Multiple Disabilities and Behavior

Learning Team A

Behavior Management Techniques By Eva Flake

For students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, here are a few behavior management techniques:

- Applied Behavior Analysis

- Rewards a person for making a correct choice

- Incorrect choices are not rewarded

- Students learn by making simple associations between cause and effect (Reynolds, Zupanick & Dombeck, 2015)

- Students begin to understand which actions bring rewards and which do not

- Uses visual representations such as stickers on a chart or beads on a string

- Progress toward an ultimate concrete reward is shown (Reynolds, Zupanick & Dombeck, 2015)

Behavior Problem Theory By Henry Leighton

Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities often struggle with communication due to their lack of ability to understand other's emotions, beliefs and attitudes (Edelson, 1999-2015)

Here is a relevant theory of problem behavior:

- Theory of the Mind

- Contends that students do not establish or sustain relationships with their peers

- This can be a contributor to problem behavior in the future

- Understanding other's emotions helps to increase interaction and develop good relationships

- Theory of the Mind Training Study

- Compared the improvement of socialization between boys and girls

- Training included cartoon pictures of "situational emotions" for the subjects to identify and respond too

- The study concluded that girls showed greater socialization improvement than boys (Adibsershki, Rafi, Karmilo & Aval, 2013)

Effects of Multiple Disabilities By Stacy Petty

For students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the effects of multiple disabilities can influence daily life activities and overall quality of life

Students will require supports in the following areas:

- Personal care

- Management of adaptive behaviors

- Medical care

- Technical support

- Financial support

- Social activity

One commonality for students with multiple disabilities is a lack of ability to communicate effectively (Project IDEAL, 2013)

This deficit can effect students students in the following areas:

- Emotional and intellectual development

- Developing self-esteem and self-confidence

Some ways to address these issues are with the use of assistive technology and augmentative communication devices

More on Multiple Disabilities By Ashley Reuter

Multiple disabilities refers to a combination of conditions that impact a student's ability to learn and achieve academic success

These impairments can be physical, cognitive and communicative which can effect students in the following areas:

- Intellectual functioning

- Adaptive skills

- Motor skills

- Sensory functioning

- Assistive technology

Some other characteristics include:

- Average or above average intelligence

- A hindering or prevention of the mastery of academic and functional skills

- For intellectual disabilities:

- Difficulty completing various types of mental tasks

- For developmental disabilities:

- Delays in meeting developmental milestones

- Regression of skills (As a result of accident, stoke or other condition after birth


Adibsershki, N., Rafi, M.A., Karmilo, M., & Aval, M.H. (2013). The effectiveness of the theory of mind training on the adaptive behavior of students with intellectual disability. The Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Vol 15 (1-2), 91-107.

Edelson, S.M. (1967-2015). Retrieved from Autism Research Institute at

Project IDEAL. (2013). Multiple disabilities- Project IDEAL. Retrieved from

Reynolds, T., Zupanick, C.E., & Dombeck, M. (2015). Applied behavior analysis (ABA) and

intellectual disabilities. Retrieved from


Information compiled and flyer designed by Jeffrey Marshall