The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship


Early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers support children who qualify for Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004). ECSEs generally serve children under the age of five and are often asked to guide the development of a plan to decrease persistent challenging behaviors of children in classrooms. IDEA indicates that a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP), based on the results of a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), be developed, written, and implemented when a child engages in behaviors preventing him/her or children in the classroom from learning. This article is designed to guide ECSEs and other team members to write quality BIPs for young children receiving special education services. The importance of BIPs, effective strategies teams can use to develop BIPs, key components of BIPs, and recommendations for teachers are provided. A hypothetical case study weaved through this article shares the experiences of Marco, a young child with autism, his family, and ECSE teacher as she leads the BIP development process in collaboration with her team.