Challenging Behavior & Building Better Support Plans (Ep 156)

behavior behavior management behavior plans best special education resources books creative solutions iep resources for parents iep resources for teachers support Oct 26, 2022

For the parents and teachers who have tried EVERYTHING to help your child or students stop getting upset and shutting down... this one is for you.

In Special Education, we are either saying "wait and see" or jumping to all the fancy jargon of Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans

What if we took a step back and looked at the entire environment and family unit BEFORE we started creating a plan?

Let me share with you two books that can help a child finally get the behavior support (not behavior management) that they need!


Book Discount Code: POD10

This discount code is for 10% off and free shipping at checkout at

Books shared in this podcast: Helping Your Family Thrive & Resolving Your Child’s Challenging Behavior:

Get your FREE IEP Checklist and weekly IEP resources:

Learn How to Become a Master IEP Coach®:

Subscribe to YouTube Channel to Participate LIVE: 


Transcript Overview:

So I spent the weekend reading two books, and I cannot wait to share them with you. Challenging behavior seems to be a topic that everybody has at some point around the IEP table. That's exactly why I picked up two books. 

Helping Your Family Thrive, A Practical Guide to Parenting With Positive Behavior Support and Resolving Your Child's Challenging Behavior, A Practical Guide to Parenting With Positive Behavior Support.  (Book Discount Code: POD10 - This discount code is for 10% off and free shipping at checkout at

Now, I posted these titles on Instagram and I asked my followers, I said, "Hey, have you read these books before?" And they said “No”, nobody had read them. Well, I take that back. One person had read one of the books, but overall, these books have not been circulating around our special education community, and I think that they should be. I'm going to share with you today why I think that this is so important. 

A lot of times when we hear the concept of challenging behaviors, there's a lot of defensiveness that comes up because there are a lot of labels that are being used that are hurtful, that feel very harmful to the situation. And I want to encourage you that this is not one of those conversations.

We are gonna look outside of the label of a challenging behavior that's happening at school or home. I want you to be open-minded if you have some preconceived notions of ABA therapy or BCBAs, don't turn this off, Okay? 

What I love about these books is that both books position behavior supports in a way that is very customizable to a child, that it is a very flexible approach, and that's what we need. 

Both of the books are written by professionals and those who have parenting experience… that is very important, right? 

I want to share with you a way that these books reworked some of the thoughts. For example, a lot of times we talk about plans as behavior management, and instead throughout these books, the authors are discussing behavior support. 

That we're not managing a child, that we're supporting a child through something. And that is so important. In fact, I'm going to, share with you page four of the Helping Your Family Thrive. This book, intros by talking about PBS, which is Positive BehaviorSupports, sometimes it's called P B I S, Positive Behavior and Interventions and Supports. In fact, many schools have implemented PBS or P B I S throughout their entire community. 

Both of these books help bridge the gap between what's happening at school and what's happening at home, because we all know, especially in this topic of behavior, that we need to make sure that we are coordinating well between home and school, so the child feels fully supported in both of those environments. So let me just go ahead and share this page with you… 

Elements of Effective Support

  • Understanding behavior, including the context in which it occurs and the purpose that it's serving.

  • Developing comprehensive support plans that include proactive teaching and management strategies.

  • Improving lives, not only by addressing challenges, but also helping families thrive overall. 


Final Thoughts: 

I'm going to encourage you to pick up both of these books (Don’t forget to use the discount code!) if you want to bridge the gap between home and school, in the area of supporting a child’s behavior 

I have seen some really terrible situations in special education when it comes to behavior plans, but I have also seen some really beautiful support plans that have truly helped a child grow into who they're supposed to be. 

After what felt like an impossible situation, the child felt safe, they built self-regulating skills, and they had communication. 

I just wanna encourage you that if you are feeling like this year is tough, you're going through a tough season, either at home or teachers at school, and behaviors are part of this, and it just feels like you can't even get kind of ahead of things. 

It’s time to hit reset, pick up these two books, and start looking at the bigger picture to start changing the conversation from managing a child's behavior to supporting a child's behavior, and including the whole family. I realize that plans have to be different at home and school, but they can be similar and they can be supportive of each other.  

We can work together to make sure we are working on big real-world goals. That we're not just looking at the school day or even just the school years. That we're looking at this big goal of helping a child truly be able to be who they are. We can do this… together.

-Catherine Whitcher, M.Ed

Write Better IEP Goals. Reduce IEP Conflict.

Learn More About Becoming a Master IEP Coach®