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Special Education professor offers ways to head off challenging behaviors in young children

by Sharita Forrest / Jan 16, 2014

Preschoolers who engage in challenging behaviors – patterns of behavior that interfere with learning and social interaction – are at increased risk of academic failure and peer rejection, among other poor outcomes.

A new monograph, co-edited by Michaelene Ostrosky, head of special education and expert in early childhood special education, presents research-based practices that families, teachers, and practitioners can use to address and prevent problem behaviors.

Each of the strategies has been tested in classroom and home settings and has shown promise in promoting positive social-emotional development and preventing challenging behavior from recurring or persisting.

“Challenging behavior” can take a variety of forms but is generally used to describe actions that pose potential injury to the child or others, cause damage to the physical environment, interfere with skill acquisition or lead to isolation.

Regardless of how the behavior manifests itself, prevention and intervention strategies are a significant concern for educators, practitioners and families, according to Ostrosky.

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