What is positive behavior support?

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a broad approach for resolving problem behaviors that are displayed by people with disabilities.

Problem behaviors may include: (1) self-injury, aggression, and other destructive acts, (2) tantrums and other disruptive responses, and (3) excessively repetitive or irritating behaviors including actions that interfere with a person’s learning or social interactions.

Some important features of PBS include:

  • PBS is based on person-centered values. A PBS plan requires that procedures be positive and respect the dignity of the person;
  • PBS interventions are individualized and based on an understanding of the person and their environment;
  • PBS interventions usually consist of more than one strategy. They involve collaboration among more than one care giver and support provider;
  • PBS goals should include improvements in social relationships and other “lifestyle” enhancements, as well as reductions in problem behavior.

Source: Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD)

Dr. Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine Specialist

Positive Behavior Support includes a range of intervention strategies that are designed to prevent the problem behavior while teaching socially appropriate alternative behaviors. The goal is an enhanced quality of life for individuals involved and their support providers in a variety of settings.

The key features include:

  • A prevention-focused continuum of support
  • Proactive instructional approaches to teaching and improving social behaviors
  • Conceptually sound and empirically validated practices
  • Systems change to support effective practices
  • Data-based decision making

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.