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Positive Behavior Intervention and Support


Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) are incorporated into a service plan when the Waiver participant decides he or she would like to work on impulsive behaviors that developed as a result common to advancing Alzheimer’s / dementia, or other chronic illnesses. These behaviors might include verbal outbursts or other behaviors that work against the participant from meeting the goals of his or her service plan, or even work against the ability to remain independent in the community.

The PBIS staff works with the participant to identify the behaviors, and develop a behavior support plan of “interventions” that will help the participant to identify when these behaviors are prone to being displayed. PBIS staff will also work with the participant to put together a plan of action to deal with them that makes sense to the participant. The goal is to decrease the frequency of the behaviors, and/or their severity. The end result is the participant’s ability to work on achieving their goals by managing counter productive behaviors, and improving the communication with people in the community, the participant’s staff, and family caregivers.

Allwel provides the staff that assess behaviors, develop a plan of action, and work with the participant, family, and staff to ensure the plan is followed. The PBIS plan consists of a comprehensive assessment of the behavior(s) that the participant has identified to work on and the development of a structured “Behavioral Intervention and Support Plan” that focuses on exchanging them for other, more socially appropriate behaviors. The plan also works on the ways that the Waiver participant can work toward the the elimination of impulsive behaviors, the ways to ensure consistent implementation of the plan, and the on-going training and supervision of the people who are instrumental to the participant’s total plan of care and goals for independence.

PBIS helps to improve the following:

  1. Improve communication by reducing verbal outburst
  2. Identifying what causes counter productive behaviors and developing skills to manage them
  3. Identifying impulsive behaviors and developing skills to manage them

How can we help?

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Some of Our Team

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Chris Hall, MA CRC

Chris has been working with individuals with traumatic brain injury since 2000, and he has over 15 years of experience in human services, previously serving individuals with developmental disabilities and substance abuse related disabilities. Chris’ passion lies in assisting individuals with disabilities in their efforts to build and maintain their maximum level of independence.

President / WNY Administrator
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Sandy Swartwout, MS Ed

Sandy has been a part Allwel’s team since 2009, with the roles of Community Integration Counselor, Positive Behavior Intervention & Support Specialist, and Independent Living Skills Trainer. Since 2012, Sandy has been leading the clinical team as the western New York region’s Director of Behavioral Health, while still making time to work directly with our participants in the field. Sandy is a fundamental component of our care team when our participants’ include relearning skills lost through a TBI, as well as when collaborating with the whole care team in solving participants’ challenges throughout the agency. Sandy combines her Bachelor’s in Psychology/Education MS Ed in Education and Community Mental Health Counseling, a NYS Permanent Certification in Special Education, and PBIS certification with over 28 years of experience in providing counseling and behavioral supports.

Director of Behavioral Health
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Dan Livingston, BA Psychology

Dan has been working with Allwel in our western New York region as a Positive Behavioral Intervention & Support Specialist since 2013. A very special charge, Dan works with participants whose goals are to incorporate better communication skills and re-developing social competencies that have been lost due to traumatic brain injury. Incorporating this component of services into plans of care requires “a nurturing environment, patience, adaptability, sound judgment, as well as creative problem solving in furthering goals of independence.” Dan brings to his work a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and over 25 years of experience working with people with traumatic brain injury or developmental disabilities.

Positive Behavior Intervention & Support Specialist