CARD Fact Sheet
Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
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' 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
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.
The process of PBS begins with the identification of a support team, which consists of the most
relevant individuals in the person's life. The team may include family members, teachers, friends,
and/or others who are involved and concerned with the person and the problem behavior. The
team members are usually responsible for implementing the positive behavior support plan.
The next step is to establish a vision, an agreement on the broadgoals that a support plan should
seek to achieve. The vision is developed through a process known as "person centered planning."
Once the support team defines their common vision, then a "functional behavior assessment" is
conducted. A functional behavior assessment is a means to gather information about the problem
behavior. Based on the person centered plan and the functional behavior assessment the team
writes a positive behavior support plan.
Positive Behavior Support Plan
The behavior support plan should include a number of components:
(1) strategies for teaching and increasing skills that are intended to replace the problem
(2) strategies for preventing the problems before they occur,
(3) strategies for dealing with the problems if or when they do occur, and
(4) strategies for monitoring progress. As time goes on, the support team often meets to evaluate
progress and make adjustments to the plan, as necessary.
PBS grew out of applied behavior analysis, and many of the intervention procedures are derived
from this discipline. PBS is a rapidly-growing approach that is based on extensive research. There
are many new efforts in Florida and other states to provide training and information about PBS.
Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. A quarterly journal
available from PRO-ED, Inc., Austin, TX.
Positive Behavior Support Project (1999). Facilitators' Guide:
Positive Behavior Support. Tallahassee, FL: State of Florida
Department of Education.
Bambara, L. M., & Knoster, T. (1998). Designing positive
behavior support plans. Washington, DC: American Association on
Carr, E. G., Levin, L., McConnachie, G., Carlson, J. I., Kemp,
D. C., Smith, C. E. (1994). Communication-based intervention
for problem behavior: A user' guide for producing positive change.
Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
Koegel, L. K., Koegel, R. L., & Dunlap, G. (Eds.), (1996).
Positive behavioral support: Including people with difficult behavior
in the community. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
http://www.rrtcpbs.org This is the website of the Research
and Training Center on Positive Behavior Support, funded by
NIDRR of the US Department of Education.
http://www.pbis.org This is the website of the National
Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior
Interventions and Supports, funded by OSEP of the US
Department of Education.
http://flpbs.fmhi.usf.edu This is the website of the PBS
project supported by the Florida Department of Education.
Glossary of Terms:
ABA Applied Behavior Analysis
Refers to the direct application of the principles of behavior
modification in natural environments such as home, school,
and community. ABA uses behavioral principles to improve the
individual's ability to participate effectively in various situations.
FBA- Functional Behavior Assessment
Refers to a process for identifying the relationship between the
behavior and the events that occur before, during and after a
behavior. Behaviors are examined in terms of the purposes
and functions that the behavior serves for the individual.
PCP- Person Centered Planning
Refers to a process that identifies the goals, values and resources
necessary to enhance the individuals' quality of life.
The Center for Autismanid IRelatem saili tm
For More Information Contact:
Center for Autism and Related Disabilities Sites:
Florida State University
625-B North Adams St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(800) 769-7926 or (850) 644-4367
University of South Florida
13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33612-3899
(800) 333-4530 or (813) 974-2532
Fax: (813) 974-6115
University of Florida at Gainesville
P O. Box 100234
Gainesville, FL 32610-0234
(800) 754-5891 or (352) 846-2761
Fax: (352) 846-0941
University of Florida at Jacksonville
6271 St. Augustine Rd, Suite 1
Jacksonville, FL 32217
Phone: (904) 633-0760
Fax: (904) 633-0751
University of Central Florida
12001 Science Drive, Suite 145
Orlando, FL 32826
(888) 558-1908 or (407) 737-2566
Fax (407) 737-2571
University of Miami
Dept. of Psychology
5665 Ponce de Leon Boulevard
PO Box 248768
Coral Gables, FL 33124-0725
800/9-AUTISM or 305/284-6563
Florida Atlantic University
Dept. of ESE
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(888) 632-6395 or (561) 297-2023
Fax (561) 297-2063
Factsheet Center for Autism & Related Disabilities