Behavior Today (CCBD Newsletter)

Jan 2016 30 (3)

CCBD Awards: It's not too late!!

The deadline for awards has been extended until February 15, 2016!!  Nominate someone today!

Carl Fenichel Memorial Research Award

This award competition honors the memory of Carl Fenichel, the founder of the

League school in Brooklyn, New York, who was also a pioneer in the education of children with severe behavior disorders. The purpose of the competition is to promote student research in the area of children with emotional and/or behavioral disorders. This award will be given to students completing research projects, theses, or dissertations in the area of children with emotional and/or behavioral disorders. 

The recipient will be awarded $400.00 to support their research, along with $500 towards attendance costs (e.g., airfare, per diem) related to participation in the International CEC Conference in St Louis, MO, April 13-16, 2016.

To apply for the award, the student must submit the following:

  • A cover letter from the applicant,
  • A copy of the approved proposal,
  • Letter of recommendation from the student’s advisor stating the project’s potential contribution to the field of EBD,
  • A budget proposing how the $400.00 award will be used.

Award recipients will be encouraged to share their findings at local, regional or the international CCBD conferences and abstracts of the funded project will appear in appropriate CCBD publications.

Papers must be approved for consideration by the applicant’s department or college.

The deadline for receipt of applications and all materials is February 15, 2016. Submit the proposal, budget and a letter attesting to departmental approval electronically to:

Outstanding Professional Performance Bi-Annual Award For Outstanding Professional Performance

The purpose of this award is to honor an outstanding practicing professional who works directly with children and/or youth with severe behavioral disorders.  The individual should be nominated by someone who is familiar with the nature & quality of his/her work, and who can also speak to the person’s character.   Nomination materials should include:

1. A letter of nomination which indicates the name, address, phone number of the nominee, reasons for making the nomination, the nominee’s CEC membership number, and other information which might be helpful to the review committee.  The name of the person/organization making the nomination should also be included;

2.  A brief vita or resume for the individual nominated which shows educational background, places of employment and types of individuals worked with, length of time in each position, special projects undertaken, any awards received, and other information which might assist the review committee; and

3.  At least two letters of support (one should be from the current employer/supervisor).

The nominating materials will be reviewed by the Award Committee.  The winner will be honored at the 2016 Annual CEC convention in St Louis, MO, April 13-16, 2016 with a plaque commemorating the award.  The award will be presented at the Annual CCBD Business Meeting.

All nominations and materials must be received by February 15, 2016.

Outstanding Leadership Award

The purpose of this award is to honor an outstanding leader in the field of behavioral disorders who has made significant contributions and has had a significant impact on the field. This individual will have made significant contributions to the field of behavioral disorders through their research; leadership in state, regional, or national organizations; leadership in teacher education or practitioner preparation; or state and national policy development or implementation. The contributions made should extend over a considerable period of time. Nominations should be made by someone who is familiar with the nature and quality of the nominee’s work, and who can also speak to the nominee’s character.

Nomination materials include:

1. A letter of nomination should include the following nominee’s name, address, phone number, reasons for making the nomination, the nominee’s CEC identification number, and other information, which might be helpful to the Awards Committee. The name, address, email, and phone number of the person/organization making the nomination should also be included;

2. A brief (4 pages) vita or resume for the nominee which shows educational background, places of employment and types of individuals worked with, length of time in each position, special projects undertaken, courses taught, publications, research grants/projects, positions held with professional organizations, any awards received, and other information which might assist the Awards Committee; and

3. Three letters of support from other leaders in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders.

The Awards Committee will review the nomination package. The CCBD Outstanding Leadership Award recipient will receive a plaque commemorating the award at the Annual CEC Convention and Expo in St Louis, MO from April 13-16, 2016. The award will be presented at the Annual CCBD Business Meeting at the convention.


For further information regarding all awards, contact Nicholas Gage at 651-895-2733

or e-mail at


Nicholas A. Gage, Ph.D.

CCBD Vice-President



Let's Get Creative!!!

We need your help! We started a new tradition this year at the CCBD Conference and want to continue it at CEC. We'll be designing and selling t-shirts in St. Louis and need your best CCBD one-liners for a slogan. Visit the CCBD Facebook page (or email and share your ideas. Your slogan could be on our next limited edition CCBD t-shirt!!


Regional Services and Membership

Lonna Moline

I was perusing quotes to find one that I could use here.....CCBD means so much to me professionally and personally. I was hoping to find something to put into words how important it is to connect with other professionals, how active engagement with something you are passionate about increases the meaning in your life, how organizations can connect you to life long friends....the list was long....

I decided on a quote from Howard Thurman, “There are two questions that we have to ask ourselves. The first is ‘Where am I going?’ and the second is ‘Who will go with me?’”

As you think about where you are in your career and where you are going, let CCBD go with you. Our mission is to support professionals like you. We will enhance your expertise for working on behalf of children with challenging behaviors. We will provide for your professional development in prevention of problem behaviors and enhancement of social, emotional, and educational well-being for children and youth.  I encourage you to stay connected or get connected as you go on your professional journey.

One way to get connected is to check out the CCBD website. There is a new Events Calendar. There are also links to social media and notifications under the Regions tab.  The Washington CCBD Subdivision is already linked! Check out their site.

I look forward to connecting with you face to face in St. Louis. Please make sure to stop by the CCBD membership table.  Drop me a message ahead of time so I can be on the lookout for you!

In closing, a fabulous quote, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ~Plato.

Come play with us in St. Louis!


Here’s what’s happening around the regions:

News from Region 3, Chad Rose

The conference is coming! The conference is coming! See you in St. Louis.

News from Region 4, Courtney Hertner


There is a great group of dedicated CCBD members who are working towards reactivating the Texas CCBD! They will be having a meeting this month to begin working face to face to that end!  We look forward to working with them as they move forward!

If you are from Texas, and would like to get involved and/or find out more information about the upcoming meeting, please contact Glenna Billingsley at


News from Region 5, Bev Johns

We are excited to announce that Michigan CCBD is reorganizing and a call for nominations for officers has been disseminated.  A special thanks to all of those individuals who have served on the steering committee.  Elections will be held and the new officers will be installed at the early March Michigan CEC meeting.  Michigan CCBD will have a strand at the conference as well.  Watch for the next newsletter where we will announce the new officers for Michigan CCBD.  Like Michigan CCBD on Facebook at CCBD Michigan

Wisconsin CCBD is up and running.  Interested in becoming involved or attending an August conference that is planned, contact Shannon Stuart at


Ohio will have its summer institute on June 16 and 17 at the University of Toledo.


Illinois is having their winter drive in conference on February 5-6, 2016, at the Hyatt Lisle Hotel in Lisle Illinois.  Among featured speakers include Rick Van Acker, Tom Reilly, and our keynote luncheon speaker is Dr. Sheldon Braaten who will be honored for his years of service to Illinois CCBD.  Topics for the conference include: Changing the Classroom Structure to Enhance Student Success, Depression and Suicide, Effective Level Systems, Cyberbullying, Children in Trauma, and more.  See the complete program on our website at:

Like Illinois CCBD on Facebook at Illinois Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders.


News from Region 7, Soo Ahn


The VA chapter held its inaugural meeting in the fall.  Although there were only a few in attendance, many are excited to see this chapter grow.  The chapter's Facebook page has launched (, and we are currently working on a website as well.


Two individuals in PA are in the beginning stages to start a chapter in the state.  To recruit prospective members, they had a table at PA-CEC to meet people, and they also plan to travel to different universities and schools to meet faculty to identify needs and interests.


News from Region 9, Kimberly Maich

Welcome to Kimberly, our newest Regional Coordinator. She has taken over for Pauline Thornton in Canada. We are excited to have her join us. Please contact her if you are in Canada and looking for a direct connection. Her information is as follows:


Dr. Kimberly Maich, PhD, OCT, BCBA

Assistant Professor, Teacher Education

Affiliated Faculty, Centre for Applied Disability Studies

Chair, Social Science Research Ethics Board

Brock University | Niagara Region |

1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way | Faculty of Education |

Welch 168 | |

T 905 688 5550 x4716





My Student Calls Himself Lazy

Dear Ms. Kitty:

I am a special education teacher of secondary students with behavior disorders on a Native American reservation in Arizona.  I have one student who has the cognitive ability to do his school work well; however, he easily gives up and refuses to complete his work.  He keeps stating that he can’t do it, he doesn’t want to try, and even also comments that he is lazy.  Reinforcements do not seem to be working with him.  How can I motivate this student to do his work? 

~ Helpless in Arizona


Dear Helpless in Arizona:

Thank you for reaching out.  Honestly, you are struggling with a student’s behavior which we have all encountered as teachers at some point in our careers. First, I wanted to remind you that it is important to be a culturally competent educator. Meaning, make sure to research the Native American culture and how these students might value their academic schoolwork.  Take some time to investigate other concepts associated to their culture, specifically associated to time orientation, relationships between teachers and students, and cultural norms related to exploring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. These are all concepts that may help you better understand to your student’s challenging behaviors.  

Next, it seems that you delineated the target or problematic behavior as the student refuses to complete his schoolwork. It is important that you collect data.  After collecting data on the student refusing to complete his school work, your data analysis will depict behavior patterns related to the target behavior.  For example, you may discover that there is a time of day which he refuses to work or find he refuses to complete his work during a specific subject hour.  This data will be important if you and your individualized education plan (IEP)decide to construct a functional behavior assessment and behavior intervention plan with this student.

You mentioned that you have tried reinforcements and they do not seem to be working. Remember, a reinforcement only operates as a reinforcement when it increases the probability of the student exhibiting the desired behavior in the future. You may conduct a preference assessment with this student to delineate what he considers a reinforcement.  I encourage you to revisit the preference assessment multiple times because the student’s preferences may change and you want to keep mixing up the reinforcements offered.

Best practice is to continue collecting data throughout the process.  Finally, please revisit your classroom-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports framework and make revisions, if needed. Below are some resources which may help. Please contact Ms. Kitty via for specific questions or concerns.  Thank you for all you do for students with exceptionalities!

~ Ms. Kitty


Helpful resources for your students and classroom may include:


Ms. Kitty has worked with children and youth with challenging behaviors for nearly 20 years. She has educated students with behavior disorders in several different states and taught students from all grades, except 7th grade. Ms. Kitty has also earned her undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate degrees in special education, specifically emotional disabilities and behavior disorders.

Please contact Ms. Kitty about any questions you have about your students in your classroom

Thank you!

Capturing Conversations From Leaders in the Field

A Conversation with Bev Johns

Teagarden, J., Zabel, R., & Kaff, M.

Kansas State University

For the past decade, the Janus Project has collected and disseminated the perspectives of leaders in education of children with emotional and behavioral disorders about the past, present, and future of the field. The Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders (MSLBD) has provided on-going support for this oral history project, which takes its name from the Roman god, Janus, whose two faces looked both to the past and the future.  Each participant is asked about the people and events that have influenced their careers and the larger field, their views of the current and future state of the field, and their advice for persons entering the field. To date, approximately 60 conversations have been collected in video form and are available on the MSLBD website at the following URL:


Beverley (Bev) Johns has enjoyed a lengthy career working with students with learning disabilities (LD) and emotional behavioral disorders (EBD) within the public schools. She supervised teachers in many school districts and was the founder of the Garrison Alternative School for students with severe EBD and later coordinated staff development for the Four Rivers Special Education District. She is now an educational consultant and Professional Fellow adjunct instructor for MacMurray College.


Bev Johns was the 2000 recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award from the International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), has served as Chair of CEC’s Advocacy and Governmental Relations Committee, International President of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD), President of the CEC Pioneers, President of the International Conference of the International Association of Special Education (IASE), and received the Romaine P. Mackie Leadership Service Award.


The following excerpt is drawn from the complete interview with Bev Johns which was published in the journal Interventions in School and Clinic (Kaff, Teagarden, & Zabel, 2015).


* * * * *

Janus: What has had the greatest positive impact on the field?


Johns: I believe it is the dedicated people who work every day with children with disabilities. It’s clearly that and it’s also the provision of laws that protect the children and their families and the people who work with the children.


Janus: What, in your opinion, has had the greatest negative impact on the field?


Johns: Certainly I lived through the early 1980’s where I was reminded that when they giveth the law, they can taketh it away. During that period of time, we had a real threat to Public Law 94-142 when an attempt was made to eliminate it. There was a piece of legislation that said we would de-mandate, de-regulate, and block grant. Those are all dirty words in the field of special education, because de-mandate means schools don’t have to provide services, de-regulation means there are no regulations, and block grant means give the schools money and let them spend it the way they want. Those are all very bad terms and those types of threats continue today. I think there are many threats to public education, and one of the things that really saddens me is that I would really like to see us focus on what’s happening positively in the schools and in the field of special education rather than the negativism that is out there today.  That involves so much teacher bashing and parent bashing. I think those are real threats to our field.


Janus: What do you see for the future of the field of education of children with emotional and behavioral challenges?


Johns: Well, I would like to see the continuation of the laws that protect children. I would also like to see a better understanding of children who have emotional and behavioral challenges. I think we have more children coming into the schools with mental health needs whose needs are not being addressed. For whatever reason, whether it’s lack of resources, whether it’s lack of knowledge, I think it is very important that we have those services that children need, that we have that continuum of placement options for students.The other thing that I want to see is schools where children will no longer be suspended. I think that’s a very negative practice. It is one that does not help children and is, in fact, one that ruins relationships with children. In my ideal world, I would like to see a time when we keep all students in school. We do not suspend and we do not expel children from school and we have more schools using positive behavior interventions with students.


Janus: What advice would you offer to those just entering the field?


Johns: I would say you’re facing a very exciting world and we really need good teachers in the field. I believe there’s no more exciting field than working with students with behavioral challenges. I encourage you to stand proud of your profession and to take your profession with the concept of the individualized program for all children seriously and work to meet the individual needs of children


* * * *

In addition to her leadership positions in special education organizations, Bev Johns continues to be a outspoken advocate for preserving educational rights and improving educational opportunities and experiences for children with emotional and behavioral disorders, their families, and educators. The complete conversation with Bev is available at following URL

Upcoming issues of Behavior Today will include excerpts from Janus Project conversations with other leaders in the field including George Sugai, and Mary Margaret Kerr.



Kaff, M., Teagarden, J., & Zabel, R. (2015). Sally Sits on Her Shoulder: A Conversation with Bev Johns. Intervention in School and Clinic, 51 (1), 65-68.

Too Noisy

Too Noisy is a great app that can be used on Apple and Android devices for $3.99. Educators can use Too Noisy to control the noise levels in their classrooms using visuals.  The app is simple to use and has fun and colorful graphics to choose from.  As noise goes beyond an acceptable level, which is set by the teacher, the background graphics animatedly change to reflect noise levels.  Students can earn “star awards” for being quiet for a predefined period of time.  A “super star award” is displayed for earning all 10 stars!  The app can be configured to automatically remove a star if the noise “alarm” goes off.  Too Noisy can help students self-monitor their own noise level and is a great visual tool for students with special needs.  The app can run directly on the iPad or it can be displayed on an interactive whiteboard.  


The Role of the Teacher of Students with E/BD in Building Specially Designed Instruction

By Bev Johns

Mike, a teacher of students with emotional/behavioral disorders had a new student come in to his class.  He knew that this student was over 5 years below his grade level in reading skills.  He accepted the challenge readily.  He knew that he could bring the student’s reading level up; he would do his own assessments to learn more about the student and he would search for the most appropriate reading program that would meet the student’s needs.  He had a positive attitude and conveyed that attitude to his student who at first greeted him with “I can’t read.”  He told this student that he was there to figure out a way to teach him to read and together they would work to build his reading skills. 

Six months later I talked to Mike.  The student had made over a year’s progress in 6 months.  When asked what the key to success was he replied:  I learned as much as I could about my student through assessment, I found the right program to meet his needs, I designed an instructional program  for him as an individual, and I established a positive rapport with him.  All four were the ingredients for success for this student. Mike developed specially designed instruction for his student.

 Teachers of students with emotional/behavioral Disorders build on student strengths and provide the individualized instruction that students need. They search for the most appropriate program for the student and assess the student to learn as much as possible about what might work.  

This is the fourth in a series of articles about the important role of teachers of students who work with students with emotional/behavioral disorders.  The first article was on the important role of the teacher of students with e/bd in the evaluation process, the second one focused on the role in the IEP, and the third one focused on building relationships.

Teachers of students build academic programs that ensure student success.  Students may come to a special class 2 or more years behind academically.  How many times have we heard a student come through our classroom doors saying, “I hate math,” or “I can’t read.”  The academic program utilized for the student was not successful in a previous placement.  The student may have needed more intensive intervention.  The student may have needed a different type of program.  The student may have needed more direct instruction.  The student may also have been frustrated and acquired an attitude that they didn’t care. After all, it is easier for some students to say they don’t care than try and fail.  They may have a high degree of anxiety about certain academic areas.  They come to us with emotional baggage about certain academic subjects.

The task of finding the right specially designed instruction for each individual student is the challenge that teachers of students with e/bd face.  They know that there is no such thing as “One Size Fits All.” In today’s world, they have witnessed that there is no magic key and that not all students achieve at the same level. They know that it will be hard work to find what will best meet the needs of the student.   They recognize that each student has specific strengths and weaknesses and they assess the student to find out what those are.  They know that an effective academic program must be built on assessment, finding the key that works for one student, hanging in with the student when he or she becomes frustrated, and celebrating each success along the way, small or large.  They build on progress and keep going.  If something isn’t working they look for the reason it isn’t working and either change what is being done or how it is being done.


IDEA mandates that special educators develop specially designed instruction for their students and teachers of students with e/bd remember that just as Mike did when he accepted the challenge to teach his student to read.  One child at a time we make a positive difference in the academic skills of our students.