Managing Behaviors after Brain Injury in School

Managing Behaviors after Brain Injury in School

Ron Savage, Ed.D., Roberta DePompei, Ph.D., Stephen Bruce, M.Ed., BCBA, CBIS and Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.
The behavior of a student with a brain injury in school can be challenging for educators to address in the classroom. This tip card gives guidelines and strategies for educators and parents on managing challenging behavior in students with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in school and at home.
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Full Description

Behavior in school after a student has a brain injury can range from withdrawal to angry outbursts. This tip card helps educators, therapists and school staff use strategies to prevent, reduce or eliminate difficult behaviors in students with traumatic brain injury (TBI) at home and in school.

This tip card describes how to apply functional analysis of behavior to students with brain injury. It includes strategies for addressing lack of insight, impulsive behavior, poor emotional control, depression, social withdrawal, apathy, agitation, and aggression. This is a useful tool for developing, revising and updating behavior plans and special education programs.p>

Details
Item MBEH
Pages 8
Year Second edition, 2008

Authors

Ron Savage, Ed.D.

Dr. Savage has worked with children, adolescents and young adults with neurological injuries and disabilities for over 25 years. Dr. Savage is the Executive Vice President of the North American Brain Injury Society.  He is the former Executive Vice President of the Neurosciences Institute at Bancroft NeuroHealth in New Jersey, Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health and Rehabilitative Services at The May Institute in Massachusetts and Director of Clinical Services for Rehabilitation Services of New York. 

In addition, Dr. Savage has taught at the elementary and secondary school level as a classroom teacher and as a special educator. He has also taught courses at several colleges and universities. Dr. Savage is the former Chairperson of the Pediatric Task Force for the National Brain Injury Foundation, the former Co-Chairperson of the International Pediatric Task Force for the International Brain Injury Association, and is a founding member of the American Academy for the Certification of Brain Injury Specialists.

Roberta DePompei, Ph.D.

Dr. DePompei is a Professor and Clinical Supervisor at the Audiology and Speech Center at the University of Akron in Ohio. An advocate of the needs of youths with brain injuries and their families, she is on numerous national task forces and committees, as well as former co-chair of the Special Interest Group on Children and Adolescents with Brain Injuries for the Brain Injury Association of America.

Widely published and a national and international presenter, Dr. DePompei specializes in the impact of brain injury upon speech, language and communication.  She is especially interested in developing transitional opportunities for students as they progress through school and prepare for adulthood. 

Stephen Bruce, M.Ed., BCBA, CBIS

He is the Senior Director for Professional Development for the Neurosciences Institute at Bancroft NeuroHealth in Haddonfield, New Jersey. He earned a Master of Education degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Temple University and is currently completing course work for a doctoral degree in special education from Temple University. Mr. Bruce coordinates staff training and development, teaches courses in applied behavior analysis at Temple University, and directs Bancroft NeuroHealth’s professional conferences and workshops. He also chairs a behavior management committee and oversees school consultation services. Mr. Bruce has worked in the field of developmental disabilities and brain injury for the past 17 years and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst as well as a Certified Brain Injury Specialist.

Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

Marilyn uses her social work experience and research in pediatric rehabilitation to develop sensitive and practical guides for families, educators, and professionals. Marilyn's specialty is helping families cope with the emotional impact of brain injury and developing strategies for negotiating the complex service system. Now President and Senior Editor of Lash and Associates Publishing/Training, she focuses on developing user friendly publications for families, educators, and clinicians.

Contents

This tip card helps educators, therapists and families...

  • understand changes in behavior
  • develop strategies for managing behavior
  • revise behavior plans

Dealing with Behavior Problems

General guidelines to Prevent, Reduce, or Even Eliminate Behavior Problems

Functional Behavior Management Strategies

  • Tips for working with students with behavioral challenges

Behavior Changes

  • Lack of insight or denial of disabilities    
  • Tips for Strategies
  • Impulsive behavior and disinhibition
  • Tips for Strategies
  • Poor emotional control
  • Tips for Strategies
  • Depression and withdrawal
  • Tips for Strategies
  • Apathy or attitude of not caring
  • Tips for Strategies
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Tips for Strategies
  • Aggression
  • Tips for Strategies

Conclusion

References

Excerpts

Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

General guidelines to prevent, reduce, or even eliminate behavior problems...

  • Complete a thorough functional behavior assessment.
  • Determine why the unwanted behavior occurs.
  • Establish a behavior management plan.
  • Decrease unwanted behaviors while increasing positive behaviors.
  • Teach appropriate behavior to meet wants and needs.
  • Clearly state what is acceptable behavior, model behavior, and reinforce appropriate behavior.
  • Provide adequate supervision.
  • Do not assume the student is at the same develop-mental level for controlling impulses and regulating behavior as peers.

Functional Behavior Management Strategies

A functional behavior assessment identifies variables that make inappropriate behavior more likely. Students usually engage in unwanted behavior to communicate that they want: 1) something tangible, e.g., toy or food, 2) attention, 3) not to do something, or 4) to be left alone.

Tips for working with students with behavioral challenges...

  • Set up and reinforce structure and consistency.
  • Show what comes next (prediction) to decrease anxiety.
  • Follow through on previously established contracts.
  • Decide on a set prompting sequence.

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