• Behavioral Support Programs

    U. S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) 

    The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21. OSEP, directly and through its partners and grantees, develops a wide range of research-based products, publications, and resources to assist states, local district personnel, and families to improve results for students with disabilities.

    This web site is designed to provide easy access to information from research to practice initiatives funded by OSEP that address the provisions of IDEA and NCLB. This web site will include resources, links, and other important information that supports OSEP’s research to practice efforts. Please continue to check the web site for new information that will be posted as it becomes available.

    Section 504 Americans with Disabilities Act:

    Eligibility Under Section 504:

    Children with disabilities may be eligible for special education and related services under Section 504. That’s because Section 504’s definition of disability is broader than the IDEA’s definition. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to:

    • have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; 
    • have a record of such an impairment; 
    • be regarded as having such an impairment.

    Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Under Section 504, FAPE means providing regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student’s individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are met.

    Attention Deficit Hyper Activity (ADHD):

    ADHD is characterized by a pattern of behavior, present in multiple settings (e.g., school and home), that can result in performance issues in social, educational, or work settings. As in DSM-IV, symptoms will be divided into two categories of inattention and hyperactivity and impulsivity that include behaviors like failure to pay close attention to details, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, excessive talking, fidgeting, or an inability to remain seated in appropriate situations. Children must have at least six symptoms from either (or both) the inattention group of criteria and the hyperactivity and impulsivity criteria, while older adolescents and adults (over age 17 years) must present with five.


    People with ASD tend to have communication deficits, such as responding inappropriately in conversations, misreading nonverbal interactions, or having difficulty building friendships appropriate to their age. In addition, people with ASD may be overly dependent on routines, highly sensitive to changes in their environment, or intensely focused on inappropriate items. Again, the symptoms of people with ASD will fall on a continuum, with some individuals showing mild symptoms and others having much more severe symptoms. This spectrum will allow clinicians to account for the variations in symptoms and behaviors from person to person. Under the DSM-5 criteria, individuals with ASD must show symptoms from early childhood, even if those symptoms are not recognized until later. This criteria change encourages earlier diagnosis of ASD but also allows people whose symptoms may not be fully recognized until social demands exceed their capacity to receive the diagnosis. It is an important change from DSM-IV criteria, which was geared toward identifying school-aged children with autism-related disorders, but not as useful in diagnosing younger children.

    Bipolar Disorder:

    Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes severe or unusual shifts in mood, energy level, thinking, and behavior. People with bipolar disorder experience episodes of mania where their mood is overly happy or extremely irritable, they may also have increased energy or episodes of depression.

    FBA & BIP Discipline under IDEA:

    Learning Disabilities:

    A learning disability is a neurological condition that interferes with an individual's ability to store, process or produce information.  Learning disabilities can affect one's ability to read, write, speak, spell, compute math, reason, and also affect an individual's attention, memory, coordination, social skills, and emotional maturity.

    Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD):

    Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is defined as a childhood disorder characterized by negative, defiant, disobedient and often hostile behavior toward adults and authority figures primarily. In order to be diagnosed, the behaviors must occur for at least a period of 6 months.

    Tourette’s Syndrome:

    Tourette (too-RET) syndrome is a disorder that involves repetitive movements or unwanted sounds (tics) that can’t be easily controlled. For instance, you might repeatedly blink your eyes, shrug your shoulders or blurt out unusual sounds or offensive words. Tics typically show up between 2 and 15, with the average being around 6 years of age. Males are about three to four times more likely than females to develop Tourette syndrome.

    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a nondegenerative, noncongenital insult to the brain from an external mechanical force, possibly leading to permanent or temporary impairment of cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functions, with an associated diminished or altered state of consciousness.

    Horry County Schools Behavioral Support Programs

    Horry County Schools (HCS) realizes that not all students will successfully navigate their social world without difficulty. In the case of a special needs student, there are legal guidelines referencing positive behavior supports and discipline within the context of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). HCS is in compliance with these guidelines and has developed procedures to ensure that students receive positive behavioral supports along a continuum based on their individual needs.

    Positive behavioral supports is a behavior management system used to understand what maintains an individual's challenging behavior. Student's inappropriate behaviors are difficult to change because they are functional; they serve a purpose for them. The positive behavior support process involves goal identification, information gathering, hypothesis, development, support plan design, implementation, and monitoring. HCS offers a variety of positive behavioral supports in each school depending on each individual student’s needs.

    Informal intervention methods are utilized for students as a first step when students initially begin struggling in the emotional/behavioral/social arena. One of these interventions may include a behavior contract that would be implemented in the school setting. Classroom management interventions are also used as developed by the classroom teacher. Visual supports are provided for students who need assistance with transitions and daily routines.

    Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) clearly describe behaviors, identify the contexts (events, times, and situation) that predict when behavior will and will not occur, and identifies consequences that maintain the behavior. They also summarize and create a hypothesis about the behavior, directly observe the behavior and take data to get a baseline. FBAs will determine whether a Behavior Intervention Plan is warranted at this time.

    Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) are developed and implemented for students with disabilities who have behavior problems that impede their educational performance or the learning of others. HCS is committed to providing BIPS that are individualized and meaningful. Developing interventions that appropriately, effectively, and efficiently address the relationship between learning and behavior problems is a complex task that requires a host of essential elements and procedures.