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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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Teaching & Learning: Supporting Communication and Behaviour

Course Code: DACS 2356
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 2 to 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Partially Online
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

In this course, students build on DACS 1256 and apply principles of teaching and learning to support individuals whose communication and actions challenge us. Students utilize Behaviour Support planning strategies and incorporate Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) methods to render challenging behaviours irrelevant, ineffective or inefficient; teach desired and alternative behaviours; and enhance an individual’s quality of life.

Course Content

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

  • A practitioner’s awareness of their personal communication style and those of others increases their effectiveness in facilitating, supporting and promoting communication.
  • Effective practitioners plan strategies to maximize the communication potential of each situation, and they adapt and creatively use unforeseen experiences and spontaneous opportunities.
  • Individuals are complex human beings who have unique personal histories and circumstances.  Effective practitioners must look at the context and conditions when considering an individual’s actions.
  • Solutions to potential problems may involve changes to situations and systems.  Support should be person centered, meeting individual’s needs.
  • Practitioners need to practice wellness (debriefing and supports) for themselves and team members in order to effectively support others.
  • Using positive approaches with individuals who may have ‘challenging behaviours’ empowers both the individual being supported and the practitioners.

Methods of Instruction

F2F: Lecture,  Video, Guest Speakers, Group Activities, Readings

Hybrid: Lecture,  Video, Guest Speakers, Group Activities, Online Readings, Discussion forums

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations:

  • Developing profiles (FBA and AAC inventories)
  • Case studies
  • Personal and Professional Accountability
  • Quizzes

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Apply principles underlying positive behaviour support strategies in developing a behaviour support plan:

  • Consider Functional Behaviour Assessment when building support strategies
  • Facilitate communication, connections and choice as essential elements for everyone
  • Apply observation, recording, and information gathering skills when developing plans
  • Consider other positive approaches to enhance communication, behaviour and wellness of individual, self and others

2. Use a decision-making process to develop and facilitate behaviour supports and AAC communication opportunities, methods and strategies.

  • Consider whole person when supporting individuals (e.g., match individual’s needs and abilities to AAC formats and support strategies)
  • Describe roles of communication for individuals’ growth and participation in daily life including behaviour as communication
  • Use a variety of environmental, preventative, teaching, and consequence support strategies (e.g. instructional control, social skill instruction, changes to the antecedent, development of Social StoriesTM, functional communication training, positive reinforcement, etc.)
  • Plan, gather information, develop, implement and revise methods and tools to meet individuals’ communication and behaviour needs  (quantitative, qualitative and Functional Observations methods)

3.  Practice clear communication skills verbally, written and non-verbally in assessing, implementing and revising positive behaviour support strategies/adaptations

  • Listen to individual’s communication including their actions, interactions and reactions
  • Collaborate with others (e.g. individual, team members, families, etc.) to make considered thoughtful support decisions
  • Collect ongoing data to monitor and encourage individual’s progress (in utilizing AAC supports and using expected behaviours)
  • Monitor, support and enhance team unity and effectiveness

course prerequisites


curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.