Hands out in a defensive gesture

Unapproved Behavioral Supports on the Rise

Identified Trend: Unapproved Behavioral Supports 

After several consecutive years of decreasing uses of Unapproved Behavioral Supports (UBS), we have unfortunately seen an uptick in UBS MUIs this year. In 2021, we saw 61 total UBS MUIs. However, that number has increase nearly 20% (as of October 2022) to 72.

  • 83% of all 2022 UBS MUIs to date have involved a Physical restraint,
  • 8% the use of a Time Out,
  • 7% involved Chemical restraints, and
  • 2% have involved Mechanical restraints.

Ten individuals served by Summit DD have had two or more UBS occurrences, while one person served has had nine total UBS occurrences. (These 10 individuals account for approximately 42% of all UBS MUIs in Summit County this year.)


Location. The most common incident location for UBS MUIs in 2022 has been the individual’s primary residence at just over half of all occurrences (54%). Day programming and NMT combined are the second most common location at approximately 27%. All other community locations make up approximately 19% of remaining UBS incidents.

Cause and contributing factors. The major cause and contributing factors for UBS MUIs in 2022 is physical aggression toward staff and peers.

Tips iconTIP: Below are some suggestions to help avoid situations that may lead to the use of
an Unapproved Behavioral Support:

  • Avoid power struggles. Remember the person’s rights and allow them to make their own choices whenever it has been determined safe to do so by the individual and team.
  • Walk away if you can. If a person served is focusing their aggression on a particular staff or person, remove that target from the individual’s area if possible.
  • Know and implement any de-escalation techniques/behavior supports from the ISP for the person. Conduct regular refresher trainings with your staff on these behavior supports so they better know how to handle a situation in the moment.
  • Identify and avoid known triggers of aggression for the individual. For example, if the individual gets overwhelmed in crowded environments, an amusement park may not be the best setting for them without accommodations.
  • Support Workforce Analysis Team (SWAT) referral. If someone has a pattern of aggression that cannot be redirected, talk with the SSA about obtaining a Support Workforce Analysis Team (SWAT) referral to assess the needs for behavior supports or restrictive measures that may need authorized to protect the individual and those around them. Click for our online SSA Directory with contact information.
  • Obtain Crisis Intervention Training for your staff. This training covers more than just how to safely restrain an individual with DD. It also trains staff on techniques to de-escalate situations before they need to have a UBS intervention. Summit DD offers free crisis intervention training under the PMT model. Available training dates are located here on our Training Calendar and updated regularly.

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