The last of the five curriculums you will find in an IEP is that for behavior. The behavior curriculum is implemented when a student’s behavior impedes the student’s learning or that of others. At that point the IEP team must consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address a broad base of behaviors. This includes the major goal of any SEL behavioral curriculum - the development of healthy, happy children that develop into independent productive adults:

  • Improved academic (functional or age appropriate) achievement
  • Decreased non productive behaviors
  • Increased self determination and happiness
  • Improved health
  • Emotional literacy and well-being
  • Improved self-control, & problem-solving skills
  • Healthy relationships
  • Social Cognition and skills in societal, hidden or covert curriculum
  • Competitive workforce preparation
  • Post secondary education preparation
  • Independent living and citizenship skills
  • Coping with anger / Self regulation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Developing friendships
  • Keeping oneself safe, and
  • Cultural acceptance

The IEP team may document how behavior is being addressed in three ways:

  1. Goals and Objectives – measure the change of current behavior and replacement behavior which is being addressed.
  2. Special Factors, Supplementary Aids and Assessments
  • Noting modifications in their program, support for their teachers, and any related services necessary to achieve those behavioral goals.
  1. Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and Positive Behavior Support Plan
  • If the student needs a behavior intervention plan to improve learning and socialization, the behavior intervention plan should be included in the IEP and aligned with the goals in the IEP.
  • IEPs must include a behavior intervention plan when the student’s behavior has “risen to the level of serious behavioral issues.”
  • IEPs can also include a behavior intervention plan for students whose behavior is not at that level.
  • The IEP must reference and make the connection that the plan exists and attach it to the IEP
  • A new IEP or Amendment would be required every time the plan is adjusted
  • If a student participates in a program that includes specific behavioral supports for all students within the program, those supports should be documented under present levels as a DEFINED program they are participating in.

Interventions Vary Based On a Child's Needs

  Interventions vary among speciality area. These include:

  • ABA - Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • CBT - Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • DBT - Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • RDI - Relationship Development Intervention
  • TEACCH - Training and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children
  • Music Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • EBR
  • Animal Assisted
  • RBT - Registered Behavior Analyst
  • Sensory Integration Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Anger Management
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Behavioral chaining
  • Computer assisted instruction
  • Discrete Trial Instruction
  • Errorless Learning
  • FCT - Functional Communication Training
  • PECS - Picture Exchange Communication System
  • PRT - Pivotal Response Training
  • NLP - Natural Language Paradigm
  • Precision teaching /Fluency teaching
  • Lovaas
  • Verbal Behavioral Programming
  • Home-based Programming Criteria
  • SCERTS Model
  • The Miller Method
  • The Son-Rise /Options Program


This is the last of 4 blogs addressing the curriculums within the IEP

  Make sure you SUBSCRIBE to the blog so you do not miss any of the topics coming up.

#1 Core #2 Extracurricular

#3  Expanded / Functional Curriculum

#4  Assistive technology Curriculum

 #5 Behavior Curriculum

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Marie Lewis is an author, consultant, and national speaker on best practices in education advocacy. She is a parent of 3 children and a Disability Case Manager, Board Certified Education Advocate, and Behavior Specialist Consultant. She has assisted in the development of thousands of IEPs nationally and consults on developing appropriately individualized IEPs that are outcome based vs just legally sufficient. She brings a great depth of expertise, practical experience, and compassion to her work as well as expert insight, vision, and systemic thinking. She is passionate and funny and she always inspires and informs.


MJ Gore has an MEd in counseling and a degree in elementary education and natural sciences. She worked as a life-skills and learning support teacher She has been honored with the receipt of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. She is the Director and on the faculty at the National Special Education Advocacy Institute. Her passion is social justice, especially in the area of education. She is a Board Certified Education Advocate who teaches professional advocates, educators, and clinicians the best practices in education advocacy.

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