Supporting Positive Behaviour and Communication

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
BHIN 1256
Supporting Positive Behaviour and Communication
Behaviour Intervention
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 1 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities
  • Lecture
  • Practice
  • Videos
Course Description
This citation course introduces students to principles and applied strategies in positive behaviour support and augmentative and alternative communication.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  • Behaviour is a form of communication. A person’s actions serve purposes for that individual.
  • A single behaviour can fulfill many needs. Different behaviours may meet the same needs. Reasons why individuals act in a given manner can change from moment to moment.
  • Individuals are complex human beings who have unique histories and circumstances.  Effective practitioners look at context and circumstances when considering an individual’s actions.
  • Effective practitioners need well developed listening and observation skills, which can be developed over time and through practice.
  • Using positive approaches with individuals who may have “challenging behaviour” empowers both the individual being supported and the practitioners.
  • Communication is a means for transmitting and receiving information.  It is essential for the growth and participation of individuals and can enable them to develop autonomy and control in their daily lives.
  • Augmentative and alternative communication includes all communication that supplements or augments speech.  Everyone uses these modes that can be symbolic, non-symbolic or multi-faceted.
  • Individuals are unique in how they send and receive information.  Practitioners can enhance communication exchanges by identifying, recognizing and responding to the dynamic communication methods used by the people they support.
Learning Outcomes


Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1.       Apply basic principles to understand and support individuals’ behaviour

  • Recognize behaviour as a possible form of communication
  • Consider context, functions and purposes of behaviour for individuals including medical, social, emotional, physical, environmental, etc. factors

2.       Investigate often complex nature of behaviour using current approaches e.g. functional assessment, functional analysis

  • Uses information gathering tools such as a variety of observation and recording methods, antecedent/behaviour/consequence forms, interview protocols, Motivation Assessment Scale, etc. when developing a plan
  • Develops a variety of possible explanations or hypotheses for an individual’s behaviour as part of the planning process

3.       Practice clear communication skills and strategies in positive behaviour support.

  • Listen to individual communication including actions, interactions, reactions and inaction
  • Use a variety of positive support strategies e.g. social stories, visual schedules, task analyses and organizers, etc.
  • Expresses self in clear and considered manner, verbally and in writing,
  • Collaborates with others e.g. team members, families, etc. to reach thoughtful and considered support decisions

4.       Facilitate alternative and augmentative communication opportunities, methods and strategies

  • Considers underlying principles of AAC when matching methods and strategies to individuals’ communication needs
  • Identify, respond to and respect the dynamic nature of individuals’ present and emerging communication methods
  • Identify and implement strategies to maximize the communicative potential of each situation, including strategies that enable one to approach new situations with spontaneity and flexibility (e.g. PECS, choice boards, etc.)


Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

  • Case study
  • Quiz
  • Project and Class presentation
Textbook Materials


Which Prerequisite