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Positive Behavior Supports

The Autism Society of Minnesota endorses the use of positive behavior supports as the only effective methods of managing challenging behavior for families, schools and care facilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) contains several provisions requiring the use of functional behavioral assessments and positive behavior supports. Settings licensed by The Minnesota Department of Human Services are currently governed by comprehensive rules limiting the use of aversive methods. The Autism Society of Minnesota has adopted a position statement opposed to the use of aversive techniques to address challenging behavior. These techniques include, but are not limited to the use of restraints and locked time out. This position reflects the fact that research does not support the use of time out or the use of aversive techniques like restraints as a means to change behavior. In addition, these methods violate the human rights and dignity of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. They should be eliminated from schools and care facilities.

Educational programs for parents, care workers and teachers should promote the use of positive behavior supports and functional communication training. The Minnesota Department of Education should take leadership in promoting positive school-wide interventions and supports for all students and schools. This approach would teach all students to understand how to behave in school and help schools to reinforce desired behaviors. It is based on the science of human behavior, pays attention to lifestyle results, works from a systems perspective and uses research-validated