overly or repeatedly punished,
then his parents will begin to focus on the school rather
than his behaviors.
It becomes increasing probable for Johnny to
misrepresent the school. He escapes punishment and
takes the focus off of him.
By blaming the school, the parents avoid blame, and are
relieved of the feeling of helplessness,
The end result: a parent who rescues, defends, accuses
a child who has a escape card-any time he wants to use
it.
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After considering the preceding
variables, what are the setting
events for your student?
What is the Function or Motivation
of Defiant Behavior?
Obtain…
Avoid…
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Peer Attention
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Peer(s)
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Adult Attention
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Adult
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Items/Activities
(tangible)
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Task or Activity
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Sensory (defensive)
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Sensory (seeking)
What is the motivation or function
of defiance?
Most adults say it is “control.”
 But is reality is avoidance of being controlled by
others?
 In many instances the defiant student is
resisting the control of the adult, not trying to
make the adult do something they don’t want to
do.
 In many instances the defiant student is
resisting the agenda of the adult or authority
figure
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Imagine starting your day this way!
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Someone comes in an wakes you 30 minutes before your alarm is set to ring.
Someone hands you some clothes and tell you this is what you’ll be wearing
today.
You sit down for breakfast and instead of your favorite frozen waffles you are
given two scrambled eggs.
As you reach for your cup of coffee someone tells you it is bad for you and
hand you a glass of grapefruit juice.
When you go to sit at the back of the room, you are told that you need to sit
where your name tag is at the front of the room.
When you try to go to the hotel swimming pool and hot tub you are told it is
only available to VIP gold card members, which does NOT include you.
When you get back to your room you try to turn into your favorite television
show only to find out that only the educational channel is working.
When you go to log on your room computer you find its can only receive emails but not send them out.
When you go to check out you are charged for three movies you didn’t order.
HOW WOULD ALL THESE EVENTS MAKE YOU
FEEL??
We all like to be in control of our
lives. It’s how we meet that need
that sets us apart.
What can a Child Control
 Items
and Things-e.g., Video Games
 Others-peers and adults
 Choosing to follow adult expectations
 Choosing to participate or engage
 Appearance and Hygiene
 Eating and toileting
What can we control???
Attention, Sensory or Escape Avoidance
Control
Possible Functions of Defiance
 Escape/Avoidance
 Attention
 Sensory-Power
Control
HOW DO WE BEST RESPOND?
WHAT IS EVIDENCED BASED PRACTICE
 Setting
Event Strategies
 Antecedent Strategies
 Teaching Replacement Strategies
 Consequence Strategies
a. reward systems
b. reduction strategies
Behavior Mantra:
“It is easier to prevent a behavior
from occurring than to deal with
it after it has happened.”
If you’ve told a child a
thousand times
and she/he still doesn’t
understand,
then it is not the CHILD
who is the slow learner!
Anonymous
48
C o n tin u u m o f E ffec tive B e h av io r
S u p p o rt
Studen ts with
Ch ronic /In tens e
Pr oble m Be havio r
(1 - 7% )
S p ec ia liz ed In d ividu a l
In ter ve n tio n s
(In div id u al S tu d e nt
S ys te m )
Te rtiar y Pr eve ntion
Se con dary Pr even tion
Sp ecia lized G r oup
In terve ntion s
(A t-Ris k S ystem )
Studen ts At- Risk
fo r P roble m
Be havio r
(5- 15% )
Studen ts
with out
Se riou s
Pr oble m
Be havio rs
(80 -90 % )
Pr im ary P rev entio n
Un ivers al In ter ventions
(S choo l-W id e S ystem
Cla ssr oom S yste m )
Circa 1996
All Stu den ts in Sc hoo l
RTI- Are classroom response cost
systems contributing to defiance?
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Response to Intervention
Are we using evidenced based classroom behavior
management systems at the universal level? Are
classroom response cost systems evidenced
based? Is there a balance, better yet, an overbalance
of Positive Incentives and Feedback for Desired
Behavior?
When universal consequences (e.g., Classroom
Response Cost System) are not effective, or when
they trigger an escalation of behavior, do we
differentiate our approach?
Are we over-relying on classroom response cost
systems to manage student behaviors?
The Tough Get Tougher
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“Getting tough” with persistently defiant, non-compliant kids is counter
productive.
These youngsters don’t succumb to coercion.
Rather, they are incited by it.
If our penalties are harsh and repeatedly applied, we might possibly be
able to subdue the rebellion and create a non-motivated, withdrawn kid
Skilled, knowledgeable and caring teachers do what we’re paid to do:

Teach

Inspire
In order to promote positive behavior change and motivation,
“tough” teachers must change their ways. While those ways work
with 95% of the kids, it’s the 95% who don’t need to be treated in that
manner in order to get them to behave. Their ways don’t work at all
with the “difficult” 5%. In fact, their coercive interventions make
things worse. However, it’s hard to convince negative teachers of
the faults of their ways. They commonly respond with:
What ?!
Me Change?!
THEY’RE
the problem.
(not me).
 When
teachers attempt to overpower a kid
who has defeated more powerful
adversaries, they fight a losing battle.
 These
teachers create the very conflict about
which they complain.
Reconnaissance 101
 Gather
 Use
information on your adversary.
this information to inform your actions.
 Sun
Tzu: (The art of war). The greatest victory is
to win without ever having battled.
 Tom
McIntyre: The sweetest victory is one in
which both sides are winners.
SETTING EVENT
STRATEGIES
Setting Event Strategies
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Building a connection or positive
relationship
Designing the physical space
Established a predictable agenda
Established classroom expectations
Meaningful Incentive Systems
Meaningful Instruction
Opportunity for choices
Leadership opportunities
Establishing a positive home school
partnership
Pre-arranged consequences
Have the Student Participate in Creating a
Behavior Plan (Walker, Colvin, & Ramsey,
1995).
 Students
can feel a greater sense of
ownership when they are invited to
contribute to their behavior management
plan. Students also tend to know better
than anyone else what triggers will set off
their problem behaviors and what
strategies they find most effective in
calming themselves and avoiding conflicts
or other behavioral problems.
ANTECEDENT STRATEGIES
should make the target behavior
irrelevant
Contra-Indicated Behavioral
Strategies for the ODD Child
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Ultimatums
Strict Boundaries: Drawing the Line in the Sand
Counts, Warnings, Threats
Prolonged Eye-Contact
Infringing on Personal Space
Social Disapproval
Judgmental Responses
Response Cost and Punishment
Strict Boundaries or Contracts
Suspension and Detention, Progressive
Discipline
Marion
Defiant Kids: How do I deliver a
command without power struggles?
You can increase the odds that a student will
follow a teacher command by:
• Approaching the student privately, using a quiet
voice.
• establishing eye contact and calling the student by
name before giving the command.
• stating the command as a positive (do) statement,
rather than a negative (don’t) statement.
• phrasing the command clearly and simply so the
student knows exactly what he/she is expected to
do.
Avoiding Triggers
 ASD
Example
 Treating with mutual respect
 Avoiding the three “don’ts”
Defiant Kids: Teacher Command
Sequence: Extended Version
1. Make the request. Use simple, clear language that
the student understands.
If possible, phrase the request as a positive (do)
statement, rather than a negative (don’t) statement.
(E.g., “John, please start your math assignment now.”)
Wait a reasonable time for the student to comply (e.g.,
5-20 seconds)
An explanation of the diagram can be found on the slides that follow.
SETTING LIMITS
 Simple
and concise
 Reasonable and Pre-arranged
 Enforceable
(avoid demands that make physcal
management to enforce)
WHERE IS THE LINE?
THE DEFIANT CHILD SHOULD HAVE
VERY CLEAR BOUNDARIES !!!
At this point, we will watch a video clip of a teacher and
student engaged in an escalating war of words. The
following questions would be discussed:
 In
the short term (and the long term), who
“won”?
 Did either person convince the other that
his/her way was correct?
 Has a “show of force” prevented future
conflict?
 Did the teacher do anything of which she
could be proud? Did she implement best
practice?
 (Assuming a “No” answer) Why not?
Shane
Antecedent Interventions
Deal with Difficult Behaviors
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Provide frequent non-contingent attention and
interaction
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“Fix” difficult tasks
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Build behavioral momentum
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Ask for 2-3 likely behaviors
unlikely behavior.
before an
Prompt incompatible, desired behavior
 What
is the most important point to keep in
mind when working with a defiant or
noncompliant student?
What is the most important point to keep
in mind when working with a defiant or
noncompliant student?
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If you instead approach the student in a business-like, neutral
manner, and impose consistent, fair consequences for
misbehavior, you will model the important lesson that you
cannot be pulled into a power struggle at the whim of a student.
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Instructors who successfully stay calm in the face of student
provocation often see two additional benefits:
a. Over time, students may become less defiant, because they no
longer experience the 'reward' of watching you react in anger;
b. Because you now deal with student misbehavior impartially,
efficiently and quickly, you will have more instructional time available
that used to be consumed in epic power struggles.
Offer the student face-saving exit
strategies.
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A teacher, for example, who says to a student, "Rashid, take
out your book now and pay attention--or I will send you to the
office!" backs the student into a corner.
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The student cannot comply without appearing to have done so
merely to avoid the threatened disciplinary consequence (that
is, prompt compliance would probably result in Rashid's losing
face with his peers).
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The teacher might instead use this face-saving alternative:
"Rashid, please take out your book now and pay attention. We
need to make sure that you do well on the upcoming test so
that you continue to be eligible to play on the lacrosse team.
They need your talent!"
REPLACEMENT STRATEGIES
REPLACEMENT BEHAVIOR
Behavior
Function
SWEARING
ESCAPE TASK
DEMANDS
(WRITING)
REPLACEMENT BEHAVIOR
Behavior
SWEARING
Function
ESCAPE TASK
DEMANDS
(WRITING)
REQUEST
A BREAK
REPLACEMENT BEHAVIOR
SWEARING
1
REQUEST
A BREAK
SWEARING
2
!?!?
ESCAPE TASK
DEMANDS
(SPECIFICALLY
WRITING)
ESCAPE TASK
DEMANDS
(SPECIFICALLY
WRITING)
EXTINCTION
Replacement Behavior
Components:
*Identify functionally equivalent replacement
behavior.
*Replacement Behavior
(teaching and maintaining)
Consider…
•Is the replacement behavior effective and
efficient for the student to use?
•The Response Effort: how difficult is it for
the person to perform the behavior? (physically
and/or cognitively)
REPLACEMENT BEHAVIORS
for Defiance
 Taking
leave appropriately
 Refusing in a respectful manner
 Choosing between two task or
demands
 Responding to a coded signal
 Taking part in plan development
 Performing three no preferred tasks per
day
 Being a class helper
CONSEQUENCE
STRATEGIES
I ASSIST
I - Isolate the young person
A - Actively listen
S – Speak calmly, assertively, respectfully
S – Statements of understanding precede requests
I – Invite the young people to consider positive
outcomes and behaviors
S – Space reduces pressure
T – Time helps young people respond to requests
TCI TRAINING [43]
Have a Routine for Responding to
Minor Problem Behavior
Specific Request
If, Compliance
Walk Away & wait
5-10 seconds
If, Non-Compliance
“Please _________”
Request in a calm voice
Reinforce!
If, Compliance
Reinforce!
Walk away & Wait 5-10 sec.
If, Noncompliance
Preplanned Consequence
PRE-ARRANGED CONSEQUENCES
Responding to Problem Behavior
Clarify across staff and administration what
behaviors should be managed in the classroom v.
sent to the office
2. Develop a continuum of “consequences” with a
corrective/ remedial focus, rather than strictly
punitive consequences or consequences that remove
students from instructional time
3. Develop a data collection form that provides
essential information for decision making
1.
Extinction



occurs when you withhold or remove the
reinforcer maintaining a behavior
is a procedure that gradually reduces the
frequency and/or intensity of a target behavior
by withholding reinforcement from previously
reinforced behavior
extinction can be used to eliminate the
connection between the behavior and the
positive consequences that follow it
Extinction (cont)

Extinction REQUIRES complete control of the reinforcer
–
–

consistency is the most important factor related to the
efficacy of extinction
in most cases, extinction is only effective in reducing
behaviors that are motivated by attention from the
teacher/parent/caregiver
Other factors affecting resistance to extinction
–
–
–
–
the schedule of reinforcement that previously maintained the
behavior
the amount of strength of the previous reinforcer
the length of time of the previous behavior-reinforcer
association
the frequency of use of extinction with the student: more the
better
Extinction (cont)

Advantages
–
–
–
–

may be effective without the use of physical or verbal
consequences
no use of aversive consequences/punishment
effects tend to be long lasting
when combined with DRI or DRA very effective
Disadvantages
–
–
–
–
temporary increase in behavior expected at start
child frustration
difficult to chose appropriate behavior to use extinction
with
must have consistency between and among caregivers
and peers (environment)
Potential Disadvantages of T.O.

T.O. may be abused - duration & frequency

Caregivers may use it as a "break"

Frequent T.O. removes the child from the educational environment

“Time In” may not be reinforcing.


Child may exhibit other inappropriate behaviors when caregivers
remove positive reinforcement.
Time-out is not indicated for escape/avoidance behaviors and
instructional noncompliance.
Punishment
WHAT CAN I DO TO GET THAT KIND OF
REACTION AGAIN?
CONSEQUENCES
 Drawing
the line and sticking to it!!
 Setting Priorities
 Setting Limits
 Enforcing those Limits
 Getting Parental and Community Support
Bigger, tougher
Consequences is
NOT what we
mean by a
Correction
System
Consequence Concerns








Repeated loss of anything tends to establish and discount orientationI don’t care
The child may start to believe that they can’t be successful and
acclimate to a life In the office
These kids tend to move us to an ultimate consequence philosophywe tend to up the severity of punishment thinking that a more sever
consequence will do the trick
Defiant behavior may have stronger issues of escape as the student
gets behind
If the child doesn't want to do something or engage, punishing usually
makes things worse
If we have to call the principal all the time the child gradually becomes
desensitized to administration and authority
Repeated exclusion tends to foster a difficult or adversarial
relationship with families
If the behavior is chronic there is a likelihood that something about the
consequence may be reinforcing
Reinforcement History
 Has
reinforcement been used as a
means of acknowledging
approximations of desired behavior?
 Has reinforcement been used as a
means of control, leading to
resentment, and loss of motivation?
The Evolution of Praise versus
Correction in the Elementary Years
 Why
praise may be difficult
 Why praise backfires with ODD
 Why positive need to be quick and brief
 Why response cost is a problem
 Why reinforcement is discounted
 Create a 5:1 ratio of positives to negatives
Problems with Reward Systems
 “What
I giveth I can taketh away.”
 The Marion Story
 May not be reinforcing to that child
 May have been used to control bad
behavior rather than celebrate good
behavior
Setting up Reinforcement Systems






A. The student should have input
B. Delivery should be rich, random, and not tied
to intervals or activities at clearly defined.
C. Response Cost Systems should be
avoided
D. The reward system should NEVER be
used to control the child!!
E. The reinforcer menu needs to vary!!

F. DO NOT USE EMBARASSMENT WHEN THE STUDENT HAS
NOT EARNED A PRIVILEGE OR REWARD. THIS WILL LIKELY
CAUSE THE STUDENT TO DISCOUNT YOUR REWARD.

G. PROVIDE AGREED UPON CELEBRATIONS EVEN IN THE
FACE OF INPERFECTION!!
 Give
Praise That is Specific and Does
Not Embarrass the Student (Sprick, Borgmeier, &
Nolet, 2002). Defiant students can respond well to adult praise but
only when it is sincere and specific, and is not embarrassing. Ideally,
the teacher should deliver praise as soon as possible after the
positive behavior. Praise should be specific and descriptive—
because vague, general praise can sound fake and does not give
the student any useful information about how their behavior meets
or exceeds the teacher’s expectations. For older students who tend
to dislike being praised in a highly public manner, the teacher can
use a more indirect or low-key approach (e.g., writing a note of
praise on the student’s graded assignment, praising the student in a
private conversation, calling the student’s parent to praise the
student).
Ross Greene’s
Three Basket Method
Three goals with this method:
1. To maintain adults as authority figures.
2. Teach skills of flexibility and frustration
tolerance.
3. Awareness of the child’s limitations.
Three basket method: How it
works

Behaviors are divided into three baskets.
Basket A-are non-negotiable behaviors- usually fall into the
safety and rights of others category.
• These behaviors are those that are important enough to
endure a “meltdown” over.
• Child must be capable of successfully exhibiting this behavior
on a fairly consistent basis.
Basket B- These behaviors are important but can be worked
on over time. They are not behaviors worth inducing a
“meltdown” over.
Basket C-These behaviors are those that could be ignored
without any significant repercussions.
Remember the PURPOSES
of negative consequences
 Do
not expect negative consequences
to change behavior patterns.
 Negative
consequences are a way to
“keep the lid on”
 Teaching
changes behavior.
 Prevent
escalation of problem
behaviors
 Prevent/minimize
behaviors
reward for problem
COMPETING
PATHWAYS
Competing Behavior Model
Academic
engagement
Respect and
Instructional
Control
Desired
Behavior
Adversarial home
school partnership
History of trauma
and neglect
Oppositional
Temperament
Setting Event
Staff demands, limits
or boundaries
Staff correction,
social disapproval,
response cost loss
of privileges
Defiant and
disrespectful of staff
Bullying others on
the playground
Input into Plan
Self
management
and reward
Reinforcing
Consequence
Staff become emotional and
upset
Avoids teacher demands
and consequences
Sent home or to the office
Problem
Behavior
Will compromise and let staff
know appropriately
Antecedent
Leadership and
responsibility
Will respond to a coded
system
Will meet weekly with the
teacher and process progress
Replacement
Behavior
Parent complains to principal
and yells at teacher
Reinforcing
Consequence
The Competing
Pathways chart for
our friend Eddie
Setting Events
Extended
structured
activity
(math)
Triggering
Antecedents
Do a difficult
task
Desired
Alternative
Do work
w/o
complaints.
Typical
Consequence
Told “good job”
Grades
Problem
Behavior
Maintaining
Consequences
Function
Threatens,
Uses profanity
Remove from
class.
Avoid task
Acceptable
Alternative
Ask for
break,
ask for
help.
INFORMATION ON YOUR

BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS
DISK
Antecedent or Prevention Strategies
(articles ad presentations)

Breaking Down the Walls Part 2
(full day presentation and “my son” video)

Classroom Management
(presentations, articles, and pre-referral survey)

Competing Pathways
(blank forms and examples)

Consequence Strategies
(full day presentation and articles)


Reinforcement Strategies
(presentation, articles, and sample incentive plans))
Strategies for Defiance
(17 evidenced based articles on strategies for defiance))

Strength Based Approach
(article)

Attachment Disorder
(articles and resources)
VITTO, 2009
Are you going to finish strong??
(Building Resilience)
TEACHING YOUR STUDENTS NOT TO GIVE UP..
Resources

Why not read about it from the man (and his former student)
who wrote it? For Long & Fescher’s description to the
Conflict Cycle model, go to:
http://cecp.air.org/interact/authoronline/april98/3.htm They
also provide a brief introduction to the “Life Space Crisis
Interview”, a counseling strategy for working with kids in
crisis.

To get a better idea of how the Conflict Cycles of two
individuals (perhaps a student and teacher) interact, go to:
http://www.aiksaath.com/conflict.html While this cycle
diagram differs from the model proposed by Dr. Long, it is
conceptually similar.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
ON WORKING WITH
DEFIANT STUDENTS,
WRITE STEVE AT
[email protected]
OR GOOGLE
STEVE VITTO @
SLIDESHARE.COM
OR VISIT THE MAISD
WEBSITE
Steve Vitto at Slide Share.com
GO OUT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!
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