Evolution of Positive
LINDA M. BAMBARA
Of all the social and learning problems displayed by students with disabilities, problem or challenging behaviors remain the most formidable. Such behaviors can take many forms. Some students engage in angry outbursts, tantrums, or attempts to hurt others or themselves. Other students disrupt classroom activities, have difficulty following instructions, do not cooperate with others, or break school rules. Conversely, students may display problem behaviors through extreme passivity or social withdrawal, or may engage in forms of self-stimulation (such as repetitive rocking or hand flapping), which seem to isolate them from others. Problem behaviors can take many forms; however, what defines a problem behavior is not the form that it takes, but its impact on a student and the social systems in which the student lives and learns.
By definition, problem or challenging behaviors are problems because they interfere with students' educational and social well-being, and present formidable challenges to school personnel and families responsible for students' education and care. For instance, when students engage in such behaviors in school, educational activities for all students are frequently disrupted. For an individual student, problem behaviors can interfere with learning and negatively affect the student's social, emotional, and cognitive