Behavior Support Specialist

Last Updated: 8/10/2020 7:52 PM

In order to support the new requirements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) reauthorization 1997 along with the demands of accountability in education, the Stark County Educational Service Center, Department of Special Needs/Student Services makes available to districts the services of a Behavior Support Specialist.
Under (IDEA) reauthorization of 1997, school districts are required to conduct a functional behavior assessment (FBAs) for students with disabilities who are exhibiting persistent and challenging behaviors that interfere with their learning and the learning of others.  The districts must also develop a positive behavior support plan that will teach and provide the student with disabilities the strategies to successfully integrate behaviorally into the school setting.

What is a Behavior Support Specialist?

A Behavior Support Specialist is a trained professional with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop intervention strategies to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities (preschool through post high school transition programs) struggling with behavior challenges within the school setting.  The behavior support specialist works collaboratively with the student's educational team and parents to develop intervention strategies (positive behavior supports) for the classroom and/or within the school environment that allows the student to successfully integrate behaviorally into the school setting.

The main responsibility of the behavior support specialist is to assist with the intervention process and determine through the FBA why a student is performing and/or exhibiting certain challenging behavior(s).  This allows the student's team to develop a behavior intervention plan that includes positive behavior supports to teach and facilitate appropriate behaviors to replace the student's inappropriate/challenging behaviors.

Services the Behavior Support Specialist can provide to districts include:

  • Classroom observations and individual consultation with classroom teacher
  • Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA)
  • Work collaboratively with student's IEP team and/or educational school personnel (school psychologist, guidance counselor, classroom teacher, speech language therapist, paraprofessional) to develop an Individualized School Positive Behavior Intervention Plain
  • Model, teach and train school staff in positive behavior strategies as well as provide assistance with coordination of differing therapies, and research based behavioral interventions and services
  • Provide on going monitoring of the implementation of the behavior support plan through observation and review of the program's data
  • Provide the team with specific data collection techniques then necessary


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