Sample Behavior Intervention Plan for Students with Autism

Instructor: Lori Sturdivant

Lori has a specialist's degree in Instructional Leadership/Mild Moderate and currently serves as the Lead Teacher for The University of Southern Mississippi's Autism Project.

Are you considering using a behavior plan for students with autism spectrum disorder in your classroom? This lesson will provide a sample behavior plan that includes a target behavior, replacement behavior, and positive consequences as well as rewards.

What is a Behavior Intervention Plan?

A behavior intervention plan (BIP) is a strategic plan that is used to eliminate behavior problems by addressing the cause of the behavior. Behavior interventions are the steps, or interventions, teachers take to stop problem behaviors from happening in the classroom. The plan is devised from the data collected in the functional behavior assessment (FBA).

An FBA collects data on what the behavior looks like. This includes the duration, frequency, when it happens, what happens before the behavior, what happens after the behavior, the setting of the behavior, and the staff and students present during the behavior.

Why Use a Behavior Intervention Plan?

There are several reasons why you may want to use a behavior intervention plan. For instance,

  • It provides intensive interventions and monitors progress of interventions
  • Student feels supported by you and other staff members included in the plan
  • It is individualized
  • It provides consistency across settings

Components of a Behavior Intervention Plan

A BIP should include the target behavior, the replacement behavior, a description of the interventions, the rewards for appropriate behavior, and/or the consequences for inappropriate behavior. Let's explore each of these components.

  • Target behavior: The behavior that has been selected to be changed. For example, if you want Johnny to stop screaming out when he hears loud noises, 'stop screaming out' would be the target behavior.
  • Replacement behavior: The behavior you want to replace an unwanted target behavior. For example, Johnny will still react to loud noises (a common symptom associated with autism spectrum disorder), so you will need to teach him an appropriate way to respond to loud noises, such as going to a safe spot or putting on sound eliminating ear phones.
  • Description of the interventions: This explains in detail the specific interventions and strategies to address the target behavior. This section should include antecedent strategies, instructional strategies, and consequence strategies.
    • Antecedent strategies: Strategies that change things before the behavior happens to prevent the problem behavior. For example, for Johnny, you could place sound barriers over the loudspeaker or alarms in the classroom to make them quieter.
    • Instructional strategies: Strategies used to teach the replacement behavior. For instance, this section could explain that you will teach Johnny to use his headphones or go to his safe spot when he is overstimulated by loud noises. This section should read like a step-by-step guide that anyone could pick up, read, and know exactly what should happen.
    • Consequence strategies: This section should detail what reinforcement will be used when the replacement behavior is demonstrated by the student. What will Johnny get if he uses his headphones instead of screaming out when hearing loud noises? Also, will there be other consequences if he continues to scream out, such as loss of privileges?

Sample Behavior Plan

I. Target Goals

A. Johnny will learn to use noise reducing headphones when he is overstimulated by loud noises.

B. Johnny will learn to report to the safe spot when he is overstimulated by loud noises.

II. Interventions

Antecedent Strategies:

A. Johnny will be seated away from the alarm bell.

B. A sound reducing cloth will be placed over the loudspeaker.

C. Johnny will receive a 30 second warning before the daily scheduled bells ring.

Instructional Strategies:

A. The teacher will use direct instruction and modeling to demonstrate how to put on the headphones.

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