content-left-bg.png
content-right-bg.png

Self-management

WebPartZone1_1
PublishingPageContent

What is it?

Self-management techniques aim to teach students to regulate their own behaviour independently. Students learn to recognise an appropriate b​ehaviour (as opposed to a behaviour of concern) such as putting their hand up to get teacher attention instead of calling out. They then learn to record the use of this appropriate behaviour independently. The aim is to help students develop independence in learning and behaviour and to decrease reliance on adult prompts. It has been used to help students monitor their social behaviour and to help them manage their own disruptive behaviours as well as to reduce stereotypical motor mannerisms.  Teaching self-management skills generally involves identifying target behaviours that match the function of the behaviour of concern, identifying appropriate reinforcers for the student, teaching the student to recognise and record their use of the target behaviour, devising a system of recording the behaviour that is appropriate to the child and the setting and reviewing the plan.

Self-management is used in combination with other evidence based strategies such as social narratives, video modelling and visual supports.

What is the evidence?

Self-management is described in the most recent systematic reviews (the highest level of evidence) as being evidence based with most of the research based on single case studies.

How do I use it?

There are different ways of putting a self-management plan in place, but the generally accepted elements include the following:

  • Identifying the function of the behaviour of concern (e.g. escape/avoid sensory experiences, gaining attention etc).
  • Identifying an appropriate target behaviour that has the same function as the behaviour of concern.
  • Teaching the student to use the target behaviour.
  • Devising a monitoring plan that the student can learn to use to record their use of the target behaviour – this could be a paper and pencil chart, a Velcro or sticker chart or a counter worn on the wrist.
  • Teaching the student to accurately identify occasions of the target behaviour occurring – this can require some monitoring and feedback to develop accuracy.
  • Identifying appropriate reinforcement for use of the new behaviour and accurate recording of this.
  • Planning to fade adult input and promote generalisation.

Escape/Avoid social situation with adult

Because self-management is a technique that is taught to monitor the use of other behaviour strategies (the target behaviour), it can be used to support behaviours that have a range of functions. Self-management may be introduced to help a student monitor their use of:

  • appropriate requesting to leave a social situation
  • language to end conversations
  • break cards and other functional communication strategies.

Use self-management strategies in combination with other evidence based interventions such as social narratives, video modelling and/or visual supports.

Escape/Avoid social situation with child

Because self-management is a technique that is taught to monitor the use of other behaviour strategies (the target behaviour), it can be used to support behaviours that have a range of functions. Self-management may be introduced to help a student monitor their use of:

  • appropriate requesting to leave a social situation
  • language to end conversations
  • break cards and other functional communication strategies.

Use self-management strategies in combination with other evidence based interventions such as social narratives, video modelling and/or visual supports.

Escape/Avoid stimulation or sensation

Because self-management is a technique that is taught to monitor the use of other behaviour strategies (the target behaviour), it can be used to support behaviours that have a range of functions. Self-management may be introduced to help a student monitor their use of:

  • appropriate requesting to leave an overwhelming sensory situation
  • break cards and other functional communication strategies to request an alternative activity.

Use self-management strategies in combination with other evidence based interventions such as social narratives, video modelling and/or visual supports.

Escape/Avoid item or activity

Because self-management is a technique that is taught to monitor the use of other behaviour strategies (the target behaviour), it can be used to support behaviours that have a range of functions. Self-management may be introduced to help a student monitor their use of:

  • appropriate requesting to leave or finish a non-preferred task
  • on-task behaviour during a non-preferred task
  • break cards and other functional communication strategies to request an alternative activity.

Use self-management strategies in combination with other evidence based interventions such as social narratives, video modelling and/or visual supports.

Obtain-Get stimulation or sensation

Because self-management is a technique that is taught to monitor the use of other behaviour strategies (the target behaviour), it can be used to support behaviours that have a range of functions. Self-management may be introduced to help a student monitor their use of:

  • appropriate requesting to access a preferred sensory activity or environment
  • on-task behaviour or waiting time prior to accessing a preferred sensory activity.

Use self-management strategies in combination with other evidence based interventions such as social narratives, video modelling and/or visual supports.

Obtain/Get item or activity

Because self-management is a technique that is taught to monitor the use of other behaviour strategies (the target behaviour), it can be used to support behaviours that have a range of functions. Self-management may be introduced to help a student monitor their use of:

  • appropriate requesting to access a preferred activity or item
  • on-task behaviour or waiting time prior to accessing a preferred activity or item.

Use self-management strategies in combination with other evidence based interventions such as social narratives, video modelling and/or visual supports.

Obtain/Get social situation with adult

Because self-management is a technique that is taught to monitor the use of other behaviour strategies (the target behaviour), it can be used to support behaviours that have a range of functions. Self-management may be introduced to help a student monitor their use of:

  • appropriate ways to get an adult's attention (e.g. monitoring their use of hand raising in class to gain the teacher's assistance)
  • on-task behaviour or waiting time prior to attempting to gain the adult's attention.

Use self-management strategies in combination with other evidence based interventions such as social narratives, video modelling and/or visual supports.

Obtain-Get social situation with child

Because self-management is a technique that is taught to monitor the use of other behaviour strategies (the target behaviour), it can be used to support behaviours that have a range of functions. Self-management may be introduced to help a student monitor their use of:

  • appropriate ways to get a peer's attention (e.g. starting conversations, asking to play a game in class).

Use self-management strategies in combination with other evidence based interventions such as social narratives, video modelling and/or visual supports.

Age group

It is suggested that self-management strategies have been used effectively with children from preschool age to young adulthood. It will, however, be very important to ensure that the strategies put in place are appropriate for the individual's level of understanding.

PreschoolYes - with appropriate adaptions
P-2Yes
3-6Yes
High schoolYes

Where can I learn more?

WebPartZone1_2
WebPartZone2_1
WebPartZone2_2
WebPartZone2_3
WebPartZone3_1
WebPartZone3_2
WebPartZone3_3
WebPartZone3_4
WebPartZone4_1
WebPartZone5_1
WebPartZone5_2
WebPartZone6_1
WebPartZone6_2
WebPartZone7_1
WebPartZone7_2
WebPartZone8_1
WebPartZone8_2
WebPartZone9_1
Last updated 12 February 2021