Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Using Daily Behavior Report Cards during Extended School Year Services for Young Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Using Daily Behavior Report Cards during Extended School Year Services for Young Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Article excerpt


Daily Behavior Report Cards (DBRCs) have shown to be a successful intervention for improving classroom behavior for students considered to display challenging behaviors. DBRCs have been used for students with emotional/behavioral disorder in an effort to improve academic and social outcomes. Few studies have examined the use of DBRCs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Even fewer studies have examined the intersection of young (i.e., early childhood) students with IDD in extended school year settings (ESY). The authors examined the effectiveness of DBRCs for young students with IDD in ESY settings. Four elementary students (ages 6-7) with IDD and behavior challenges who were receiving ESY services as mandated by their respective Individualized Education Plan participated in the current study. Researchers used a changing criterion single case research design, with visual analyses and Tau-U statistical analyses indicating a positive impact for each student and 1.00 effect sizes with significance (p <. 01). Teachers demonstrated fidelity of implementation, and competence in data collection and graphing student progress.

Keywords: daily behavior report card, early childhood, elementary education, behavior intervention, intellectual disability, developmental disability, changing criterion design


Children as young as preschool-age with developmentally delays have shown social skill deficits and behavioral challenges (Crnic, Hoffman, Gaze, and Edelbrock, 2004). Early intervention for students with disabilities has shown to be beneficial over students' life span, including beyond the school-age years across academic, behavior, social, and quality of life domains (Karoly, Kilburn, & Cannon, 2005). For students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), this is especially important. Young students with IDD may exhibit challenging classroom behaviors, some of which may be symptomatic of their disability. These behavioral problems tend to affect daily living and potentially hide or reveal underlying comorbidity (Ageranioti-Belanger et al., 2012). As it relates to specific manifestations of behavioral issues, Ageranioti-Belanger et al. (2012) reported that children with intellectual disabilities (ID) display aggressive behaviors more so than those without disabilities. Additionally, reports indicate that up to 16% of the population of children with ID have a comorbidity of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; Ageranioti-Belanger et al., 2012; Handen, & Gilchrist, 2006) which may contribute to challenging behaviors that students display.

Without early intervention, challenging behaviors can become increasing problematic in later years and have a negative impact on academic and social outcomes. In an effort to help students learn to better manage their behavior and maintain gains made during the school year; teachers have a number of tools and supports available, including behavioral interventions (e.g., daily behavior report cards [DBRCs]) and instruction beyond the timeframe of the regular school year (e.g., extended school year services [ESY]).

Using Daily Behavior Report Cards as a Behavioral Intervention

Research suggests that determining appropriate length for implementation sessions, providing strong reinforcers, and providing specific feedback are necessary practices and imperative when utilizing DBRCs for students (Chafouleas, Riley-Tillman, Sassu, LaFrance, & Patwa, 2007; Vannest, Davis, Davis, Mason, & Burke, 2010). DBRCs allow a student to check in with a specific adult (usually a teacher and/or parent) and provide evidence of the student's behavioral performance on one or a number of target behaviors. The implementing adult reviews the pro-social behaviors that earned "points" (or positive marks) during a predetermined period and length of time (e.g., 20 minutes, class period, day, week). …

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