Managing Challenging Behavior: Applying Reflective Practice and Relationship-Based Strategies to Behavior Supports

Due to a loss of support personnel, this course is not currently offered.

(Formerly titled Bridging Education and Mental Health and Challenging Behavior in Early Childhood: Bridging Education and Mental Health Strategies for Child-Specific Interventions)

Find the common ground between behavioral and therapeutic approaches to help professionals support the healthy social-emotional development of children while addressing challenging behaviors. Course material expands upon both functional behavioral assessments and relationship-based teaching. It explores the causes of maladaptive behavioral patterns in children’s actions and interactions and provides strategies to address them.

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Earn 42 clock hours

This course is not currently offered.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • compare and contrast the different philosophies explaining why children engage in challenging behavior and the origins of intervention
  • overview typical social/emotional development
  • describe the philosophies and theories associated with the BEAM module
  • explore relationships between teachers and their colleagues and the families with which they work
  • explore tools to support emotional literacy
  • examine functional behavioral assessment, including specific definitions of terminology and process for gathering and summarizing the information

Who should register

  • Early childhood professionals

This online course is approved by the Minnesota Center for Professional Development to count toward career lattice steps. It also is approved by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) for their members (ICEA accepts a maximum of 24 clock hours per course).

What to expect

  • The course is instructor-led with feedback and interactions provided.
  • All activities and assignments for this course are asynchronous and online. Nothing takes place in real time.
  • You have access to the course site 24/7 and can fit your work on the course into your schedule.
  • Activities and assignments include readings, videos, discussion board, recording videos using an online tool called FlipGrid, and reflection papers.
  • You are expected to participate fully and abide by weekly submission due dates for assignments and activities.

Knowledge and competency framework areas

The early childhood competencies are those used by MN – ACHIEVE’s knowledge and competencies framework.

  • Child development and learning
  • Creating positive learning experiences
  • Promoting cognitive development
  • Observing, recording, and assessing development
  • Assessing and using information to plan

Meet the instructor

Sally HansenSally Hansen

Sally Hansen, MA, LMFT, is an Early Childhood Special Education Professional Development Facilitator with the Minnesota Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities (MNCoE). She has been working in the field of early childhood education and children’s mental health since 2001. Sally has worked as a teacher in a therapeutic preschool program, a play and family therapist, an early childhood education consultant at St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and as an early childhood program administrator. Sally holds both a BS degree in Psychology and Communication Studies and a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Suggested books

These books are not a required purchase for this course and are suggested as additional resources you may want to consider.

  • Dunlap, G., Wilson, K., Strain, P., & Lee, J.K. (2013). Prevent-teach-reinforce for young children: The early childhood model of individualized positive behavior support. Brookes Publishing.
  • Koplow, L. (Ed.)(2007)(second edition). Unsmiling faces: How preschools can heal. New York: Teachers College Press.

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation two weeks or earlier before the start of the session: Full refund less $25 administrative fee
  • Cancellation less than two weeks before the start of the session: No refund will be provided.

To cancel, send an email to Deborah Ottman.

CEED reserves the right to refuse/cancel a registration due to low enrollment, a prerequisite not completed, or other circumstances making the registration nonviable. In the event of a course cancellation, registrants have the option to receive a full refund OR to transfer the registration to the same course held in a future session. CEED will accept substitutions for attendees.


Contact Deborah Ottman, professional development coordinator.

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