What Is a Behavior Intervention Plan?

Improve Classroom Behavior and Avoid Negative Consequences

Boy showing teacher schoolwork on tablet computer
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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.

See some sample behavior plans: These include those for autism, bipolar disorder, fetal alcohol effects, aggressive behavior, and disruptive classroom behavior as well as blank forms.

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

Parts of a Behavior Intervention Plan

When creating a BIP, the first step is fact-finding to describe the problem behavior in measurable terms, with examples. It takes a look at the setting events in the student's life that may be associated with the behavior. It looks at the likely precipitating events for the behavior, likely consequences, and also the contexts in which the behavior doesn't occur. These are then validated with the functional assessment. Replacement behaviors are chosen.

Then the data is used to create the BIP document. It should include:

  • Target behaviors
  • Specific goals that are measurable
  • Intervention description how it will be done
  • When the intervention starts and how often it will be done
  • Method of evaluation
  • Persons responsible for each part of the intervention and evaluation
  • Data from evaluation 

The document is approved by the IEP team, which includes the parents and school administrator as well as any of the staff who will be involved in implementing it.

Parents should be involved at each step in developing the plan. Then the plan is implemented.

Using a Behavior Intervention Plan

When a behavior plan is agreed to, the school and staff are legally obligated to follow it. If the school and staff don't follow it, the consequences of the behavior should not be inflicted on the student. However, as with so many provisions of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act), 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 up your child 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.

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