What follows are the steps to develop a hypothesis about what intervention is most likely to be effective. The Bare Bones Problem Solving Form was designed to be used with these steps. 

Step 1

Define the problem (e.g. problem with engagement or disruptive behavior).

Step 2

Select some form of assessment so that the behavior/s can me measured and monitored.  Examples include Office Discipline Referrals, Direct Behavior Rating, and Systematic Direct Observations.

Step 3a

Consider if the child can do the right behavior.  If yes, go to step 3b.  If no, select a behavior acquisition intervention.

Step 3b

Consider if the child is doing the problem behavior to get something (e.g. attention) or get out of something (e.g. avoid doing math or reading).  If the team believe it is generaly to get something, then select a that type of intervention, if the team believes it is to get out of something then select that type of intervention.

Step 4

After the intervention is selected, decide which of the following steps are necessary.

  • Develop a step by step guide to help do the intervention
  • Customize the intervention to the teacher/student/environment
  • Have someone help the teacher by modeling the intervention

Step 5

Try the intervention out for a week or two, and collect outcome data as described in step 2.

Step 6

Look at the outcome data (ideally graphed) and decide what to do next.

  • If it is working great, consider how to keep the intervention going
  • If it is working a little bit, consider how to intensify the intervention
  • If it is not working, go back to step 3

Quick Tip – Keep it light and quick.  In the end, you only know if your educated guess as to the function of the behavior is correct when you try out the intervention an see if it work.  So, spend time trying out the intervention – not in the meeting!