Skip to Full Menu

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.

Positive Behavior Supports

Mike Mayer

Resources for more information, best practice sites, or experts in the field

Mike Mayer: There are experts. There are a lot of people who call themselves experts. There are people who call themselves experts who are plain dangerous. You have to be careful with who… what expert you're listening to, and not always is it the person who has the most letters behind their name that's the best able to do things. We'll talk about some web resources that you can trust in just a couple of seconds.

Are there best practices? Yes, absolutely. Do we need to be focusing on those instead of a lot of the older things that people are so heavily invested in that they spend all that money and time creating and writing books about and that's the stuff we have to be careful about. Because if we just reword what we've always done, we're going to get what we've always gotten.

It's… It's really important for us to understand that just calling something, something else, doesn't make it that thing. So we want to be very, very careful that somebody isn't calling behavior modification positive behavioral support. So that's just kind of my encouragement to folks in general about it.

The one thing that I would suggest is, is that most of the DD Councils in the United States do one of a couple of different programs. Some of them do Partners in Policymaking® and some do some other things, but almost all of them have some kind of connection to the positive support world. So sometimes calling the DD Council for your individual state and asking is there such a thing, you know, or who would you recommend or are there are some experts that you think are here in this state that I can follow up with. Sometimes the Protection and Advocacy Association, P&A, also has some of those kinds of resources that are specific and local to your state.

So those would be kind of in general comments. Every state's going to be a little bit different, that's been my experience, between Derrick, my business partner, and I. We've now worked in every single state in the country, and the one thing that we're convinced of is that every single state in the country is unique. There really is a very different way of doing things from one state to the next. So there's not an answer about where to go for the individual states, but, hopefully, that will help.

There is the Association For Positive Behavior Supports, and that is one of the places where I would suggest that, if people are looking for a local group, a practitioner group, things along those lines, but also, you know, they can serve as a contact and ask for is there a member of the Association for Positive Behavior Supports who is a practitioner in my area that I can connect with.

The office of Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, this is a school-age focused effort. It's funded by the federal government but also receives other supports. But a lot of the stuff that is developed in positive behavioral interventions and supports now is, did come out of the school-age, systemic change efforts but has direct and immediate application within the intellectual and developmental disabilities world.

There is an e-learning program that you can have access to online if you're interested in learning more. The Positive Behavior Support Modules is considered pretty much state-of-the-art at this point and best information available, and at my favorite price – free. So I would highly urge folks to take a look at that.

The Kansas Institute for Positive Behavior Supports is another one of those excellent resources, some of the finest people in the country are working in Kansas in that area and the Beach Center for Families and several others, and they've all kind of come together and said, "Okay, let's make this really a hub of good information." So the Kansas Institute is an outstanding place to look.

The Center on Developmental Disabilities Positive Behavior Support Unit is also at the University of Kansas. Again, I highly encourage folks to take a look at what's going on in Kansas. There are other schools that are training folks to be BCBA's—Board Certified Behavior Analysts. A good behavior analyst isn't necessarily a good positive behavior support person. Analysts and designers and implementers and trainers have different skill sets. Not all of those people necessarily, just because you have the letters, doesn't necessarily mean that you're good at all aspects of it.

There is also, a resource manual that comes from the State of Georgia that's available online. It's the Guidelines for Supporting Adults with Challenging Behaviors in Community Settings. It's a resource manual for Georgia's Community Programs. I see that Georgia had some of the most progressive approaches in the nation. Part of that comes from lawsuits that they've lost, but they've invested heavily in doing some good, really good stuff in that state.

Missouri's Positive Behavior Support Guidelines stuff is also on there. It's an older version, I believe 2008, 2009, somewhere in there. And I'm not saying that because I helped to write it. But there are some things in there that some others might still find somewhat controversial because of the way they approach some of the issues regarding seclusion or regarding restraint. But that's in general, that's covered in other rules and those kinds of things rather than in that document. So people may come away with the impression that it's okay to do stuff regarding that, but there's a lot of good content in Missouri's information that's available online as well.

The Association for Positive Behavior Support

OSEP Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (School-age focus)

Kansas Institute for Positive Behavior Support

Guidelines for Supporting Adults With Challenging Behaviors in Community Settings – A Resource Manual for Georgia's Community Programs

©2023 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711  Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.

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.

This website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL),  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1,120,136.00 with 83 percent funded by ACL/HHS and $222,000.00 and 17 percent funded by non-federal-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.