Behavior Interventions - Proficiency (Escape Something) Interventions: The Child is able to avoid something (e.g. academic or social task) when they engage in the problem behavior.


Social Competence Intervention (SCI)

SCI is a social competence intervention developed by Stichter et al. (2010) that combines both cognitive-behavioral and applied behavior analysis principals within a group-based structure. Specifically, the intervention is designed to enhance the social competence needs of elementary, middle school, and high school youth with social skill deficits. Each version provides structure, consistency, and scaffolding for three specific age ranges (Elementary: 6-10; Adolescent: 11-14; High School: 14-18) to assist in skill acquisition and maintenance. It is best used for the HFA population, and others who exhibit similar social skills deficits. This intervention is structured with scaffolded instruction in the following targeted social skills units: recognizing facial expressions, sharing ideas using the appropriate speaker and listener skills, turn taking in conversations, understanding feelings and emotions, and problem solving.

EBI Brief for the Social Competence Intervention (SCI)

Opportunities to Respond

This intervention has been shown to be successful in multiple classroom settings such as during the use of direct instruction, classwide peer tutoring, and computer-assisted instruction. An OTR is described as a teacher behavior (question, prompt, cue) that invites or solicits an individual student response or a unison response. These student responses can be verbal (i.e. answering a question), gestured (i.e. giving a thumbs up or thumbs down, response cards), or written (i.e. providing answer on a whiteboard). After the student(s) have responded the teacher then provides specific feedback on the student’s responses.

EBI Brief for Opportunities to Respond



CW-FIT is a behavioral intervention designed to explicitly teach and reinforce appropriate social behaviors through the use of a game like activity that can be implemented within the general education classroom setting. This intervention can be strategically implemented during “problem” times of the day to decrease problem behavior. CW- FIT incorporates multiple research-based behavioral strategies including direct instruction of skills, self and peer management, extinction by removing reinforcement (i.e. withholding attention when problem behaviors occur) as well as differential reinforcement of alternative.

EBI Brief for CW-FIT

Choice Making

This intervention has the potential to be effective with children who can do a task, but are deciding not to do so.  The purpose of choice-making interventions is to promote engagement by providing the opportunity for student decision-making and agency with regard to assignment choice and/or order.  A review of 13 choice-making intervention studies by Shogren and colleagues (2004) found that it was consistently effective in reducing the frequency of problem behaviors.  A secondary benefit of this intervention is that it promotes self-determination, which may be particularly useful for students with disabilities, given that their opportunities for decision-making are often restricted.

Antecedent Modifications

Student wants to escape nonpreferred activity, so antecedents are altered to increase task engagement. Antecedent-based procedures can be used to decrease inappropriate behaviors or increase appropriate behaviors.


Choice of Task Sequence

To lower incidences of inappropriate behavior, child will engage in choice. Research has found that just making a choice is reinforcing.


Behavioral Contracts

To lower the incidence of inappropriate behaviors, including escape behaviors, the child, teacher and parent will write a contract of appropriate behavior goals. Reinforcements will be given at different stages according to the contract.


Guided Notes

Guided Notes provide a handout of notes that have blank spaces for writing down lesson concepts, allowing the student opportunities to demonstrate appropriate classroom behavior. Notes are reviewed by the teacher, providing positive reinforcement. This intervention can be used with children of many ages (especially those in grade four through twelve), with or without disabilities. Guided Notes can be adapted to any instructional level and altered for students with specific skill deficits. Guided Notes are inexpensive, efficient, allow teachers to exhibit their own style, and are often preferred over “regular” notes by both teachers and students.


Removal of Punishment

Positive punishment occurs when an aversive stimulus as a consequence is applied in response to appropriate behavior (see below). The presentation of an aversive stimulus causes a decrease in appropriate behavior and has long-term behavior effects. The removal of the positive punishment involves the elimination of this punishment so that it is more likely that appropriate behavior will occur in the future.



Classwide Antecedent Modifications

The context of the environment in which behaviors occur is not usually considered when analyzing a child’s behavior. Instead, more attention is typically given to the consequences following that particular behavior (especially when it is a disruptive behavior being analyzed). While consequences of behaviors matter, what occurred BEFORE the problem behavior should also be considered when creating an intervention. Altering the antecedent of the target behavior has the substantial advantage of being proactive. As such, with appropriate modifications of the antecedents, a problem behavior (e.g. disruptive behavior or task demand refusal) can be avoided. This brief presents a series of classwide antecedent alterations that will change typical antecedents of problem behaviors to antecedents that prompt appropriate behaviors. See Kern and Clemens (2007) for an excellent through review of this class of intervention.