PHILLIPS’ Behavior Program Description

The PHILLIPS Behavior Program and many of the teaching techniques used at PHILLIPS are based in Behavior Analytic principles.  In addition, PHILLIPS integrates teaching technology from many other Evidence-Based resources.

Our Behavior Program is based on identification of target behaviors for change, differential reinforcement of replacement behaviors, and extinction.  Frequent positive reinforcement is used throughout the day, based on the preference of the individual child.  Positive Behavior Support is implemented consistently through PHILLIPS’ school wide Level System and Token Economy, as well as Individualized Behavior Programming.

PHILLIPS also uses ABA based teaching technology, such as Errorless Teaching, Naturalistic Teaching, Task Analysis, and Behavior Skills Training; selecting methods that work most effectively with individual students and skills.  PHILLIPS is not a strictly ABA program as we choose to integrate teaching methods from additional disciplines, including Social Thinking, Sensory Regulation, Trauma Informed Care, Functional Language Skills Development, and multiple academic teaching strategies.

It is the goal of PHILLIPS School to offer a balanced program that has a wide range of established practices in order to best serve our wide range of unique students.

De-escalation Process and Crisis Management

Frequently PHILLIPS students experience difficulty coping with the challenges of problem-solving, task management, and finding ways to meet their needs.  As a result escalation can occur, resulting in safety concerns for students and staff.

In order to safely manage these potential crises, all PHILLIPS staff are trained in the evidence-based and nationally recognized crisis intervention program, Right Response.  Right Response emphasizes proactive and holistic interventions that are effective in maintaining safety. De-escalation principles are utilized to assist children who may feel overwhelmed to regain a sense of control and safety; Among these are Verbal Support, such as active listening, offering options and choices, and problem-solving; Managing Proximity; and being prepared to offer physical safety assistance as needed. Staff implementing Right Response strategies utilize the least intrusive responses to individuals that will meet their needs and assist them (in our case the children) in going from a sense of fear, anxiety, or loss of control, to a sense of safety and self-control.

Staff are first taught the elements of self-care in order to be prepared physically, emotionally, and mentally to meet the needs of children with many behavioral challenges.  In addition, many strategies of prevention, early intervention, and de-escalation are taught in order to avoid crises.

For those moments when students become harmful to themselves or others, all staff are trained in physical safety techniques.

Following moments of crisis, staff use the debriefing process to learn which interventions were effective and which were not as effective with that particular child or circumstance.  In all situations, PHILLIPS staff are trained to use the least intrusive technique that will meet the needs of the child, while demonstrating respect for the dignity of that child and maintaining safety.