"You can't teach children to behave better by making them feel worse. When children feel better, they behave better."                             - Pam Leo, expert parent educator 
Common interventions for children with challenging behaviors

Deena provides parent training, one-on-one therapy with children, and works directly with school staff to create an environment most conducive to the child's success.


Deena's approach is to empower parents, given the crucial role that they play in helping their children achieve successful behavior. Wherever the child spends the most time is where the real work must be done, be it at home or at school. The treatment plan with the best chance at success will be coordinated between all the environments where the child spends time. Deena helps parents and other caregivers:

See Deena's interventions for ADHD which are relevant for all other challenging behaviors.

  • For challenging behaviors unrelated to a specific diagnosis, consider these options:

    • Evaluation - sometimes it is not clear what the cause of the behavior is, and a professional working with children might shed light on the matter. There might be a diagnosis that will help understand the child's difficulties. ​

    • Environmental changes - transitions and changes in the child's environment often lead to changes in behavior. If this is the case, a behavior plan can help the child adjust to the new circumstances in a more appropriate way, by giving them a new way to express and interact with the new reality.

  • Common causes for challenging behaviors include

    • disabilities

      • learning disabilities​

      • processing disorders

      • speech delays

      • sensory 

    • family dynamics

      • new siblings

      • new parent figure

      • new home

      • absence of prominent family member due to relocation, death, divorce, etc.

  • Before addressing any behavior, it is crucial to understand where the behavior is coming from. A functional assessment helps identify the underlying motivation that drives the child to behave in a specific manner. Once this is identified, a customized behavior plan can be built with the greatest likelihood of leading to a successful outcome.

    • common functions of behavior include:​

      • access to the desired object​

      • access to attention - both positive and negative

      • escape from an undesired activity

      • avoidance of an undesired activity

      • sensory needs - over or under stimulation

  • Advanced preparation

    • Expect that behaviors will occur - be prepared with a plan of action to

      • address behaviors immediately when they start​

      • teach skills in advance that will help avoid the behavior

        • appropriate ways of expressing anger and frustration

        • appropriate problem-solving behaviors​

        • stress management

        • time management

        • general rules to follow in all situations

    • Review expectations and consequences with the child during a calm time

  • Ideal behavior plans will be applied across all areas of the child's life: school, therapy, community, and home.

    • Deena provides guidance and training for all individuals who work with and live with your child.

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Deena Singer

Behavior Analyst


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Creating a calm home and school environment for your child