Designed for students diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD) there are a numerous amount of intervention strategies and methods that can be used to implement and help students build their self-management skills. These intervention strategies are used with the intention of students ultimately learning how to control their behaviors in and out of school. Consequently, self-sufficient intervention approaches are a supported and efficient method of delivering pertinent and significant supports to students with EBD. Advocates of cognitive behavioral intervention (CBI) substantiate the communal correlation amid views and behaviors as a central credence of their method. Students engross in self-management methods when utilizing CBIs. Strategies included in CBIs are self-instruction, self-monitoring, self-reinforcement, self-control, and self-evaluation (Yell, Meadows, Drasgow, & Shriner, 2009).
Procedures of Cognitive Behavioral Intervention
Cognitive behavioral interventions educate students on ways to govern their personal feelings and behaviors through reinforcing instruction strategies that encourage appropriate actions. Through the implementation of CBIs, students are engrossed in self-reflection, recounting and reinforcement. In most cases of behavioral management strategies, educators are made responsible for observing students, collecting data and reinforcing appropriate behaviors. During the course of CBI, students may accomplish three procedures, thus stimulating their independence, self-management, and an accountability for their actions (Yell, Meadows, Drasgow, & Shriner, 2009).
When CBI is introduced, students must document the frequency of the specific target behavior/s that are occurring. Researchers have found that self-monitoring behavior is an exceedingly sufficient way of endorsing constructive exchanges amid an assortment of learners (Stonecipher, 2012). Students must know how to identify the occurring behavior(s) in order to effectually record it on a data sheet, journal, or organizer. Often times, inappropriate behaviors will begin to decrease instantaneously once students become cognizant of the behavior and how often it occurs (Stonecipher, 2012).
Students must first be capable of self-monitoring their behaviors before effectual self-evaluation may begin. In addition, educators must impart a rating scale; a criterion for students to measure their performance in contrast to. The rating scale should be used during all classroom related activities (Robinson, 2007). Using the rating scale as a rubric of sorts, students can compare the rate of their performance in contrast to the teacher’s criteria. Once comparisons are made, students should reflect upon their results. Students can successfully self-evaluate their behaviors in a myriad of ways, including through the use of evaluation charts that coincide with the student’s daily class schedule (Yell, Meadows, Drasgow, & Shriner, 2009).
Self-reinforcement, similar to instructor directed reinforcement, is delivered succeeding the achievement of a goal, in this circumstance, fitting behavior. Likewise, self-reinforcement should be applied steadily and systematically (Smith, 2002). Self-reinforcement, can be either externally or internally given. In addition, through self-reinforcement, students are given the opportunity to choose their own reward. Through collaboration, educators and students work together to define the precise criterion that students must met before being reinforced.
It is significant to observe that with self-reinforcement and all processes of self-management, the teacher is responsible for directing the student on how to effectually manage the stages, as well as monitor them throughout the preliminary steps of self-management to certify that efficient practices are being utilized (Yell, Meadows, Drasgow, & Shriner, 2009). Lastly, teachers and students need to effectively communicate with one another concerning the attainment of self-management and ultimately diminish or reduce self-reinforcement (Yell, Meadows, Drasgow, & Shriner, 2009). Emotions, Thoughts, and Behaviors
Emotions, thoughts, and behaviors share a communal correlation; thoughts can produce emotional responses; emotional responses can then produce positive and negative behaviors. As a result, a student’s emotions and behaviors have a direct correlation to their thoughts and vice versa (Stonecipher, 2012). In instances where a student is unable to self-manage their behaviors while presented with an issue, a probable outcome would be that the student will then act out inappropriately. As a result, cognitive behavioral interventions often encompass problem solving and anger management strategies (Robinson, 2007).
Conducive to effectually self-managing behavior, students must be trained to exercise constructive thinking and reduce the pervasiveness of participating in destructive behavior acquired from an emotional response. Students may obtain this by acknowledging the problem, defining it, producing and assessing resolutions, applying a plan and lastly observing the resolution (Yell, Meadows, Drasgow, & Shriner, 2009). Students should also learn to recognize specific elements including triggers, reminders, and reducers, while trying to self-manage. Teachers must retain patience during this process as students must build these skills up before positive results transpire (Yell, Meadows, Drasgow, & Shriner, 2009).
Effectiveness and Limitations of Cognitive Behavior Interventions
CBI has been verified as an effective technique in behavior management for students with EBD. When accurately implemented, CBIs can aide students in decreasing inappropriate behaviors that interfere in their academic and personal lives and make students responsible for the management of their own behaviors within these areas as well. CBIs do not come without limitations as well. Students who are reluctant or apathetic to changing their behaviors would result in its ineffectiveness. It is equally significant for educators to contemplate the validity of student recorded behavioral data. During student behavioral data collection, there can be occurrences of students noting the specific behavior(s) at a reduced frequency than which they truly transpire (Smith, 2002).
Social Skills Instruction
Social skills and academic performance directly correlate with one another. Social skills instruction consists of educating students on what interactions are appropriate between both adults and peers and can be easily combined within the curriculum through projects, small group discussions, etc. (Smith, 2002). For students with EBD, social skills instruction is more accurate when directed as a fragment of an overall management plan. When students implement CBIs problem solving and self-controlling approaches, students learn to identify issues and establish effective results that are considered socially adequate and are particularly pertinent to the management of EBD students (Smith, 2002).
Developing Curriculum, Approaches, and Assessment
As a means of being appropriately implemented, CBIs must transpire within the framework of a behavioral management plan or curriculum and should identify a student’s behavior, as well as what processes will used to implement the intervention and the assessment. Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) signifies a method for assembling information about problematic conduct in order to understand and identify the reasons behind them (Yell, Meadows, Drasgow, & Shriner, 2009). The behavioral management curriculum cannot progress without the administration of an FBA, which explicitly classifies and labels specific behaviors of EBD students.
Likewise, the FBA overtly specifies the underlying issues behind the behavior, which in turn aides in the development of preparing effective and pertinent interventions. The FBA will result in the behavioral intervention plan (BIP) where CBI strategies can be utilized. There are a varied amount of methods that can be utilized to implement CBI into the management curriculum including student kept data, self-evaluation, graphic organizers, observations, achievement tests, norm-referenced tests, and criterion tests (Yell, Meadows, Drasgow, & Shriner, 2009).
Reflection on Cognitive Behavioral Approach
CBI is a recognized and efficient approach to managing undesirable behaviors for students with EBD. As a means of effectively executing CBI, educators must design thorough strategies and intervention that can be incorporated within the behavior intervention plan. Additionally, in order to maintain validity, teachers must survey the student’s development to certify that proper self-management measures are being adhered to.
Smith, W. (2002). Applying Cognitive Behavioral Techniques to Social Skills Instruction. ERIC/OSEP Digest (#E630). Retrieved from http://www.cec.sped.org/Content/NavigationMenu/AboutCEC/International/StepbyS
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