The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students (Paperback)
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The Behavior Code unlocks a wealth of proven practices to help teachers, counselors, and parents identify the messages underlying challenging student behaviors and respond in supportive ways. The authors--a behavioral analyst with expertise in special education and a child psychiatrist--guide readers through their FAIR Behavior Intervention Plan, a systematic approach to decoding the causes and patterns of difficult behaviors and developing effective measures to address them in schools. They demonstrate how the FAIR Plan can bring about positive change, even with students who exhibit anxious, withdrawn, oppositional, or inappropriately sexualized behaviors. Drawing on developments in cognitive science and educational psychology, the authors begin with a simple premise: all behavior is communication. Crucially, the first step of their FAIR plan is to discover the function (F) of a student's behavior. They encourage the use of nonjudgmental curiosity aided by standard data collection methods such as antecedent, behavior, and consequence (ABC) studies. The authors then give readers the tools to look beyond behaviors to implement targeted accommodations (A), interaction strategies (I), and appropriate response strategies (R). As they guide readers through their framework, they offer ample case studies, accessible worksheets, and focused thought exercises that allow readers to fully understand and implement suggested strategies. This thoughtful and empathetic approach can shift the balance from reactive to proactive classroom management, fostering meaningful teacher-student relationships and reducing the need for school discipline. Taken together, FAIR practices equip educators to support students in building the skills they need to access their higher-order brain functions more consistently and maintain a ready-to-learn mindset.
About the Author
Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, is a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) and special educator who is currently employed in the Newton, Massachusetts, public school system as a district-wide behavior analyst, where she does direct consulting for administrators, teachers, and support staff. She also consults to an in-house, forty-five-day stabilization program for Newton K-12 public school students who are in crisis. Jessica has more than ten years of experience with students exhibiting challenging behavior in both urban and suburban public school systems. She specializes in providing staff training and creating behavior intervention plans for students who demonstrate explosive and unsafe behavior, as well as for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities, high-functioning autism, and Asperger syndrome. She holds a BS in intensive special education from Boston University and a dual master's degree in special education and elementary education from Wheelock College. She has a certificate of graduate study (CGS) in teaching children with autism from University of Albany and received her BCBA training from Northeastern University. She has been an instructor for the Severe Disabilities Department at Lesley University and is a sought-after public speaker on subjects ranging from effective interventions for students with anxiety to supporting hard-to-reach students in full-inclusion public school settings. For more information about Jessica Minahan please visit http: //jessica-minahan.com/. Nancy Rappaport, MD, is the Director of School Programs at the Cambridge Health Alliance and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rappaport has dedicated her career to improving the lives of children by constructing effective support for troubled youth who are in need of vital access to critical mental health services and who often have difficulty connecting with the services they require. She has created a case evaluation model for safety assessments of aggressive students. She oversees and coordinates mental health services at Cambridge Health Alliance's four school-based health centers in Cambridge, Somerville, and Everett, Massachusetts. A board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, Nancy also teaches undergraduates, medical students, and residents about child development and supervises child psychiatry fellows in local schools. In addition to publishing many journal articles, she is the award-winning author of In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide (2009). In 2011, she received the Sidney Berman Award for School-Based Study and Intervention for Learning Disorders and Mental Health from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Rappaport is a graduate of Princeton University and Tufts University School of Medicine. For more information about Nancy Rappaport please visit http: //nancyrappaport.com/.