Tips For Special Ed Teachers

The four functions of behavior are, Sensory, Escape, Attention and Tangible. Effective intervention involves identifying the function of a behavior and incorporating strategies to replace it.

Attention – if the student is pinching you to gain attention, then teach her to request attention appropriately with e.g. visuals such as “will you play with me” icon.

ESCAPE – if she’s hitting her head to avoid a task, teach her to request “help” or a “break” with a timer.

Tangible – crying while in a cue to get lunch, teach her to “wait”

Sensory – biting her hand, then teach her to request a “chewy toy”.

When planning these new skills always remember that the replacement behavior must serve the same function as the one displayed.

More Ideas

SENSORY SIMULATION – Offer opportunities for bouncing on a large ball or trampoline, spinning, squeezing sensory balls, chewy toys, sand play, water play, banging a drum.

ATTENTION SEEKING – Give non verbal students a voice with visuals to request time with a favourite person, play games or work together. Model with hand over hand instructions to tap your arm and get your attention in structured sessions.

AVOIDANCE – Teach students to request a “break”, “help”, Give a choice of what to work for with a Token Reward system. Motivate with a choice of reinforcers and keep them fresh and handy.

Plan fun activities, maybe short to start with. Tailor learning with individual interest in mind.

TANGIBLE – Redirect to requesting items using visuals or voice, Use “First and Then” strategy and schedules. Token Economy with a reinforcer of their choice should incorporate their favourite items and snacks.

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