Psychology & Behavior

Positive Behavioral Interventions

The Psychology Department at The Center for Discovery is comprised of Licensed Psychologists, Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA), Certified School Psychologists, and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT). The behavior analysts and specialists are responsible for training staff in behavioral interventions and work directly with students and residents to teach replacement skills. School psychologists perform evaluations to assess cognitive ability, academic achievement, social-emotional functioning, and adaptive skills to determine progress and continued need for services. They may also provide counseling for students who have this service in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). In addition to assistance for students and residents, the Psychology Department also offers support for families and staff through various wellness-based initiatives.

Psychology staff are part of a multi-disciplinary team who together offer a comprehensive approach to the treatment and care of our students and residents. All challenging behaviors are considered in the context of co-occurring health conditions including medical problems and chronic stress and anxiety. TCFD promotes the use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The following are dimensions of PBIS:

  • Incorporates person-centered values
  • Treats all people with respect and dignity
  • Uses functional behavioral assessment (FBA) to inform intervention
  • Focuses on teaching skills to replace problem behavior
  • Draws from multiple interventions and support strategies
  • Determines outcome goals based on individual’s preferred lifestyle and that are culturally sensitive
  • Addresses all aspects of functioning that lead to a better quality of life
  • Focuses on proactive and preventative approaches to behavioral change

HealthE6 Positive Behavior Support

The HealthE6 Center-Wide Positive Behavior Support Plan consists of antecedent-based interventions that support the pro-social behavior of all of our students and residents. This plan outlines environmental and instructional strategies that are implemented by all staff across all environments. Strategies are broken down into the HealthE6 areas of Environmental Modification, Eating, Energy Regulation, and Emotional Regulation.

Behavior Intervention Plans

When more intensive supports are needed, a behavior analyst or specialist conducts an FBA and develops a behavior intervention plan (BIP). The BIP offers evidence-based strategies associated with applied behavior analysis and includes the following components:

  1. Description of the behaviors targeted for reduction
  2. Individualized antecedent-based strategies to prevent challenging behaviors
  3. Replacement skills training including use of the Skill Based Treatment (SBT) approach when clinically indicated
  4. Instructions for how to respond when challenging behaviors occur
  5. Baseline data and a description of how data will continue to be collected and analyzed for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the BIP and other interventions.

When needed, a crisis intervention plan is added to the BIP. TCFD uses Strategies for Crisis Intervention and Prevention-Revised (SCIP-R), a curriculum approved by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). All direct care staff receive SCIP-R training during orientation and then are re-certified annually.