Adults’ Effective Behavior Management among Children with Delays

Last Updated: 25 May 2020
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Effective behavior management among children with developmental delays is an essential element of special education. This needs to be administered by adults in the early childhood to form a firm foundation of the acceptable conducts and desirable activities of special children. It is through a successful behavior management that the concerned children would be able to behave appropriately in the future.

In addition, a well-managed behavior of children with developmental delays allows for a smooth performance of adults’ roles, thereby providing help and the much needed care for these special children.

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It is therefore necessary for parents, teachers, service providers, and related professionals to adhere to and uphold an efficient behavior management among children with developmental delays because this leads to the achievement of beneficial outcomes. This premise is what chapter 13 of the book “An Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education: Birth to Age Five” by Linda Dunlap (2009) particularly imparts to the readers.

Chapter 13 of the book entitled “Behavior Management” emphasizes the need for behavior management in an effort to address and eventually resolve issues concerning how children with developmental delays behave toward other people and within a specific environment. In this chapter, Dunlap (2009) provides the public with vital pointers to consider which would be helpful in carrying out an effective behavior management of children with developmental delays and those with related developmental concerns. Key Points The 13th chapter of the book can be better understood in light of the fundamental components of behavior management.

According to the author, the key points of behavior management include an emphasis on the positive rather than negative conducts of children with delays. That is, the effectiveness of behavior management lies on the ability of both adults and children with delays to bring out and improve desirable and valuable behavior. In doing so, the effort leads to the elimination of undesirable conducts because it is those which are only appropriate that would remain and would be provided room for development (Dunlap, 2009).

When the desirable behavior of children with delays is developed, the purpose of assisting them to create and improve techniques to deal with their personal behavior is eventually achieved. This condition leads to the next vital point which is the need for diversified and efficient behavior management strategies that would be definitely helpful and valuable for children with delays (Dunlap, 2009). Dunlap (2009) also explores the establishment of logical expectations of adults surrounding children with delays, such as their parents, teachers, and professionals dealing with developmental concerns, as part of behavior management.

These logical expectations involve taking into account the respective growth stage of each child. Most important among these key points is the principle which must always be remembered by adults. That is, children with developmental delays use and react to behavior management strategies that are similarly suitable and beneficial for normal children (Dunlap, 2009). Desirable Behavior Dunlap (2009) begins her discussion of behavior management by emphasizing the value of desirable behavior among children with delays.

She claims that regarding desirable behavior with an undeniable relevance is necessary to bring out and likewise develop or maximize whatever sought-after attitudes and activities that a child with delays shows. While it is apparently more complicated to manage the behavior of children with delays compared to the behavior management of normal children, the principle and practice of developing their desired behavior would aid in the success of behavior management (Dunlap, 2009). In underlining her point, Dunlap (2009) explains that it is the desired behavior of children with delays that must be improved.

She believes that it is better to develop positive conducts and activities rather than to dwell on the negative or undesirable behavior of children with delays. As more emphasis is given to the development of desired behavior, this would be beneficial to both the adults and children. Simply put, an effective behavior management of children with developmental delays not only presents the harms of negative or inappropriate behavior, bur it also emphasizes the benefits of manifesting positive and desired behavior (Dunlap, 2009).

In this chapter, Dunlap (2009) presents several situational examples which explore and stress the significance of encouraging and developing desired behavior among children with delays. Adults play an important role in such instances. Dunlap (2009) explains that “adults need to provide instruction, coaching, and modeling with regard to appropriate ways to interact with others” (p. 391). It is through these roles that adults are able to inform children with delays the need for them to show desired behavior.

The author adds that when the importance of desirable behavior is realized, it becomes natural for children with delays to portray such. Dunlap (2009) concludes this topic by emphasizing the need to: (1) consider more appropriate rather than inappropriate conducts; (2) consistently respond to the challenging behaviors of children with delays; and (3) ensure that adults’ expectations are developmentally appropriate with the things given to children . Behavior Management: Principles and Practices This is the portion of Chapter 13 where the heart and soul of behavior management are discussed.

Dunlap (2009) states that the general principles in handling the behavior of children with delays include several considerations: (1) not controlling the conducts or attitudes of children but rather respecting their ability with regard to managing their respective behavior; (2) positive or encouraging way of behavior management; or (3) not subjecting or overloading children with negatives; (4) reassuring children of their value; (5) avoiding personal attacks on children; (6) changing adults’ expectations as children behave differently and have their individual needs; (7) taking responsibility of the special children’s management; (8) imposing necessary rules and even punishment; (9) modeling appropriate behavior for the benefit of the special children; and lastly, (10) establishing a positive learning setting to encourage desirable conducts (Dunlap, 2009). Behavior that Needs to be Changed The relevance of the mentioned principles is reflected in the fact that through such efforts, the adults involved in behavior management will be able to identify which among the behaviors exemplified by children need modification. Dunlap (2009) explains that while it is uncalled for to “go to war” with children with delays (considering they already have developmental concerns), it is still necessary to change some of their behaviors (p. 397). This especially holds true if the behavior is deemed as detrimental to the child’s development and his or her manner of interaction with others.

Hence, those which warrant change and intervention include the conducts that: (1) require disproportional level of attention and time; (2) interrupt others and forbid learning to happen; (3) become more difficult to handle; (4) are supposedly common to much younger children and not to school-age children; (5) result in harmful personal image; (6) are negatively viewed by other children; and (6) threaten the problem child and his or her classmates (Dunlap, 2009). Behavior Management Strategies To strengthen the performance of behavior management, Dunlap (2009) presents several strategies. These techniques serve as specific factors that may help adults to succeed in handling the behavior of children with delays. One of these techniques is reinforcement. Its implementation is valuable in the development of appropriate conducts among children. Regardless of whether it is a primary or secondary kind of reinforcement, Dunlap (2009) reminds the adults that children vary in a number of aspects.

Hence, this specific strategy must be flexible and depends on the character of a child (Dunlap, 2009). Another technique is redirection which orients children on the appropriate conducts instead of the inappropriate ones. Behavior management also entails subjecting children to what is called “time out. ” While similar to redirection, making children experience a time out is like taking them to inappropriate scenarios where their behaviors are challenged and relocating them to a place or situation where they can calm down. The ultimate goal of this strategy is to prevent children from doing further violations while at the same time instilling in them the need for them to be disciplined.

Extinction pertains to simply ignoring the inappropriate behavior of children until they calm down and the situation is settled. Lastly, as mentioned earlier, punishment is essential and is an effective strategy as unfortunate situations resulting from the inappropriate behavior of children need to be dealt with even in a rough manner. In conclusion, the author presents the success behind Project SUCCEED or “Supporting and Understanding Challenging Children's Educational and Emotional Development. ” Dunlap (2009) uses this project as an example to prove where effective behavior management existed because its principles are all aimed at instilling appropriate conduct among children (Dunlap, 2009). Conclusion

An effective behavior management, especially in the early childhood or early years of children with delays, is indeed an important function or obligation that adults must consider. As Kay (2006) states, the proper handling of children’s behavior in their early years is a relevant concern specifically to those directly involved in such endeavor. This realization is attributed to an increased number of children, including those with developmental delays, now engaged in pre-school environment. This condition results in more terrible and relentless conduct-related problems; thus, an effective behavior management of children with delays is highly important (Kay, 2006).

The 13th chapter of Dunlap’s book is a valuable text, for it provides relevant information and reasonable explanations that are essential in the successful performance of behavior management. Beyond the specifics however, it is the undeniable value of the material that makes it helpful for both adults and children with delays. Ultimately, behavior management is not only a text in a book but is a strategy that needs to be carried out so as to realize its beneficial impacts. References Dunlap, L. (2009). Behavior management. In L. Dunlap (Ed. ), Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education: Birth to Age Five (pp. 389-405). MA: Pearson Custom Publishing. Kay, J. (2006). Managing Behavior in the Early Years. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.

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Adults’ Effective Behavior Management among Children with Delays. (2016, Jul 24). Retrieved from

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