The Minnesota Positive Behavior Support Network acts as a partner in promoting positive approaches to support children with challenging behaviors and can be a useful resource to pediatricians in their interactions with families.
What is Positive Behavior Support (PBS)?
PBS includes a range of empirically supported practices to teach people new skills, decrease problem behavior, and increase quality of life. This is done by adjusting what we (professionals, caregivers, families, teachers, and others) do and say, and how we arrange systems of support around the person. Positive Behavior Support is widely applied across settings (early childhood, K-12 education, home, community, residential, vocational), lifespan, disability types, and typically developing children with behavioral challenges.
In December 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued updated guidance on effective child discipline, which took a definitive stance against parents spanking their children and instead focusing exclusively on positive means to teach skills and address problematic behavior. This is consistent with AAP’s guidance since the late 1990s, including creating a nurturing home environment based in loving relationships, and rewarding desirable behavior. These features are entirely consistent with Positive Behavior Support.
The Minnesota Positive Behavior Support Network
The MNPBS Network launched in 2016 as a statewide interagency effort to bring together professionals and family members interested in implementing and promoting Positive Behavior Support (PBS) to address challenging behavior and unique learning needs in home, community, educational, and mental health settings for people of all ages. Led by both the Minnesota Departments of Education and Human Services, the Universities of Minnesota and St. Thomas, and in partnership with community services providers and regional implementation projects, the main functions of MNPBS are:
Providing information, resources, and tools for implementing PBS to communities across Minnesota
Building on current and ongoing PBS efforts
Creating mechanisms to share news across agencies, programs, and groups
The primary vehicles for engaging in this work have been our annual conference (the Collaborators Forum, held each spring since 2017), social media and web presence and nurturing an active membership of providers, administrators, and state agency leadership from early childhood and K-12 education, human services, and higher education. In addition, an interactive map will be available through our website in 2020 that will highlight the locations of PBS providers and trainers across the state working in early childhood, educational, home, community, and residential settings.
Partnership with Pediatricians
The leadership of MNPBS offers the Network as a helpful addition to resources that pediatricians can share with families in clinic who present with difficulties in managing challenging behavior. We have developed a brochure for distribution to families through pediatric clinics describing the basic tenets of PBS (please find at https://mnpsp.org/mnpbs/). In it we offer simple suggestions for what parents can start doing now to shift their disciplinary approach toward the positive, and provide guidance to web-based resources and other literature for learning more. We invite connection with parents and providers, and value the opportunity to provide additional information and resources about PBS.
Connect with MNPBS
YouTube: MN Positive Behavior Support Network
Tim Moore, PhD, LP, BCBA-D is clinical services manager for Positive Behavior Support at Fraser where his team provides services to improve quality of life for children and families with behavioral and skill acquisition challenges. He is also adjunct faculty in the School of Education at Webster University.