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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

The History and Evolution of Behavioral Approaches and Positive Behavioral Interventions

Derrick Dufresne

Look for Underlying Pain That May Cause Behavioral Issues

Derrick Dufresne: One of the things that Mike Mayer, who's my business partner, and I look at a lot when we work with people that have serious or aggressive behaviors is some things that seem so obvious to us. But if you are… I'm not going to say unable… but if you don't speak or if you have a physical disability, that makes it difficult for you to speak, or if you're intellectual… expression is limited, then think about how I let you know that I'm in pain.

And what we have found is, one of the first things we have to look at with both men and women is dental – if you've ever had a toothache that is so bad that you can't even think. We found that during the menses period for women, sometimes people's behavior changes. So we have found that we have to get behind the external expression of the behavior and we have to ask some pretty fundamental questions. What else is going on here? Think about the death of a friend. Think about the loss of a pet. Think about the things that affect our lives, and we call it a bad mood or she's going through a difficult period.

Well those things get catalogued and defined and programmed. And so we find we have to look at dental. We have to look at physical. And we also have to look at spiritual, emotional… because those are part of what make us human. And too often, we've skipped over those things and here's what we've said. "She hit me."

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This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001MNSCDD-03, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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