Providing a Positive Environment on the Bus: Using Verbal De-escalation and Interventions 2013 FAPT Symposium Presenters: Jill Mead Kristy Johnson Meet and Greet Jill Mead Operations Manager Charlotte County Public Schools Kristy Johnson Staffing Specialist with ESE Dept District Co-Coordinator Charlotte County Public Schools Some topics we will be looking at: Why do some of our student’s act out? How can we prevent this acting out? What do we do when we can’t prevent it? Before we start, we need to know a few Behavioral Basics. Behavioral Basics Behavior is anything we say or do. Each behavior is an attempt to communicate something Behaviors are learned and they all serve a purpose. That’s why we keep doing them! If you want a behavior to occur again, pay attention to it. Behavioral ABCs A- Antecedent (right before) B- Behavior C-Consequence (right after) We change a behavior by changing the antecedents and consequences. Why ??? First question to look at when we discuss behavior Why + New behavior= Intervention Some reasons for acting out: * Past trauma * Learned behavior * Sensory issues Looking at kids differently 1 out of 4 students in school has been a victim of some type of trauma Trauma may be defined as real or perceived event/threat, or series of events. Individuals ability to cope may be severely compromised Trauma Informed Care Some kids are able to develop coping skills to help, so you may not even know about the trauma. Others cannot, and if the right trigger is presented, the effects of the trauma can be seen easily “We need to presume the clients we serve have a history of traumatic stress and exercise universal precautions by creating systems of care that are Trauma-Informed.” (Hodas, 2005) Looking at kids differently….How can we provide trauma informed care? Structured, safe environment Predictable environments, with consistent routines that are taught Firm consistent limits for inappropriate behavior Other reasons why… Behavioral problems may be related to trauma triggers. Behaviors are learned and are a form of communication. Acting out can serve a purpose and/or tell us something. Environment may be “one size fits all”. Sensory issues An Ounce of Prevention Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) A method of changing behavior for all students, based on data Encompasses all areas of the school, and all parts of the school day, including the bus Has a school or department based team that oversees the program PBIS What it does for the school wide environment: * Provides clear expectations for students * Provides consistent consequences * Ensures rules are explicitly taught * Teaches students the “right way” (replacement behavior) * Recognizes and reinforces good behavior * Facilitates relationship building PBIS in Florida PBIS is in: 54/67 school districts 81% of districts For a total of 1421 schools. 7 pre-k schools 784 elementary schools 275 middle schools 184 high schools 87 alt/center schools 84 other (ex- K-8) Traditional Discipline versus PBIS Traditional Discipline: *Goal is to stop undesirable behavior through the use of punishment *Focuses on the student’s problem behavior *Waits until there is a behavioral fire Positive Behavioral Support: *Goal is to stop undesirable behavior • • Replacing with a new behavior or skill Rewarding appropriate behavior *Focus is on teaching skills *Uses proactive/ preventative steps to prevent inappropriate behavior PBIS on the bus- how does it fit in? *Bus ride is the beginning of the school day Same PBIS principles apply (proactive, positive approach) Know the school wide expectations for your school *Have bus rules that fit in with expectations *Have rewards that are in line with school wide expectations *Ask to be a part of the PBIS team. Each school has one Use a little “TLC” Proactive behavior strategies on the bus to avoid a crisis Teach rules Look for the Good Consistent Consequences Teach Rules No more than 3-5 rules Make sure they are related to expectations Teach them (daily for the first week, weekly for the first month, monthly or as needed rest of year) Have them posted Keep them positively stated Elem. sample Loading and Unloading When the bus is moving Responsible Stay in your seat Help each other to get on and off Make sure bus driver can see you Give book bag to aid Stay seated Talk in a low voice Keep hands to your self Respectful Talk in a low voice Be nice to others Keep hands and feet to self Be on time Talk in a low voice Keep bumper on seat Keep hands and feet to self Be visible Be on time Look both ways Watch the driver Keep your seat Use inside voice Raise hand for help Keep seat belt fastened Face forward Ready Look for the Good Focus on the student’s strengths Avoid general praise (such as “great job”) Be specific Use positive feedback to reinforce expected behavior • For example: Jason, I noticed that you talked quietly to Joe today. Thanks! How to Recognize/Reward Appropriate Behavior Rewards are effective when they are: - Used to build new skills or sustain desired skills - Used with contingent delivery of rewards for specific behavior - Gradually faded over time - Name behavior and expectation observed Reward/ Recognition system continued: Immediate reward (ticket-token) acts as teaching tool, focuses on desired behavior Is a bridge to long-term reward Increases likelihood of repeating desired behavior Reduces need to engage in disciplinary procedures Verbal praise can be just as effective as a tangible Reinforcer vs. a Bribe Consistent Consequences Happens right after the behavior Not necessarily negative High ratio of positives to negatives Give Choices when possible Have a clearly established tier of consequences Enforce them consistently From the American Public Health Association report on bullying on the bus… Create consistent consequences for misbehavior Train drivers to de-escalate aggression Have assigned seats Praise and reward appropriate behavior Get parents involved Give daily reports of incidents Set policy that promotes positive steps rather than punishment APHA cont… Help troublemakers become peace makers by giving them responsibility Develop incentives for positive behavior Bring drivers into classrooms to allow students to relate to them in different environments Keep a daily journal of what behavior problems occurred, and what happened right after. Verbal De-escalation “If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs, and blaming it on you…. “ Rudyard Kipling De-escalation: Verbal De-Escalation is an intervention A tool that uses calming language, redirection, and other techniques. (Kerr & Nelson, 2010). Successful Verbal Intervention or De-escalation Goal is SAFETY!! De-escalation interventions can happen any time during the escalation stages This is not the time to teach or problem solve Requires flexibility Be aware of what is happening within yourself De-Escalation: How to Use Verbal Intervention Set limits for student Use non-verbal communication- students in crisis may not be listening Avoid Power struggles- student attempts to distract you Use Active Listening Respond to true questions, ignore verbal junk Establishing Clear Limits 1. 2. 3. 4. Explain exactly which behavior is inappropriate- Triage if more than one. Be specific. Give reasonable, not special, choices and consequences. Allow time Enforce consequences Use non-verbal communication WHAT WE “HEAR”: 80% -non verbal 12%- voice inflection 8%- spoken word Be award of threatening posture Use as few words as possible-be concise Avoid the “2 miles up the hill in the snow” lecture. General Guidelines for Verbal Intervention 1) Maintain a safe distance (5 - 6 feet) from individual. 2) Maintain intermittent eye contact. 3) Use clear voice tone. 4) Use voice volume lower than that of agitated individual. 5) Use relaxed, well balanced posture with hands held in front of self. Copyright 2007 T.E.A.M. Interventions Avoiding Power Struggles Types of Power Struggles Defending your authority or credibility • Reacting to personal button pushing • Issuing unrealistic consequences • Getting Sidetracked Give reasonable choices A. You’re welcome to ___________ or _________________. B. Feel free to ______________ or ____________________. C. Would you rather ______________ or ________________? What would be best for you _______________ or ___________? Examples: Would you rather listen without interrupting or choose another place to be right now? You’re welcome to wear your coat or carry it with you. Do you want to sit in the front row or the second row? I see you want to argue; I argue at 12:00 or 4:45 which would you prefer? Which would be best for you? Would you like to talk in a six inch voice to your neighbor; or move up front in the seat behind me? Active Listening Guidelines Concentrate- Give student your attention Acknowledge-use body language and facial expressions to let students know you are listening Respond-repeat back to students what they have said, not what you think Empathize- take students point of view and feelings into account More…ways to de-escalate Do not be defensive even if comments or insults are directed at you. Be very respectful to agitated individual. Make it clear that we believe they should be treated with dignity and respect. Respond selectively. Answer only informational questions no matter how rudely asked, (e.g. “Why do I need to sit in this *&%$ seat”?) Do not answer abusive questions (e.g. “Why are all drivers jerks?” ) This sort of question should get no response whatsoever. Effective Verbal Intervention Must Be: Specific -Name behavior that is not allowed in the setting. -Objective and matter of fact (no emotion). Concise -As few words as needed to get point across. Directive -Give specific choices. (pre determined by staff.) Ask, “Which do you choose?” Key Points Behavior Escalation does not occur in a vacuum- interactions with adults, environment, peers can increase or decrease escalating behavior Avoid being drawn into power struggles Keep yourself and the student safe Give Choices that you can enforce when setting limits Primary Goal is always safety The End!! Thank you! Any questions?