Center for Leadership in Disability Parent Academies for Caregivers Across Georgia

April 11, 2017

The Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) led a series of Parent Academies that focused on caregivers of children, ages three to five, who demonstrate persistent challenging behaviors. Eight cohorts of parents completed five 2-hour sessions in settings ranging from public and private schools, to churches and community agencies. The goal of the Parent Academy was to teach participants about positive behavior and visual supports strategies to prepare them to address their child's challenging behaviors and improve developmental outcomes. The approach used a range of strategies to address the behaviors of concern that are often observed in children with learning, social, and communication delays.

Positive Behavior Support is widely recognized by behavior specialists, psychologists, educators and other clinicians as an effective process for understanding and preventing challenging behavior and increasing prosocial behaviors in children. A core element of the Parent Academy curriculum was the use of the Brief Behavior Questionnaire and Intervention Plan (BBQuIP) as an organizational tool to help caregivers learn more about the underlying meaning or cause of their child's challenging behavior, and to develop individualized strategies to address their concerns. Parents and caregivers reported increased knowledge of behavior management skills such as providing a structured and predictable environment for their children. Parents also indicated that it was helpful to share and learn from other parents with similar concerns. One parent commented, "It was easy to see how the principles can be applied to my situation. With some effort the content covered can be incorporated into the day. It's doable!"

The Positive Behavior Supports Parent Academies were funded through a partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health.