Introduction to Positive Behaviour Support: Building a Foundation for Success

Home Positive Behaviour Support Introduction to Positive Behaviour Support: Building a Foundation for Success
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In the realm of behavioural intervention and education, Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) stands as a guiding philosophy that transcends traditional behaviour management approaches. Rooted in the principles of applied behaviour analysis, PBS is a proactive and person-centered framework designed to foster positive behaviours, enhance overall well-being, and create supportive environments. In this blog post, we will embark on a journey into the foundational principles of Positive Behaviour Support, exploring its key components and understanding how it lays the groundwork for success in diverse settings.

Table of Contents

Understanding Positive Behaviour Support: The Essence of Proactive Intervention

At its core, Positive Behaviour Support is a departure from traditional behaviour management models that predominantly rely on reactive strategies. Rather than focusing solely on correcting undesirable behaviours, PBS emphasizes the creation of environments that support positive actions and the teaching of skills needed for success. This proactive approach seeks to prevent challenging behaviours by addressing the root causes and promoting positive alternatives.

The Three-Tiered Model of Positive Behaviour Support: Universal, Targeted, and Intensive Interventions

Positive Behaviour Support operates on a three-tiered model, ensuring that interventions are tailored to the unique needs of individuals. This model encompasses:

1. Universal Interventions:

Universal interventions are proactive strategies designed for all individuals within a given setting. These strategies aim to establish a positive and inclusive environment, fostering a culture where desirable behaviours are the norm. Examples include clear expectations, consistent routines, and the use of positive reinforcement.

2. Targeted Interventions:

Targeted interventions come into play when individuals require additional support beyond universal strategies. These interventions are tailored to address specific behavioural challenges and may involve more specialized strategies, such as small-group instruction, social skills training, or individualized behaviour plans.

3. Intensive Interventions:

Intensive interventions are reserved for individuals who require significant and individualized support. This tier involves in-depth assessments, such as Functional Behaviour Assessments (FBAs), and the development of comprehensive behaviour support plans. Intensive interventions may include specialized instruction, therapeutic services, and ongoing monitoring to address complex behavioural needs.

Key Principles of Positive Behaviour Support: A Holistic Approach

Positive Behaviour Support is grounded in several key principles that collectively contribute to its effectiveness:

1. Person-Centred Approach:

PBS places the individual at the centre of the intervention process. Recognizing and respecting the unique strengths, preferences, and needs of each person is fundamental to creating effective and meaningful behaviour support plans.

2. Proactive Strategies:

The emphasis on proactive strategies sets PBS apart. Rather than waiting for challenging behaviours to occur, PBS focuses on preventing them by creating environments that support positive behaviours and teaching individuals the skills needed for success.

3. Teaching New Skills:

Central to Positive Behaviour Support is the proactive teaching of new skills. Instead of solely addressing undesirable behaviours, PBS aims to equip individuals with the skills necessary to navigate challenges successfully. This may involve communication skills, problem-solving strategies, and self-regulation techniques.

4. Collaboration:

Collaboration is a cornerstone of Positive Behaviour Support. It involves the active participation of educators, parents, support staff, and, when applicable, the individuals themselves. Collaborative problem-solving ensures that interventions are comprehensive, inclusive, and aligned with the goals of the individual.

5. Data-Driven Decision-Making:

Data collection and analysis play a crucial role in PBS. Regular monitoring and assessment allow for informed decision-making, enabling educators and support teams to adjust interventions based on the individual’s progress and changing needs.

6. Evidence-Based Practices:

Positive Behaviour Support is rooted in evidence-based practices, drawing from research in applied behaviour analysis. This commitment to evidence ensures that interventions are grounded in sound principles and have a demonstrated track record of effectiveness.

Implementing Positive Behaviour Support in Various Settings:

1. In the Classroom:

In educational settings, Positive Behaviour Support transforms the classroom environment by establishing clear expectations, creating a positive and structured atmosphere, and implementing proactive teaching strategies. Teachers use positive reinforcement, visual supports, and collaborative problem-solving to enhance the learning experience for all students.

2. At Home:

Positive Behaviour Support is equally applicable in the home environment. Parents can create a positive and supportive atmosphere by implementing routines, reinforcing positive behaviours, and teaching essential life skills. The principles of PBS contribute to a harmonious and nurturing home environment.

3. In the Community:

Positive Behaviour Support extends beyond educational and home settings to the community at large. Whether in recreational activities, community programs, or social events, the principles of PBS contribute to the creation of inclusive and supportive environments for individuals of all ages.

Case Study: Positive Behaviour Support in Action


Emily, a third-grade student, displays challenges with attention and impulsivity in the classroom, leading to disruptions and difficulty focusing on tasks.

Positive Behaviour Support Approach:

1. Functional Behaviour Assessment (FBA):

A Functional Behaviour Assessment is conducted to understand the antecedents, behaviours, and consequences related to Emily’s attention and impulsivity challenges. The analysis reveals that transitions and unstructured activities trigger her impulsive behaviours.

2. Universal Interventions:

Universal interventions are implemented in the classroom, including clear expectations, consistent routines, and visual supports. These strategies create a positive and structured environment that benefits all students.

3. Targeted Interventions:

For Emily, targeted interventions are introduced. This involves small-group instruction focused on attention and impulse control, incorporating activities and strategies tailored to her specific needs.

4. Teaching New Skills:

Proactive teaching of new skills becomes a central component. Emily participates in lessons on self-regulation, including techniques like deep breathing and self-monitoring, to empower her with tools to manage impulsivity.

5. Collaborative Problem-Solving:

Teachers, parents, and support staff collaborate to develop an individualized behaviour support plan for Emily. This plan includes specific strategies for managing transitions, providing positive reinforcement for on-task behaviour, and involving her in the decision-making process.

6. Data-Driven Decision-Making:

Regular data collection helps monitor Emily’s progress. Adjustments to the behaviour support plan are made based on ongoing assessments, ensuring that interventions remain effective and aligned with her changing needs.

7. Parent Involvement:

Emily’s parents actively participate in the Positive Behaviour Support process. They receive training on implementing strategies at home, reinforcing positive behaviours, and collaborating with the school to maintain consistency in interventions.


Over time, Emily’s attention and impulse control improve. The positive and structured classroom environment, combined with targeted interventions and proactive teaching, contribute to her success. The collaborative approach involving educators and parents ensures a cohesive and supportive intervention, laying the foundation for Emily’s continued progress.


Positive Behaviour Support is not just a set of strategies; it’s a transformative framework that lays the foundation for success in diverse settings.

By embracing a person-centred approach, incorporating proactive strategies, and fostering collaboration, PBS empowers individuals to thrive and reach their full potential. Whether in the classroom, at home, or within the community, Positive Behaviour Support stands as a guiding philosophy that not only addresses challenging behaviours but also cultivates positive environments, teaches essential skills, and paves the way for lasting success.

As we embark on the journey of understanding and implementing Positive Behaviour Support, we embark on a path toward building a foundation for success that transcends behavioural challenges and fosters a culture of positivity, growth, and achievement.

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Transform Life is a NDIS registered organisation that provides support for you and your family.

Book your consult with an experienced Therapist at Transform Life to explore how PBS can support you and your family.


Transform Life is an Australian owned provider specialising in evidence based therapeutic support including Positive Behaviour Support, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Speech Therapy and Behavioural Interventions helping transform lives and families across Australia.

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