What are Behavior Intervention Plans with Treatment Integrity?

November 29, 2018Behavioral Health Services0 Comments

Join Our Next Retreat to Hear Expert Insight on Achieving Them in Your District

School administrators, here’s a pop quiz you will, unfortunately, pass with flying colors:

What is a behavior intervention plan (BIP) when it’s not being implemented as designed?

Answer: A decidedly less than effective tool for helping children replace problematic behaviors with ones contributing to greater success in the classroom, and in life.

You’ve seen it happen more than you’d like. What looks like a strong BIP on paper fails to bring about positive changes in students’ challenging behaviors because some piece of the puzzle never falls into place.

At PTS, we’ve heard innumerable stories about how missing components in related services and special education BIPs created significant setbacks for students, their families, teachers and therapists.

Perhaps budgetary or scheduling constraints prevented support staff from pushing into the classroom enough to fully demonstrate proposed intervention strategies to a teacher. Maybe the teacher didn’t receive agreed-upon levels of performance feedback to ensure she or he was implementing those strategies accurately, or sufficiently measuring changes in the student’s behavior. Possibly, communication between school and home didn’t prove reliable, or the child’s parents started pressing for open-ended services “just in case” disruptive behaviors resumed.

A successful BIP involves so many moving parts. Making sure they all work as planned is the goal of treatment integrity.

In the past, concern for treatment integrity was largely left to researchers developing effective interventions. More recently, however, studies have shown how measuring treatment integrity sets the stage for more favorable intervention outcomes, including in school settings.

But some evidence suggests treatment integrity still goes largely unmeasured, despite its established correlation with positive results. One study, for example, found 68% of published treatment studies didn’t measure implementation accuracy. What’s more, lack of treatment integrity may violate the mandates in IDEIA 2004 for students’ “free and appropriate public education.”

How can you help your teachers and therapeutic staff realize what a behavior intervention plan carried out with treatment integrity is, and all it can do for the children in your district? PTS recently offered administrators like you some answers.

Behavior Intervention Strategies with Treatment Integrity: A Featured Topic of PTS’ Administrator Retreat

On November 8th, PTS held our 2018 Administrator Retreat. We were honored to provide an opportunity for professionals like you to learn from experts about the most successful ways to improve the steps in your functional behavioral assessment process and implement intervention strategies with greater fidelity to intent and design.

We welcomed Dr. Katherine Dahlsgaard, who spoke about research on avoidance behavior in schools, and Dr. Jonathan Ivy, who addressed improving implementation of behavioral programs.

An assistant professor of psychology at Penn State, Dr. Ivy holds his master’s and PhD in applied behavior analysis, and has worked for over a decade, in groups and one-on-one, with individuals who engage in severe challenging behaviors.

During his interactive workshop, Dr. Ivy helped participants learn:

  • What the latest research reveals about how errors of treatment integrity reduce an intervention’s effectiveness.
  • Which conditions frequently contribute to missing BIP components—and why the professionals who designed interventions often have the most trouble identifying them.
  • How you can use proactive planning and assessment to mitigate errors of treatment integrity.

The theoretical and practical knowledge they gained from Dr. Ivy’s workshop gave administrators who attended the retreat a greater understanding of what a behavior intervention plan with maximum treatment integrity looks like and concrete plans for achieving that goal.

PTS offers rich resources for and services to help school administrators plan and deliver quality, cost-efficient related services programs. Click here to discover more about how we can help you.