An investigation of the sustainability and practicality of a neurologically based behaviour model of support

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Cook, Paula D.
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This thesis describes an investigation of a model of support for students with emotional/behavioural disorder (EBD) that involves neurologically based behaviour (NBB). Students with EBD that may involve NBB do not consistently respond to the behavioural interventions typically offered in schools. Organic neurological differences and executive functioning deficits may be implicated in neurologically based behaviour. Students who present with neurologically based behaviour characteristics often are said to have a developmentally delayed or undeveloped recognition of cause and effect. Thus, logical consequences and school wide behaviour support systems tend to be ineffective. Some direct service providers now advocate “working from the bottom up” (Nunley, 2005; Deak, 2005; Solomon & Heide, 2005) to address students with violent or aggressive behaviour. In this study, such a bottom up approach involved the use of environmental modification, body awareness, somatic understanding, and various calming techniques and meditative strategies to quiet the physiological responses, triggered from the bottom and mid areas of the brain (Nunley, 2005; Deak, 2005; Solomon & Heide, 2005). Once the midbrain is calmed, higher order interventions, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, conflict resolution, mediation, and others were used to help students process information, put appropriate language to behavioural events, and reframe and redefine their needs in more acceptable terms (Garbarino, 2001, Nunley, 2005; Charles, 2008a). The education system has a legal obligation to educate students with neurologically based behaviour despite the extreme behavioural issues they raise. Educators need to develop additional strategies and techniques to address students with severe behaviour. This thesis highlights a theoretical framework for a model of support for students with emotional/behavioural disorder that involves neurologically based behaviour.
emotional/behavioural disorder (EBD), neurologically based behaviour (NBB), "bottom-up" behaviour support, reframing/redefining behaviour, sensory influences, environmental considerations, behaviour coaching