December 2012 | News You Can Use

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Cookie in the shape of a candy cane.Behavior: Are we there yet?



‘Tis the season to be counting down the days to the long holiday break. As much as we love this time of year, there’s no denying that it can get crazy. The stress and excitement can affect us all, causing nerves to fray, kids to be overstimulated, and behavior issues to surface.

That’s why we’ve focused this month’s newsletter on resources to help us all survive the getting-ready-for-the-holidays madness (not to mention the holidays themselves!), with a special emphasis on resources for managing behavior.

As always, we welcome your feedback in all forms. Please feel free to contact us at

Our best to you,

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities


Behavior Suite
NICHCY is pleased to connect you with information for helping children who have behavior challenges. Because “behavior” is such a huge topic, we’ve divided the subject up into separate pages to make digesting it more manageable! Find behavior expertise, resources on bullying, information on functional behavioral assessment and how to write a behavior intervention plan, and strategies for managing behavior at home and school.

Behavior: The Pressing Classroom Issue (blog)
It is important to be proactive about establishing student behavior expectations. Having a solid plan in place can ease some of the anxiety around classroom management. This blog connects you with a training module, developed by the IRIS Center, to help teachers create a comprehensive behavior management plan.

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Logo of the IDEA Partnership.

Behavior Management Resources at the Learning Port
The IDEA Partnership hosts a national online library of professional development resources compiled to help bridge research, policy, and practice. This library provides local educators with easy access to an array of resources that can be used or customized to meet their needs. Follow the link below to view the resources available on behavior management. You won’t be disappointed by what you find.


Special Needs Parenting: 12 Tips for Managing Challenging Behavior
Managing behavior that is challenging can be very stressful for parents of children and adults with special needs. But it’s important to see it as a form of communication. This blog offers 12 tips to help parents and families to handle challenging behavior.

What to Expect and When to Seek Help: Bright Futures Developmental Tools for Families and Providers
This resource offers checklists, notes, and general guidelines to help families and providers to support the growth and development of children, toddler to teen years. The four developmental tools offer a framework for families and providers to begin a conversation together about how best to support healthy social and emotional development in children and teens, broken down by age group to help streamline the information that is relevant to the needs of the child.

Conduct Disorder: Facts for Families
The American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry developed Facts for Families to provide concise and up-to-date information on issues that affect children, teenagers, and their families. Also available in Spanish.

Toy Guide for Differently-abled Kids
Selecting a toy for a child who has a disability? Toys”R”Us and the National Lekotek Center offer a helpful “Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids” in English and Spanish. The guide includes thorough descriptions of recommended toys, quotes about the toys from family members, and a key to help identify specific skills the toy helps to develop.

The Family Gathering: A Survival Guide
Holiday gatherings can be stressful. This is true for all of us, but it can be especially true for children who have psychiatric disorders. The Child Mind Institute has compiled a list of seasonal tips to help all kids-and parents-enjoy the party.

10 Ways Your Child’s Behavior Is Like a TV Detective Show
Chances are, if you have a child with challenging behavior, you’ve felt like a detective, searching for clues and seeking hidden motivations. Investigate these 10 ways your experience is similar to theirs, and pick up some tips for being a more skillful seeker of truth.

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Creating Teaching Tools for Young Children with Challenging Behavior
This free product developed by the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI) gives teachers practical strategies, developed from TACSEI’s research activities and experiences in Positive Behavior Support, to create a plan to support young children who have challenging behavior.

Acknowledging Children’s Positive Behaviors
This What Works Brief is part of a continuing series of short, easy-to-read, “how-to” information packets on a variety of evidence-based practices, strategies, and intervention procedures. The Briefs are designed to help teachers support young children’s social and emotional development. They include examples and vignettes that illustrate how practical strategies might be used in a variety of early childhood settings and home environments.

The Anti-Bullying and Teasing Book for Preschool Classrooms (there is a cost)
In preschool, many children encounter their first experiences in forming and joining social groups outside their family. This guide addresses teasing and bullying as a continuum of intentionally hurtful behavior, from making fun of someone to repetitive physical abuse. The Anti-Bullying and Teasing book can help teachers of young children address this behavior before it develops.

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Classroom Management: Learning the Components of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan
This module (a revision of Who’s In Charge? Developing a Comprehensive Behavior Management System) highlights the importance of establishing a comprehensive classroom behavior management system composed of a statement of purpose, rules, procedures, consequences, and an action plan. It also provides information about how culture, classroom factors, and teacher actions can influence student behavior. Also available in Spanish.

Stress-Free Holidays for Students with Disabilities
Holidays are often a difficult time for people with special needs. This article describes ways in which teachers can help relieve holiday stress for students with disabilities.

Bully Prevention is School Wide Positive Behavior Support
This handbook focuses on reducing bullying behavior through the blending of school-wide positive behavior support, explicit instruction, and a redefinition of the bullying construct. middle school version is also available.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Kids?
PTSD develops as a result of trauma. This blog helps you to take a step back and define trauma from a child’s point of view.

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TA Center on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports
This site is great for administrators and school personnel who are working to put a school-wide system in place for dealing with disciplinary issues and student behavior problems.

Early Career Principals Working Productively with Difficult and Resistant Staff
A sign of an effective school leader lies in the ability to motivate employees to want to do the best job for themselves and the students. By using strategies for getting the most out of different employee types, principals can successfully move ahead on school improvement efforts.

Disciplining Students with Disabilities: What Does the Law Require of Schools?
This subsection of NICHCY’s Behavior at School will connect you to authoritative guidance on the legal rights of schools with respect to disciplining a student with disabilities who breaks a code of student conduct. Can that student be expelled or suspended? And what about the use of restraints or seclusion?

Time Well Spent: 8 Powerful Practices of Successful Expanded-Time Schools
Districts and schools, particularly those receiving School Improvement Grant funds, are experimenting with expanding learning time as a strategy to boost student learning and achievement. But what are the most effective strategies for expanding learning time, and how can schools make the most of this important resource? This webinar explores some of the answers proposed.

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N110002 between FHI 360 and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.


Comments on our newsletter? Too long? Too short? Off-target? Right on? Suggestions for future topics? Please feel free to contact us at We’re here to help you help children with disabilities.

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to