Skip to main content
Not Found
Digital Seminar

Intensive 2-Day Workshop: Cracking the Behavior Code: High Impact Trauma-Informed Strategies for Challenging, Oppositional & Aggressive Students

Nancy Rappaport, MD
11 Hours 30 Minutes
Dec 05, 2018
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


You’ve seen it -a kindergartner who screams “You hate me” and pushes other kids; a student who makes a threat and may need an alternative placement; a student with a frantic fight or flight response who throws things when he is frustrated.

It’s time to optimize effective ways to understand and address students’ seemingly intractable behavior.

In this recording, Dr. Nancy Rappaport presents a comprehensive, accessible, and flexible framework for practical intervention with traumatized children and adolescents. As the author of the influential book The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, Dr. Rappaport will share her method for understanding and improving behavior in challenging students which looks at the function of the behavior, accommodations, interventions, and nurturing responses to traumatized children.

You will also learn how to implement a comprehensive school safety assessment approach that allows schools to work with mental health professionals to prevent school violence and get students the support they need. This model allows schools to address concerns about students’ potential for targeted violence and make recommendations to enhance safety, connection, and engagement. Dr. Rappaport will have interactive case discussions that help participants practice and reinforce critical process of assessment and design a care plan.


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 11.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Nancy Rappaport, MD's Profile

Nancy Rappaport, MD Related seminars and products

Dr. Nancy Rappaport, MD, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and is a part-time associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Her research, teaching, and clinical expertise focus on the collaboration between education and psychiatry. Working as a science teacher at an innovative elementary school in Harlem, NY where she advocated for support for struggling families was a life-altering experience and inspired her to enter medical school. Dr. Rappaport received the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Sidney Berman Award for the School-Based Study and Treatment of Learning Disorders and Mental Illness in 2012. She also received Cambridge Health Alliance’s Art of Healing Award in 2013 – an award given to one who “transcends boundaries, joyfully embraces humanity, and profoundly inspires the healing of body and spirit.” Rappaport is the author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, written with behavioral analyst Jessica Minahan. One reviewer notes that “The Behavior Code gives teachers the tools to transform the behavior patterns of some of their most challenging students. By using this essential book, teachers—instead of punishing or ‘writing off ‘ troubled students—can get them onto a path for success.” Rappaport is also the author of the memoir In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother’s Suicide, winner of the Boston Authors Club’s 2010 Julia Ward Howe Prize.


Speaker Disclosure:

Financial:  Nancy Rappaport has an employment relationship with Cambridge Health Alliance. She is an author for Harvard Ed Press and receives royalties. Dr. Rappaport receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial:  Nancy Rappaport is a Distinguished Fellow for the American Psychiatric Association; the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; and the Massachusetts Medical Society.  


  1. Describe why traditional behavior plans of reward and consequences often do not work for students with challenging behavior.
  2. List at least 6 concrete strategies for building underdeveloped skills that impact behavior.
  3. Evaluate trauma’s impact on behavior and implement strategies for creating a traumasensitive environment in your school.
  4. Design communication strategies for difficult conversations with families about challenging behaviors to defuse potential conflict.
  5. List the 4 functions of challenging behavior and the tools to build the corresponding missing skills.
  6. Demonstrate the Behavior Code approach to analyze a case and consider the appropriate interventions for a child with self-defeating disruptive behavior in school.
  7. Identify key questions to ask when assessing potentially concerning behavior and determining how to intervene effectively.
  8. List the components of a comprehensive safety assessment model and why they are necessary for determining student risk of acting on threat.
  9. Characterize behavior that is within typical development range such as power struggles with authority and impulsivity from concerning behavior such as increasing desperation or agitation.
  10. Develop concrete ways using creativity, humor and empathy to foster resilience and fuel a sustained commitment to working with challenging students.
  11. Identify students who do and do not pose an imminent threat of targeted violence to themselves and others to create a safe school climate.
  12. Apply key factors to maintaining one’s resilience to fuel a sustained commitment when working with challenging students.


Trauma’s Impact on Learning and Behavior
  • 3 ways trauma affects learning
  • 4 paradigm shifts and strategies to better engage students
  • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom environment
Cracking the Behavior Code
  • 4 SOS tips for challenging behavior
  • Address skill deficits that often underlie challenging behavior
Building a Toolkit to Tailor Individual Education Plans
  • The FAIR plan approach to deciphering behavior and developing an effective plan:
    • Determining the function of behavior
    • Accommodation to change the behavior
    • Interventions to stop a negative cycle
    • Response to an agitated student
  • 4 functions of challenging behavior
Strategies for Teaching Skills & Changing Behavior
  • Manage transitions and previewing
  • Concrete tools, apps, and checklists
  • Embedding choice in instruction
  • Self-calming techniques
  • Classroom-wide strategies to improve self-monitoring
Building Relationships
  • Effective strategies for interacting with challenging students/parents
  • Approaches to difficult interactions with role playing
  • Effective responses to diffuse challenging behavior
  • Breaking the cycle of power struggle – improve communication
Key Concepts on School Violence – Safe School Initiative
  • School violence in context
  • Critical questions for comprehensive evaluation
  • Differentiate between typical vs. concerning behavior
Threat/Safety Assessment and Intervention
  • Step-by-step approach to evaluating threats and intervening
  • Comprehensive assessment components
  • Prioritize risk factors without profiling students
  • Differentiate between transient threats or substantive threats

Target Audience

  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Teachers
  • School Administrators
  • Principals
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Other Helping Professionals Who Work with Children

Please wait ...

Back to Top