Positive Behavior Interventions 


A behavior is an action in which a person conducts oneself. The person, organization, or society in charge dictates whether a behavior is desired or undesired. Response to behaviors should always reflect the action and not the individual. For example, students should always be viewed as good kids, even when engaged in undesired behaviors. It is important that the adult personnel make known that they favor the student, not the behavior. Using strategies that reinforce positive behavior will decrease the undesired behaviors.

Special Education Discipline: Suspension and Expulsion

IDEA Section 1415(k)(1)

1415(k)(1)(B) / 1415(k)(1)(D)(i): Students with disabilities may be suspended up to 10 consecutive school days (equal to their peers without disabilities), but must continue to be educated and receive services during this time if the suspension is considered a “change in placement” (removed more than 10 days in a row or removed for more than 10 school days for behaviors that are similar). 

1414(k)(1)(E): During the 10 day suspension, the IEP team needs to determine if the behavior was manifested from the student having a disability. 

1415(k)(1)(C): If it is determined that the behavior was not manifested from having a disability, disciplinary procedures applicable to students without disabilities will be applied in the same manner. 

1415(k)(1)(F): If it is determined that the behavior is manifested from having a disability,

3 Part Video Series 

Sample Strategies for Common Undesirable Behaviors Manifested from an Identified Disability 


1. Behavior is a form of communication. 

2. The best strategy is to collaborate with the educational team and use consistent strategies throughout all settings. 

3. If a strategy is needed, it should be indicated in the PLAAFP and in the supplemental aid, program modification, support, and service section.



Sample Proactive Strategies


Failure to follow a command 

Verbal Disruptions

Vocally interfering with the communication between others

Physical Disruptions

Using one’s body to interfere with the communication between others


Falling to the floor with intent 


Fleeing or run from an assigned area without permission 


Displaying a violent attitude in an area, towards self or others


Deliberately causing harm to oneself 

Variables that Affect Behaviors Commonly Associated with Students with Disabilities




Structural Design

Instructional Flow



Instructional Intake:


Background Experiences and Exposure:

Unique Attributes:

External Factors (outside of physical education and the school setting):

Adult Personnel

(i.e: teachers, support staff, therapist, etc.)

Facial and body language 

Pitch of the voice 

Maintain a flexible mindset to adjust based on unforeseeable situations
Praise students and provide clear specific feedback
All staff should refrain from speaking about students or starting side conversations during class.
All staff should hold disagreements on a situation until after class
Staff should know their roles and responsibilities while in the class 

Proximity to student


Background Experiences and Exposure:

Tools to Enhance Communication and Decrease Undesirable Behaviors

Using a picture exchange communication system (PECS) consists of six phases that uses picture communication symbols to teach individuals how to request a desired item or action and become a communicative partner.

*Providing students a voice in making choices gives them a sense of ownership over their learning.

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
Getting Started Video
Phases 1 - 6 Video

Develop your own picture communication symbols and boards

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)

An educational team process to identify the function (the reason behind engagement in a behavior) of specific undesirable behaviors displayed by a student. The information collected during the assessment process is used to discuss and identify effective positive behavior supports.  

Three Parts of an FBA
How to Collect ABC Data Analysis
Blank ABC Analysis Form 

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

A detailed plan that is developed based off of the FBA data and includes specific information regarding the target behavior and behavior goals. It consists of 4 areas: Function, Frequency, Severity, and Consequence. 

Click Below and Download Sample BIP in Word Document

Increasing Desired Behaviors




Target Behavior


Target Behavior


Target Behavior


Target Behavior


Target Behavior


Target Behavior


Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

PBIS World - A website that directs step by step from the identified behavior through the Tiers and offers data tracking sheets. 

PBIS Rewards - A digital form allowing a school to go paperless

Restorative Practices

A specific process that responds to wrongdoing and harm placed on someone with a focus on repairing relationships rather than applying punishment. It brings together those who have caused harm with those they have directly or indirectly harmed. It focuses on supporting needs, honoring inherent value, strengthening relationships between individuals, as well as social connections within communities. 

There are 3 conditions that must occur: 

Foundations to Successful Restorative Practice:

Based on individualized need, a student with a disability may require accommodations, modifications, or pre-teaching to participate meaningfully in the process.

Restorative Dialogue using “I” Affective Statements:

This allows an individual to make an emotional connection with others without judgement or blame. It is a process of communicating a need while building, trust, empathy, and mutual concern. 

Sample Affective Statement Starters: 

Using a ‘Social Story’ can support students with disabilities in recognizing their behavior. A ‘Social Story’ is specific information regarding what to expect and/or the expected behavior while engaged in a particular situation, event, or activity. Using picture communication symbols combined with words, the student will either read or have the story read to them.  Example, 'When I Go to Physical Education' Example

Restorative Dialogue using Questions

This provides an opportunity to reflect on harmful behavior and the impact it has had on others. 

Sample Restorative Questions: Video 1 / Video 2  

Students with disabilities may have a difficult time understanding the questions or how to answer if they are the individuals who conducted the harm. 

Restorative Circles and Conferences

A formal dispute resolution option facilitated by a trained restorative practice facilitator. It supports everyone involved to recognize their role in the dispute, and determine the best way to repair the harm.

Sensory Implications and Integrations

This section addresses sensory implications for individuals who are challenged to discriminate, control, and organize sensory input, causing hypersensitive (over-sensitive or easily impacted) or hyposensitive (under-sensitive or needs more input to react) reactions that impact performance of desirable behaviors. 

Recommendation: Collaborate with an occupational therapist (OT) to discuss interventions and strategies that can be applied to individual needs. The OT may request to observe the child in your class. You can fill out the Sensory Processing Assessment of Responses Form (SPAR) to guide your discussion with our OT. 

Five Senses That Typically Impact Students in Physical Education



Short List of Common Attributes
(Every Student is Unique)

Sample Strategies


*In physical education, tactile and proprioceptive strategies typically are the same.

Processing input through touch

Provide students with options of what objects they are comfortable using.

Processing input through sight

Processing input through sound

Processing input through the joints and muscles, providing awareness for the body in space. 


*Has the most important influence on other sensory systems.

Processing input through movement to maintain balance. This system is impacted by speed, direction, and position of the body.

There can be two extremes (Hyper/Hypo)