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Write Your Own Behavior Plan

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A good Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) can make a big difference in how a student with special needs acts and reacts in a school setting. However, getting the appropriate school personnel to do the necessary behavior analysis and put a plan together can be a frustratingly lengthy process. You may want to propose a behavior plan of your own -- particularly if you have a good relationship with your child study team, and your child's teachers are as frustrated by the delays as you are.

When I wrote a behavior plan for my son, he was in the fourth grade and having significant behavior struggles. The school called in a behaviorist ... but her schedule was so packed she wouldn't be able to come for months. Frustrated, I typed up an overview of the behavioral issues associated with his disability, the things I knew worked for my guy, and links to websites with tips from other school districts as to how to handle kids like him. I presented the document to the teacher and child study team, and not only did it guide them through the rest of that school year, but it rode along with his IEP for years after. When the behaviorist finally did show up, she didn't see a need to do anything different.

If you'd like to give writing a behavior plan a try, take a look at these samples and blank forms from schools and sites around the Web to give you an idea of what your plan should look like and what information others have found useful.

Sample Plans for Specific Disabilities

ADHD (PDF courtesy of Advocates for Special Kids)
Asperger syndrome, elementary school (PDF courtesy of Advocates for Special Kids)
Asperger syndrome, middle school (PDF courtesy of Advocates for Special Kids)
Autism
Bipolar disorder
Fetal Alcohol Effects
Learning Disabilities/ADHD (Format #3) (PDF)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Format #1) (PDF)

Sample Plans for Specific Behaviors

Aggressive behavior (Format #2) (PDF)
Aggressive behavior (PDF)
Avoiding demanding tasks (PDF)
Disruptive classroom behavior

Blank Forms

Positive Behavior Support Plan (PDF courtesy of Advocates for Special Kids)
Positive Behavioral Intervention Plan

You can also find tips for specific disabilities in my information sheets for preparing the school for your child.

Request that your behavior plan be made a part of your child's IEP, as a parent addendum if not a part of the official program, so that anyone who works with your child will be made aware of it. You'll want to specifically bring it to the attention of new teachers and aides as well, since not everybody reads the IEP as thoroughly as they should.

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