First Presenter's Institution

University of Georgia

Second Presenter's Institution

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 4 (Verelst)

Strand #1

Safety & Violence Prevention

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The presentation is relevant to Safety & Violence Prevention and Social and Emotional Skills in that it looks at ethics- and research-based strategies for teaching/supporting alternatives to aggression and other behaviors. It does so within the context of using functional assessments that focus on behavioral descriptions of behaviors as an alternative to using pejorative terms such as "bully."

Brief Program Description

This presentation will present historical perspectives on the use of person-first terminology as related to the impact of contemporary pejorative terminology, including the terms associated with "bullying." Functional alternatives in assessing problematic behaviors will follow. Finally, ethics-based (least intrusive) social skills and behavioral interventions will be exemplified.

Summary

Person 1st language laces emphasis on the individual as an entity rather than on that person's presenting challenges. The NYAR indeed instructs submissions to utilize person 1st language. We already have a nomenclature for inappropriate behaviors that are often used to describe "bullying". Aggression, for example, is defined by the topography of the operants (e.g., hitting, pushing) in the case of physical aggression, and by the verbal content (name-calling, teasing) or intensity (e.g., decibel level that implies yelling) of verbal/vocal aggression. This presentation will provide an historical perspective on diagnostic and descriptive terminology that at one point was accepted in the scientific and educational communities but which, over time, acquired a pejorative connotation that led to new terminology. For example, "idiot-moron imbecile" were originally diagnostic terms that acquired pejorative connotations that resulted in new terminology ("mental retardation" and currently "intellectual disability). An initial discussion will be led regarding the potential pejorative ramifications of labelling individuals as "bullies" and their behavior as "bullying," which may predispose professionals to impose motives that serve no function and which may adversely affect the individual who exhibits challenging behavior. This will be followed by a description of function-based assessment and how it provides a reliable description of behaviors and the variables that maintain the behavior, as well as a model for prescribing function-based, least intrusive interventions to decrease challenging behavior while replacing it with socially appropriate alternatives. Finally, intervention examples (e.g., differential reinforcement, social skills instruction) will be given that are easily replicable in applied settings.

Evidence

Many school-aged and adults with behavioral and psychological disorders exhibit problematic behavior (Kauffman, 2009). Functional assessment identifies variables that maintain problematic behavior such as non compliance and problematic behaviors. There are literally thousands of research articles that demonstrate the effectiveness of functional assessments in prescribing interventions that decrease such behaviors and/or teach social skills that replace challenging behaviors (see Cooper, Heron and Heward, 2019, & Alberto and Troutman, 2014, for summaries of FA/FBA and related evidence-based interventions).

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Tom J. Clees has been active in the field of Special Education for over forty years. He brings extensive clinical, school-based and community experiences to his work at the University of Georgia. Dr. Clees is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-D. He has presented regionally, nationally, and internationally in the areas of applied behavior analysis, social skills, behavioral disorders, and transition.

J. Todd Stephens has been involved in the field of Special Education for over forty years. During this time has has been a classroom teacher, community behavior consultant, clinical psychologist and teacher preparation faculty member. Dr. Stephens has presented regionally, nationally, and internationally in the areas of emotional and behavioral disorders, intellectual disability, and evidence-based practices in positive behavior supports.

Keyword Descriptors

person-1st language, function-based interventions, least intrusive hierarchy of interventions, social skills instruction

Presentation Year

2020

Start Date

3-10-2020 8:30 AM

End Date

3-10-2020 9:45 AM

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Mar 10th, 8:30 AM Mar 10th, 9:45 AM

Bully, bullies and bullying: Pejorative terminology, alternative descriptors, and ethics-based interventions

Session 4 (Verelst)

This presentation will present historical perspectives on the use of person-first terminology as related to the impact of contemporary pejorative terminology, including the terms associated with "bullying." Functional alternatives in assessing problematic behaviors will follow. Finally, ethics-based (least intrusive) social skills and behavioral interventions will be exemplified.