Positive Behavioral Supports

People with intellectual and other developmental disabilities enjoy the most satisfying and productive lives under conditions that promote and reward positive social relationships and emotional wellbeing. When challenging behaviors occur that prevent the individual from enjoying a satisfying and productive life, the supports provided shall be individualized and respectful of the person. Supports and services must be developed in collaboration with the individual and the Circle of Support in a respectful and sensitive manner. Positive behavioral supports and interventions are a framework for assisting staff in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions which enhances social behavior outcomes while increasing and maintaining positive relationships with others.

It is The Arc New York’s position that:

  • Every person has the right to humane and effective behavioral supports for managing challenging behaviors through the use of positive reinforcement. 
  • Challenging behaviors may be caused by medical, psychological, communications and/or environmental difficulties. All efforts must be made to understand the etiology of the behavior and appropriate ways to ameliorate the cause. 
  • Challenging behaviors can be reduced or eliminated when accurate, comprehensive information is collected, analyzed and used for planning prior to initiating a plan. Properly applied positive approaches can influence long-term behavior change and eliminate the use of physical interventions. 
  • Treatment, management and prevention of challenging behaviors is the responsibility of all support providers and should be overseen by qualified professionals who are certified and/or experienced in proven methods, such as applied behavior analysis. 
  • The use of any kind of intervention by staff that restricts an individual’s personal rights should be reviewed on a regular basis by the Human Rights Committee. 
  • The person must be engaged in activities that encourage choice and successful experiences. Supports must focus on providing valued and valuable activities which counteract boredom, coercion and lessen the restriction of freedoms. 
  • Training for staff and families in effective and positive methods for managing challenging behaviors is an important part of providing a supportive environment and long-term changes for the individual. 
  • Supports and services must be provided in a manner that maximizes access and participation in the full range of opportunities available in the home, school and community. 
  • Total organization commitment requires an investment in staff training to develop specific competencies which promote person-centeredness and positive practices. Reducing and eliminating the need for physical interventions, or restraining actions, or other aversive techniques requires a total organizational commitment, which is reflected in policy, training and practice at every level. 
Adopted on October 16, 2004 at the NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly.
Adopted with Amendments on October 19, 2007 at the NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly
Adopted with Amendments on October 23, 2009 at the NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly
Adopted with Amendments on October 21, 2011 at the NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly
Adopted with Amendments October 17, 2014 at NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly