Problematic Behavioral Intervention Strategies: Assumptions about behavior (Part 1)

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based tiered framework intended to improve and integrate all data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes and an alternative to punitive approaches. However, I have found that when PBIS relies on classic behaviorist models of punishments and rewards (token economy) and is not trauma-informed or based on neuroscience, it can and often does exacerbate behavior issues in neurodivergent children. When school staff are not given alternative models, they can easily become stuck on how to support their students. In many cases, they simply don’t know what else to do.