Selecting a Least Intrusive Behavior Management Strategy

Instructor: Frank Clint

Frank has been an educator for over 10 years. He has a doctorate degree in education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction.

Explore the importance of selecting the least intrusive and restrictive intervention for behavior management. This lesson provides examples of selecting less intrusive behavior management strategies and describes potential outcomes of selecting a more intrusive strategy.

Least Intrusive Behavior Management

You may have witnessed a classmate get the all too familiar ''look'' from the teacher as a child. Maybe you were on the receiving end of the ''look.'' It was the 'look' that one dreads. The ''look'' that tells you to stop what you are doing because you haven't made a positive behavior choice.

For Lucy, this was enough to get her to correct her behavior when she tended to talk too much in class. It was the least intrusive behavior management strategy her teacher used to change student behavior. It was the least intrusive when compared to sending her to the office with a referral. All teachers use a hierarchy when it comes to behavior management strategies that start with least intrusive and go to the most intrusive.

Why Choose Least Intrusive Interventions?

This was Lucy's frame of reference when she entered the teaching profession as a special education teacher. She would soon learn about the joys and challenges of working with Autistic students. The same dynamic that worked for her as a child would not work for her student population, and she would need to build a tool box of different strategies. Many of her students' negative behaviors manifest in the form of mild meltdowns such as crying to severe meltdowns such as potentially hurting themselves or others.

Choosing the least intrusive intervention is the best option to stop problem behavior, avoid escalating it, and avoid the risk of causing legal problems for you or your school. Least intrusive interventions are the best option because as teachers we should strive to make students feel safe in a positive learning environment. These interventions will help students feel less threatened. It's also important to help students take responsibility of their behavior and own it. Additionally, these strategies are great for helping our students self-regulate their behavior. Let's look at Lucy's use of the least intrusive intervention.

Types of Least Intrusive Behavior Management Strategies

Lucy uses a few less intrusive behavior management strategies with her students.

Weighted Choices

One strategy she uses is weighted choices. This strategy is a way to set limits, yet still, offer a choice to your student. For example, Lucy might say, ''You can complete your work sitting down, or you can complete your work standing up.'' Students who are nonverbal might benefit from a visual of the weighted choice. This is a good strategy because the student is still completing their work, but they are allowed to choose how they do it.

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