William James College Continuing Education Programs

William James College

Formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP)

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Practical Strategies for Understanding Students with Anxiety-Related & Disruptive Behavior

Mar 23, 2013 09:00am -
Mar 23, 2013 01:00pm

Event Description


Due to the blizzard this program has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 23, 2013.

Jessica Minahan, M.Ed, BCBA, instructor

This program will teach participants about interventions educators can use in the classroom to help students (in preschool through Grade 8) who have anxiety or oppositional behavior and can be explosive. Frequently, teachers respond with punishment- and reward-based consequences rather than understanding students’ challenges and teaching them strategies to learn to cope. Although clinicians are often asked only to diagnose and treat a child who is struggling in school, it is critical for them to be able to advocate for their patients in the school setting and to help educators work with these students by improving the school environment and changing their responses to behavior.  Participants will learn to suggest improvements to existing behavior plans that focus on preventive strategies, such as antecedent management, self-monitoring systems and alternative responses to behavior. These interventions can allow students to improve their behavior by acquiring the necessary skills to make academic progress.

Ms. Minahan, a behavior analyst and special educator, will use case studies to teach participants concrete skills to help support these students in school. Given a case example, participants will explain how they would respond. They will review a suggested behavior plan (typical in schools) and learn how to evaluate its contents and see why it may not be working and may actually be reinforcing the student’s disruptive behavior. After learning about the concepts of antecedent management and functional hypotheses and discussing anticipated behavior and common problem areas, they will be given “ABC data” (antecedent-behavior-consequences) on the student’s behavior. They will learn to evaluate this information and to identify patterns of behavior that may emerge, and will work with Ms. Minahan to create an improved behavior plan for the student, covering a wide range of concrete interventions that teachers can apply immediately.

Additional handouts will cover information on students’ legal rights in special education, how to collect behavior data, suggestions of alternative strategies, self-monitoring sheets and recommendations for important components to include in individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for these students.

Upon completion of the program the student will be able to:

·         Describe why traditional behavior plans of reward and consequences often do not work for students with challenges such as anxiety and oppositional behavior.

·         Collaborate with parents and educators to offer concrete suggestions to help these students.

·         Explain the legal protections for students with severe emotional disturbance in school and make suggestions to help them access necessary assessments, accommodations and interventions.

Program Code: BC40 
4 CE Credits
Location: at MSPP, Newton

Jessica Minahan, M.Ed, BCBA, is a board-certified behavior analyst and special educator in the Newton, Massachusetts public school system.  She is the co-author The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, written with Nancy Rappaport, M.D. 

Event Type:Continuing Education Program
Category:Children & Adolescents
Early registration ends on Jul 29, 2012.
Regular registration starts on Jul 30, 2012 and ends on Jan 29, 2013.
Late registration starts on Jan 30, 2013.


Registration Fees
Fee TypeEarlyRegularLate
 The Behavior Code: Practical Strategies for Understanding Students (BC40)
Member Fee: $90.00$90.00$90.00
Non-Member Fee: $90.00$90.00$90.00

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