GLEAN START Coaches Newsletter

May 2020

Five Tips and Strategies for Promoting Positive Behavior in the Home Environment

1. Set Rules and Expectations

For individuals who exhibit challenging behaviors, setting rules and expectations are an important part of reducing challenging behaviors and increasing expected behaviors. Benefits of setting rules and expectations include:


  • Increasing Predictability
  • Helping adults stay consistent in responses to challenging behaviors
  • Eliminating ambiguous or unclear expectations
  • Helping students understand what is being requested of them


More information on rules and expectations can be found free on the Autism Internet Module website. Navigate to the module titled "Rules and Routines."

2. Model Appropriate Behavior

Adult behavior is modeled, positive or negative. When addressing challenging behaviors, the adult response can either heighten or calm the situation. When adults model desired behaviors by staying emotionally neutral, using visuals, and avoiding power struggles, students may be more responsive to interventions.

Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) has a wide variety of resources for behavior supports. One strategy that can be utilized to model appropriate behavior are breathing cards which can be found following the link above.

3. Teach Replacement Behavior

All behavior that occurs, whether positive or negative, is a form of communication. When students exhibit inappropriate behaviors, adults should ask themselves what the student is attempting to communicate. Providing ways for students to communicate their wants, needs, and feelings will give them an appropriate replacement behavior. Potential replacement behaviors include asking for help, requesting a break, and using calming tools.

This link to the Autism Helper has some specific examples to use to teach replacement behaviors.

4. Change Environment or Approach

Parents and educators often have their "go-to" strategies for responding to challenging behavior. When students seem unresponsive to interventions and the challenging behaviors continue to occur, changing environments or approaches can have positive results.

University of North Carolina's TEACCH website has some great information on how to set up learning environments at school that can be adapted to the home setting.

5. Focus on Preventing Challenging Behaviors

Stopping challenging behaviors before they start is critical to improving outcomes for students with disabilities. While it is important to have a consistent response to behavior, it is more important to implement effective prevention strategies. The prevention of unwanted behavior can result in increased engagement and independence.

STAR Autism Supports provides free webinars on a variety of evidence based practices aimed at preventing challenging behaviors.

Covid-19 School Closure Resources

Each of the resources and sites below continue to be updated with new and additional resources. Be sure to check back often and share with colleagues and families when appropriate.


GLEAN March Newsletter with Resources


GLEAN April Newsletter with Tips for Engaging Students with a School Routine at Home


START Information & Resources in response to Covid-19


Genesee ISD Educator Resources


Genesee ISD K-8 Learning Packets

* Now includes Infant and Pre-K as well as ESL. Answer keys also included!

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Students or parents can call this line and be connected with a licensed professional from the GISD (social workers, counselors, therapists) during the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. Callers are able to leave a message after hours and will receive a call back during operational hours.



The licensed professional answering the call may assist in the following areas:


  • Provide support to assist students and parents dealing with stressful situations.
  • Provide assistance in accessing resources and getting the help students/families need.
  • Refer students/families to other local and county agencies for additional support.

Teacher Consultants and Coach Leaders

Teacher Consultant, ASD:

Laura Henry - lhenry@geneseeisd.org

Alex Keesling - akeesling@geneseeisd.org

Barb Olszewski - bolszews@geneseeisd.org


Angie Grindel, Consultant for Behavior Support - agrindel@geneseeisd.org

Kelli Pierscinski, TC for Students with Disabilities - kpierscinski@geneseeisd.org


GISD's Regional Collaborative Network (RCN) has partnered with Livingston ESA to strengthen our resources and collaborate to bring you MORE amazing things from START. We are GLEAN (Genesee-Livingston Educational Autism Network).

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