Director: Jared Clark, MS, CIDDT
The Psychological and Behavioral Services Department (PBS) provides intensive and comprehensive psychological and behavioral services to the individuals with intellectual disabilities served under NMRC's ICF/IID licensure, both on the main campus and in the 23 community homes located across NMRC’s 32 county catchment area. PBS employs doctoral level psychologists, master level behavior specialists, and other bachelor-level psychology technicians, along with a reinforcement technician (responsible for the Hub, Canteen, and PBS specific reinforcement supplies) and one administrative assistant.
Working with the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, and additional institutions of higher learning, the PBS Department offers clinical observations, on-site training, supervised internships, student practicums, and other training opportunities. Operating from an Applied Behavior Analysis perspective while emphasizing positive psychological and behavioral evidence-based practices, the department's mission is to improve the behavioral competencies of the individuals receiving an ICF/IID level of care so that they may obtain their greatest level of independence. This is accomplished by conducting annual assessments and implementing individualized behavioral goals as are appropriate to provide the necessary level of psychological and behavioral services.
All persons enrolled at NMRC under the ICF/IID level of care are encouraged to fully participate in meaningful activities and to actively engage in social interactions which meet their psycho-social needs. Basic positive behavioral interventions and supports are available through natural social-emotional reinforcement and positive reinforcement programming which is implemented by all staff. Over 50% of the individuals served on the NMRC main campus and in community homes receive formalized behavior change programming geared towards increasing more appropriate behavior. The shaping of more appropriate behavior involves using positive reinforcement techniques and better replacement behaviors. When developing the formal programming, Functional Behavior Assessments are conducted on the challenging behaviors. These assessments help to determine the purpose or the function of the challenging behaviors and to develop the most appropriate programming. Additionally, PBS conducts reinforcer assessments, preference assessments, and functional analysis of severe and challenging behaviors.
The Department also operates the Hub and the Canteen which are both used as basic reinforcement tools to promote positive behavior and reinforce appropriate behavior. The Canteen provides a socially rewarding environment where educational specialists assist the PBS reinforcement technician with positive and reinforcing interactions that reward the individuals served by NMRC for their progress on educational goals and for their classroom/employment-related achievements. The Hub is a reinforcement area where socialization through games, videos, puzzles, activities, and music are offered to individuals on a regular basis. Other rewarding and reinforcing experiences provided by the PBS department include client specific reinforcement opportunities, as well as special gatherings for individuals to just “have fun” with friends.
The PBS Department upholds the NMRC mission statement of enhancing abilities and promoting independence of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities by identifying meaningful activities, implementing personal preferences, and developing the most appropriate programming which promotes behavioral success in every setting.