Response Class Theory

Managing severe problem behavior remains among the most pressing challenges in educational settings. Behavior that results in self-injury, injury to others, significant property damage, and impaired learning creates an obstacle to school success and positive life course outcomes and can cause significant emotional and financial costs. Traditional responses to severe problem behavior often rely on intrusive interventions, including restraint, medication, isolation, or incarceration. Recent advances in function-based support shift the intervention focus from reactive treatment to proactive identification of the function of problem behavior and teaching of functionally equivalent alternative behaviors. Response class theory contributes to the conceptual foundation of functionbased and assessment-based support and facilitates the design of effective behavioral interventions.

Research Basis

Response class theory offers four major theoretical and ...

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