Strategies for Measuring
RAYMOND G. MILTENBERGER
In order to evaluate whether a student is making progress when a positive behavior support (PBS) plan is implemented, there must be some measurement of the behaviors targeted for change. The target behaviors should include one or more problem behaviors to be decreased, and one or more desirable alternative behaviors or skills to be increased to replace the problem behaviors. Measurement of the target behaviors (also called behavioral assessment) should occur before a support plan is implemented, to establish the baseline level of the behavior, and during implementation, to determine whether the support plan is producing the desired changes in the target behaviors (Miltenberger, 2004). Assessment of the target behaviors also should continue for a period of time after the support plan is in place, to establish whether behavior changes endure over time.
Measurement of the target behaviors before the support plan is implemented is important for a number of reasons. First, it will help determine the seriousness of the problem. Preintervention behavioral assessment can establish the need for intervention by documenting that the problem behaviors occur frequently, occur for long durations of time, or occur with sufficient intensity to be problematic, and that the desirable behaviors occur too infrequently or not at all. It is also possible, however, that objective mea-