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When Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Understanding the Challenging Behaviors of Young Children and Students With Disabilities

Build your understanding of behavior as communication, and learn to interpret the messages behind the actions. This book provides information and tools to support all children whose primary way to communicate is through challenging behaviors. Enlightening, sometimes humorous stories provide examples of how children use behavior to communicate. Engaging exercises and end-of-chapter questions can be used to improve current practice.


  • Gain a proactive, strengths-based model for supporting children in learning to self-regulate their behavior.
  • Find clear descriptions of the ways in which all children use different behaviors to communicate.
  • Interpret the message behind challenging behaviors with provided questions and protocols.
  • Get tools to help you develop strategies that meet children’s needs and encourage more acceptable means of expression.
  • Understand central nervous system disabilities and how they affect learning and communication.
  • Explore the hidden issues that may affect behavior.

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When Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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1. Introduction
2. Forms of Communication
3. Functions of Communication
4. The Big Picture of Challenging Behaviors. Six Critical Questions
5. Hidden Issues
6. Disability Issues
7. Supportive Learning Environments
8. Proactive Behavioral Strategies
9. Proactive Instructional Strategies
10. Reactive Strategies
11. A Child-Centered Approach



Positive Behavior Supports

Graphic Organizers

Child Welfare

Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design

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