Work hard; play hard!

Work hard; play hard!
Consulting in Maui!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Behavior Umbrellas


During our social skills groups, we were finding that our students kept working on extinguishing one behavior only to pick up another behavior in the same behavior grouping. So, out of necessity to explain the overall behavior, I created what I called "Behavior Umbrellas". This was done on the fly with one of my students who would fall on the spectrum. Since I did it with him though I now had to stick with the visual that I first presented, the umbrella. :-)

*PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST (Although, I always tease that I think I was one in another lifetime and it was my first chosen major. :-)). This is not a diagnosing tool at all.

I just needed to teach my social skills kids some common vocabulary and hopefully understanding for the groupings of behaviors. I wanted them to understand that they needed to start figuring out the patterns in their behavior choices and work on the behavior pattern and not just the specific behaviors. For example, if they are being talked into swearing or being tardy or bullying by someone, then they need to fully understand peer pressure and how those specific behaviors fall under that "behavior umbrella".

I made this full size poster for the classroom to give us a visual reminder and to also allow us to have a working tool that is up during class. When a behavior comes up in class, we now will talk about what behavior grouping the falls under for them.

Here are the worksheets that I created for the different behavior umbrellas:

Click here for a blank behavior umbrella so you can create your own behavior umbrellas. 
Click here for a completed aggression behavior umbrella.
Click here for a blank aggression behavior umbrella.
Click here for a completed avoidance behavior umbrella. 
Click here for a blank avoidance behavior umbrella.
Click here for a completed defiance behavior umbrella. 
Click here for a blank defiance behavior umbrella.
Click here for a completed disruptive/rule breaker behavior umbrella.
Click here for a blank disruptive/rule breaker behavior umbrella. 
Click here for a completed impulsive behavior umbrella. 
Click here for a blank impulsive behavior umbrella. 
Click here for a completed peer pressure behavior umbrella.
Click here for a blank peer pressure behavior umbrella.
Click here for a completed social withdrawl behavior umbrella. 
Click here for a blank social withdrawl behavior umbrella.
Click here for a completed somatic behavior umbrella.
Click here for a blank somatic behavior umbrella.

Depending upon the students in your group and their level of understanding, you can use these in different ways. We projected the blank one up on the white board and went through them each as a class. Then we had them write the responses on their own worksheets. The group, that I work with, rangea in IQ's from the 60's to the 120's and above. Even with the large range of cognitive abilities, this group works! This has to be my favorite class to teach every year!

For our higher level kids, this umbrella concept made sense. They started to see the patterns in their behaviors. Now will this lead us to better choices in our behaviors? This is yet to be determined. I always think though that increased understanding has to lead to increased level of decision making. In the perfect world, this would probably (notice the disclaimer word there!) be so. In a social skills class, this is not always necessarily true. It has given us though another avenue for discussion of their behavior choices. 



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