Research, Training, & Technology Center

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What is PBS?

  • PBS uses a strengths-bassed, person-centered approach for improving an individual's quality of life.
  • PBS tools and strategies are evidence-based and incorporate both behavioral and biomedical practices.
  • PBS addresses the function that maintains problem behavior by teaching social and communication skills as a replacement for challenging behaviors.
  • PBS includes interventions that involve changing situations and settings that trigger a problem behavior.
  • PBS requires everyone working with an individual to change their own behavior. The focus is on creating a positive environment for social learning using a team-based planning process.

A Layered Approach

A triangle divided into three differently colored sections, from top to bottom, with the words 'few,' 'some,' 'all' representing the three-tiered intervention model of Positive Behavior Support.
  • Universal: All individuals receive opportunities to learn social and communication skills. Positive feedback is given to everyone for using new skills.
  • Targeted: Some individuals need more opportunities to practice new skills. Data systems are used for early identification and to implement group and individualized function based interventions.
  • Intensive: A few individuals need intensive supports with multiple interventions to address their unique social and quality of life needs. Wraparound and/or person-centered planning is used to guide each team's problem solving efforts.
Positive Behavior Support is the integration of:
  • Valued outcomes
  • Behavioral and biomedical science
  • Validated procedures
  • Systems change
PBS uses a person-centered, team-based, proactive and preventative approach to:
  • Enhance quality of life
  • Decrease problem behavior
  • Build positive relationships
  • Encourage positive behavior
  • Develop strengths