One of the most requested services from Dr. Levi-Shackleford is behavior supports. Behavior support services are designed to assist children and adults with disabilities and mental health diagnoses with learning new skills to improve behavior, increase independence, and reach goals. The services are based on the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) approach which is a research-based holistic approach that looks at the whole person to determine the purpose of their behaviors and using their strengths, preferences, and needs identifies ways to make positive changes and decrease challenging behaviors. The individual and their support team are guided in how to make positive changes to the environment and systems in place as well as learning new replacement behaviors and how and when to use them to increase independence and promote change. While PBS uses similar techniques and terminology as ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), services are different as they are not as intense. With PBS, the Behavior Specialist (an endorsed Positive Behavior Support Facilitator, PBSF) assesses the situation, develops a plan, and trains the individual and their team to execute the strategies.
Dr. Levi-Shackleford has experience working with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorders, Down Syndrome, and Fragile X syndrome while also specializing in working with those with dual diagnoses (IDD and mental health diagnoses such as ADD/ADHD, anxiety disorders, depression, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and much more). Services are appropriate for assisting with the following:
Decreasing challenging behavior (including impulsivity, self-injurious, aggression, and property destruction)
Increasing effective communication and coping skills
Improving organization and future planning skills
Improving life skills that increase independence (such as completing hygiene routines, cleaning up/completing chores, daily scheduling, and more)
How the Program Works
STAGE 1: The Intake Process –This consists of the individual and their support team meeting with the Behavior Specialist to discuss the individual’s strengths, preferences, goals, and the challenges that make reaching their goals difficult.
STAGE 2: The Assessment Stage- During the Assessment Stage, the Behavior Specialist will set up and conduct several observations and interviews to learn more about the individual and work to identify areas in need of improvement and triggers as well as the best interventions to address them.
STAGE 3: The Behavior Support Plan – The behavior support plan (BSP) is developed and a team meeting will be organized. The individual and their supporters will review the plan and receive training on the strategies as well as resources and tools to help with the process.
STAGE 4: The Monitoring Stage – The Behavior Specialist will monitor the individual and the team as they implement the plan and work towards the goals. When the team is comfortable and the individual is successful in using their new behaviors and routines, they will be discharged.