Positive behaviour support (PBS) is derived from three sources: applied behaviour analysis (ABA), the inclusion/normalization movement and person-centered values.
The principles of ABA are used to conduct functional behaviour assessments (FBA) to determine why a problematic or challenging behaviour is occurring. FBAs determine the motivation, triggers, and consequences of a particular behaviour allowing a practitioner to develop a successful behaviour support plan.
The inclusion/normalization movement supports the notion that individuals with a disability have the right to access the same opportunities as their peers (e.g., living at home, attending a regular school, obtaining a job, etc.) and be active members of their community.
Lastly, person-centered values ensure that the behaviours being targeted are worth changing, are socially significant, and will benefit the learner through his/her lifespan.
A key feature of PBS is that it involves the collaboration of key stakeholders in an individual’s life. Thus, once the function of a challenging behaviour is determined, the behaviour analyst works with the child’s parents/caregiver and other professionals such as classroom teachers to devise a suitable plan that is feasible for all to implement. Everyone must contribute and agree to the plan to ensure proper implementation and follow through. This unique requirement of PBS ensures that positive behaviours are taught and challenging behaviours are diminished across all environments and using the same strategies – leading to sustained behaviour change over time and ultimately an increased quality of life for the individual.