What Is a Behavior Intervention Plan?

Boy showing teacher schoolwork on tablet computer
Thomas Tolstrup/Taxi/Getty Images

Definition: A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) takes the observations made in a Functional Behavioral Assessment and turns them into a concrete plan of action for managing a student's behavior. A BIP may include ways to change the environment to keep behavior from starting in the first place, provide positive reinforcement to promote good behavior, employ planned ignoring to avoid reinforcing bad behavior, and provide supports needed so that the student will not be driven to act out due to frustration or fatigue.


When a behavior plan is agreed to, the school and staff are legally obligated to follow it, and consequences of not following it should not be inflicted on the student. However, as with so many provisions of IDEA, this may take a lot of vigilance, advocacy, and battling by parents to make sure that everyone who is to take these interventions into account does so in a complete and informed way. Don't assume that the plan has been explained to people like gym, art, or music teachers, or to lunchroom staff. Confirm this with your IEP team or take it upon yourself to distribute copies.

As your child grows and develops and changes classrooms and schools, the BIP will need to change too. It's not a "set it and forget it" kind of thing. Even small changes like a new classmate that riles your child up or a teacher taking a maternity leave may require some new behavioral strategizing. Any time a complaint is made about your child's disability-related behavior, ask whether the BIP was implemented and why it wasn't effective in this situation.

See some sample behavior plans.

Also Known As: Behavior Management Plan, Behavioral Support Plan, Positive Behavioral Support Plan

Continue Reading