Managing Challenging Behavior Through Evidence Based Multi-Tiered Systems of Behavioral Support


Multi-tiered systems of supportMulti-tiered systems of support (MTSS) is a more proactive, effective and efficient practice of supporting students in reaching their full potential than traditional “wait to fail” models. The foundation of an effective behavioral MTSS system is a strong tier one that includes all of the research based core components for effectively managing challenging behavior of ALL students.

Positive Behavior Support is often misunderstood as being another program or curriculum when in fact it is an extension of applied behavioral analysis or behavior science that provides a framework for developing an evidence based MTSS system.

The A-B-C Model - A Blueprint for Classroom Management

Applied Behavioral Analysis provides educators with the A-B-C Model, which serves as a blueprint for classroom management and underpins the Positive Behavior Support framework. In this model, the “A” stands for antecedent and refers to all the environmental factors that come before a problem behavior occurs. The “B” stands for the problematic behavior itself, and the “C” stands for the consequence - either positive or negative - that follows the student's behavior.

Tier One Strategies

Antecedent strategies from tier one take place before problem behaviors occur, building a foundation that benefits all students. Three critical components include:
Expectations, Procedures, and Routines - This includes creating expectations, procedures, and routines that are positively worded and clearly communicated.
Environmental Design - Strategic environmental, or classroom, design refers to the way you set up your learning environment to make learning attainable for everyone.
Instructional Design - This focuses on crafting instruction that's engaging and appropriate for each individual student.


Additional Resources

In April, we hosted a webinar with Dr. Kaye Otten, author of our Managing Challenging Behavior online courses, on this important topic. These resources are available for you to use and share with your educators.
Webinar Recording >
Webinar Presentation >
Tip Sheet >

Exceptional Child includes over 70 online PD courses, including many courses on managing challenging behavior.

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Intervention Plans
  • EBD Overview
  • Functional Behavior Analysis
  • Managing Challenging Behavior
  • ODD Overview
  • School-Wide PBIS
  • Self-Regulation Skills
  • And More!

Explore our entire course library! 

Want to Know More?

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