Overview: Social and emotional issues are the most common reasons young children
Social and emotional issues are the most common reasons young children are referred for an
evaluation for special education services. Social skill development is vital to a child’s success
throughout life. Social skills are best observed in a child’s natural setting during play. Play is
essential to early learning as it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being
of children. Social skills are learned behaviors. While most social skills can be taught incidentally,
some children may require a more specific, well-planned, structured intervention plan with positive
guidance strategies to meet the child’s individual needs. Positive child guidance requires educators
to gauge their reactions to misbehavior by looking at the child’s level of understanding, the severity
and frequency of the behavior, and possible underlying causes. Behavior intervention plans for
young children reward and reinforce positive behavior. They look different in every instance because
they are customized to a specific student and toward specific behaviors. The purpose is to prevent or
stop misbehavior, never punish the child.
Read the scenario below. Develop a behavior intervention plan you, as the teacher, will implement to
improve Sara’s behavior and increase her positive peer interactions. Think preventive!
Sara is four years old and has attended preschool for the last six months. She enjoys listening to
stories, playing with dolls, and playing at the sensory table. Her pre-readiness skills, cognition,
receptive language, fine and gross motor skills all appear age-appropriate. She presents some
challenges in the areas of social and emotional development, play skills, and expressive
communication skills. She rarely initiates language and uses nonverbal communication throughout
most of the day.
Her peer interactions are limited, and she sometimes displays aggression towards peers by hitting
and pushing them. Sara will sit on the rug during circle time if she can be seated next to one of the
adults in class. She willingly responds to questions about the story, using 4-5-word utterances, only if
the teacher calls on her first. If the teacher calls on someone else first, Sara will pout, fold her arms,
and refuse to speak.
She enjoys the housekeeping center and spends most of her day in that center, holding a doll as she
watches the other children play. She does not extend her sequence of play and/or use any other
materials in the center. When the teacher joins her in the housekeeping center, and models feeding
the baby with a bottle and getting a blanket to cover the baby, Sara will imitate the adult’s actions.
CHS 208 – Teaching Exceptional Learners
Unit 5 Assignment: Behavior Intervention PlanWhen the adult tries to guide Sara to move to another center, she will follow the adult to the different
center. As soon as the adult leaves the center, Sara goes back to housekeeping and snatches her
preferred doll from a peer. She will not share or wait her turn for the doll and screams, cries, and
pushes the peer away. When a peer attempts to engage with Sara, she leaves the center to find an
Sara uses nonverbal communication by pointing at the object or person or will take the adult by the
hand and lead them to what she wants to show them. When asked to use her words, she will resort
to using 1-2-word utterances. She is beginning to show some interest in the sensory table. She
prefers certain tools in the sensory table and will scream and snatch the tool if she does not get the
tool of her choice.
She is not showing interest in direct contact with peers; however, she watches her peers while they
are playing and will sometimes laugh at what they are doing and on occasion, she has gone over to
the teacher to let her know if a peer is sad or hurt or if someone did not follow the rules by pointing
and using gestures.
Sara needs to use her words to communicate, as opposed to hitting or pushing, expand her play
skills, initiate, and use language to get her needs met and increase her independence skills. These
excessive behavior patterns interfere with her ability to learn and engage in everyday activities.
Sara’s behavior intervention plan must include the following components:
1. Identify one (1) of Sara’s target behaviors in observable terms.
2. Using the one (1) target behavior you chose to address with Sara, identify the antecedents and
consequences of Sara’s behavior. Describe the type of data you would use. (Refer to pages
482-485 in the text.)
3. Specify one (1) objective for the intervention.
4. Identify the desired behavior. What should Sara be doing?
5. Assess the function of the behavior. What is Sara getting from acting this way? (Refer to page
6. Identify and describe a replacement behavior. What should Sara do to get the same outcome?
7. Describe improvements. What needs to be changed in the classroom environment? How can
adult-child interactions be more supportive?
8. Identify specific skill development. What new skills need to be taught?
9. Provide a detailed step by step behavior intervention plan, including at least two (2) positive
guidance strategies to address the desired behavior.
10.Describe how you will monitor Sara’s progress.
11.Explain how you would get the parent to be involved in Sara’s behavior intervention plan.Requirements:
• Paper length: 2-3 written pages, with additional Title and References pages.
• Use proper APA format when citing sources.
• Include information from the text as well as at least one (1) other reference.