OSEP Director Speaks to Behavior as a Form of Communication

Discipline and Behavior Series: The Power of Asking “Why”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 25, 2023) – The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released the April blog in the Discipline Discussions series, April 25.

OSEP Director Valerie C. Williams encouraged people to see the behavior of students with disabilities as a form of communication. Additionally, she wanted those working with students with disabilities to ask “why” a child may use a disruptive behavior.

“Thinking of behavior as a form of a communication forces us to shift our mindset and consider the purpose of a child’s actions by asking the critical question of why the child is using behaviors that are inconsistent with school or early childhood program expectations,” Williams said.

Williams asked the OSEP-funded IRIS Center to expand on behavior as a form of communication and provide resources to help educators and families develop a collaborative approach to addressing undesirable behaviors.

Visit the OSERS Blog for the most updated posts in the Discipline Discussions series.

Suspension, Severe Discrepancy
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Last modified on May 19, 2023