Behavior Problems at School

Periodically, windows of opportunities arise for providing inservice at schools about mental health and psychosocial concerns. When such opportunities appear, it may be helpful to access one or more of our Center's Quick Training Aids.

Each of these offers a brief set of resources to guide those providing an inservice session. (They also are a form of quick self-tutorial.)    

Most encompass    
  • key talking points for a short training session
  • a brief overview of the topic
  • facts sheets
  • tools
  • a sampling of other related information and resources

In compiling resource material, the Center tries to identify those that represent "best practice" standards. If you know of better material, please let us know so that we can make improvements.

Guide for Suggested Talking Points

  1. Brief Overview
    1. Present main points from:
      Behavior Problems: What's a School to Do? - Excerpted from Addressing Barriers to Learning Newlsetter.
       
      1. Refer to the outline entitled Intervention Focus in Dealing with Misbehavior for a concise description of strategies for managing misbehavior before, during and after its occurrence.
         
      2. Utilize the Logical Consequences section to discuss the nature and rationale for implementing consequences, as well as a review of appropriate guidelines for using discipline in the classroom.
         
    2. Labeling Troubled and Troubling Youth: The Name Game - Excerpted from Addressing Barriers to Learning Newlsetter, Vol. 1(3), Summer 1996.
       
      • Refer to this document to provide a theoretical framework for understanding, identifying and diagnosing various behavioral, emotional and learning problems. This framework accounts for both individual and environmental contributions to problem behavior.
         

  2. Fact Sheets
    1. The Broad Continuum of Conduct and Behavioral Problems - Excerpted from The Classification of Child and Adolescent Mental Diagnoses in Primary Care, American Academy of Pediatrics (1996). Excerpted from a Center Guidebook entitled: Common Psychosocial Problems of School Aged Youth, pp. III B-5 (1999) and a Center Introductory Packet entitled: conduct and Behavior Problems: Intervention and Resources for School Aged Youth (1999).
       
      1. This document serves as an additional resource for understanding and identifying variations in the nature and severity of behavior problems.
         
      2. This document should be referenced for additional information on variations in the manifestation of specific problem behaviors at different stages of development (infancy through adolescence).
         
    2. Conduct Disorder in Children and Adolescents - Center for Mental Health Services Fact Sheet ( http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/CA-0010/default.asp).
       
      1. Note the section titled What Are the Signs of Conduct Disorder, which lists the symptoms of Conduct Disorder. These signal more severe problems that must be addressed.
         
      2. Because families may look to teachers or school counselors for help and/or referrals for their child, it is important to know what resources exist. The section What Help Is Available for Families? may be helpful in generating ideas about referral interventions.
         
    3. Fact Sheet: Oppositional Defiant Disorder - Excerpted from a Center Introductory Packet entitled: Conduct and Behavior Problems in School Aged Youth, pp. 113 (1999). As adapted from an Ask NOAH About: Mental Health Fact Sheet: Oppositional Defiant Disorder, The New York Hospital / Cornell Medical Center. ( http://www.noah-health.org/english/illness/mentalhealth/cornell/conditions/odd.html).
       
      1. Note the section titled Symptoms, which covers symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
         
      2. Ideas for interventions might be found in the section titled Treatment, and families can be encouraged to use the principles listed under Self-Management.
         
    4. Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder Center for Mental Health Services Fact Sheet ( http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/CA-0008/default.asp).
       
      1. Note the section titled What Are the Signs of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, which lists the symptoms of ADHD.
         
      2. Again, the section What Help Is Available for Families? may be helpful in generating ideas about referral interventions.
         

  3. Tools/Handouts
    1. What is a Behavioral Initiative? - Excerpted from a Technical Assistance Sampler entitled: Behavioral Initiatives in Broad Perspective, Center for Mental Health in Schools (1998).
       
      • A brief overview of what a "behavioral initiative" is and why taking a proactive approach to behavior management is necessary under the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
         
    2. School-Wide Behavioral Management Systems - Excerpted from an ERIC Digest by Mary K. Fitzsimmons.
       
      1. Note that one of the main points of the article is that effective behavioral management requires a system that will "provide opportunities for all children to learn self-discipline." Thus, the focus is not on discipline strategies.
         
      2. Reinforce the points made by Tim Lewis of the University of Missouri (at the bottom of page 1). Objectives need to be realistic, need-based, and accompanied by multiple levels of support.
         
      3. The section titled Common Features of School-Wide Behavioral Management Systems can be used to generate discussion about encouraging commitment to a school-wide program incorporating a code of conduct and social/emotional skills instruction.
         
    3. Student's Perspectives / Addressing Underlying Motivation to Change - Excerpted from a Guidebook entitled: What Schools Can Do to Welcome and Meet the Needs of All Students, Unit VI, pp 16-17 and Unit VII, pp. 23-28. Center for Mental Health in Schools (1997).
       
      1. This resource addresses the question "why?" in the discussion of students' problem behaviors. It also provides a list of assessment questions to guide understanding of the problem when it occurs.
         
      2. An assessment tool is provided as a guide in the assessment of problems from the student's point of view. This tool comes in one form for young children, and another form for all other children and youth.
         

  4. Model Programs
    1. Social Skills Training (Examples): - Excerpted from a Technical Assistance Sampler entitled: A Sampling of Outcome Findings from Interventions Relevant to Addressing Barriers to Learning, Center for Mental Health in Schools.
       
    2. Violence Prevention and School Safety - Excerpted from a Technical Assistance Sampler entitled: A Sampling of Outcome Findings from Interventions Relevant to Addressing Barriers to Learning, Center for Mental Health in Schools.
       
    3. Excerpts from: Building on the Best, Learning What Works: A Few Promising Discipline and Violence Prevention Programs - Excerpted from American Federation of Teachers (2000). ( http://www.aft.org/pubs-reports/downloads/teachers/wwdiscipline.pdf)
       

  5. Additional Resources
  6. Originals for Overheads
  7. The following can be copied to overhead transparencies to assist in presenting this material.
     
    1. Behavior Problems: What's a School to Do?
       
    2. Labeling Troubled and Troubling Youth: The Name Game
       
    3. Addressing the Full Range of Problems
       
    4. Interconnected Systems for Meeting the Needs of All Students
       

This material provided by: UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools/Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
(310) 825-3634/ Fax: (310) 206-8716/ Email: smhp@ucla.edu
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