The Why Toolkit™ was created by Connie Persike out of a deep passion to help change the way we perceive student behaviors. While the final product has been years in the making, it’s based on Connie’s training as well as her decades of experience utilizing an innovative approach to assess and support behaviors that interfere with learning across 100’s of schools. The cumulative end product being The Why Toolkit™️, a tool built for and approved by teachers, parents, and administrators that can both assess and support individuals struggling with behaviors.
The assessment tool, Finding The Why, is a comprehensive tool that moves beyond behaviorism to use what we know now about the importance of relationships & belonging, neuroscience, and neurodiverse needs. It goes beyond the surface level and helps staff conduct a data-driven, root cause analysis to determine the deeper whys to behaviors that interfere with learning.
This web-based assessment guides support teams along their journey to discover the causes of distress behavior in individuals all while at the same time utilizing a visual approach to help shift perspectives. The ultimate goal is to find the appropriate support and experiences that will decrease behaviors over time.
The support plan, Beyond The Why, uses information gathered from the assessment to provide adequate, neurodiversity-affirming supports that are trauma-sensitive, relationship-driven, and rooted in neuroscience. The web-based form guides staff in a way that allows them to decrease stressors and provide positive supports to address the needs of each learner. It goes beyond individual support, prompting teams to think about how they can support the staff, allowing them to show up and be the best they can be for the individuals they serve.
The Why Toolkit™ is a testament to the fact that we all do well if we can.
“Connie Persike has created leading edge work as she has transformed the traditional Behavior Support Plan and Functional Behavior Assessment, bridging educational pedagogy and relational neuroscience providing educators with a developmental nervous system aligned lens assessing physiological root causes of a student’s behavior. This modified plan and assessment is steeped in relational and regulatory questions, exploring the neurodivergent characteristics and accommodations that address felt safety and connection.”
“To truly help children who are having a difficult time, requires seeing them through a lens of compassion and digging deep to understand why they are struggling. Too often schools only consider observable behaviors when developing a plan to support children. The solutions that come from these plans are reward and consequence models that are not helping the children that most need our help. Connie Persike’s assessment tool facilitates a deep understanding of why children exhibit stress-related behaviors. A deep understanding allows educators to develop positive support plans that lead to lasting solutions for students, teachers, and staff. Connie’s tool is a far better approach than traditional behavior-driven models that don’t look beyond behaviors.”
“The Why Toolkit propels us from the problematic, outdated behavior-world of punishment and consequences into the loving, compassionate universe of neuroscience. Connie has created a tool that distills cutting-edge brain science into an easy to digest, intuitive instrument that doesn’t seek to change a person’s individual differences, but rather celebrates them. Unlike other assessments that have to do with human behavior, The Why Toolkit isn’t an instruction manual on how to change a person to ‘fit into the world’ (whatever that means). Rather, it serves as a guidebook on how others change their actions and worldview to ‘fit’ the person. The Why Toolkit is the ultimate testament of the value of human connections over compliance.”
“Connie’s updated FBA/ BIP process combines the most recent research based approaches in a way that resonates with parents and educators. Her visual supports, in-depth training, and student-centered approach brings a team together with a focus on the child’s strengths and the lagging skills that need to be addressed. Parent feedback on our process and the Visual BIP has been overwhelmingly positive. Our approach and ability to meet our students’ needs has improved as a result of our work with Connie!”
“In the schools where I have worked and visit, I find that professionals struggle with supporting students who have complex needs that result in challenging behavior. They especially struggle with how to put a plan in writing in an effective and understandable way. It should be respectful to the student by acknowledging what is causing concerning behaviors but affords a clear roadmap for staff. Connie Persike’s new assessment tool does just that. Her updated behavior assessment helps the adults better understand the student and empowers them to meet the student’s needs. It is groundbreaking.”
“Connie’s Why Toolkit is an excellent resource to support teams as they dig into understanding student behavior. This process helps shape and guide a positive discussion around a student’s behavior and lagging skills as the team works to develop a purposeful plan that is easily understood by all members, including the parents. One of my favorite components is the visual response plan that is created by the end of this process.”
“This updated Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plan is a game changer! When I use it with families and school staff it immediately changes how a child’s behavior is viewed, putting their strengths first. It goes beyond just looking at how to extinguish behaviors and provides you with a platform to dig deep into the child’s neurology, lagging skills, etc. The whole time strengthening the relationship between caregivers and school staff. For once parents didn’t feel like they were being blamed for their child’s behavior.”
“I wanted to thank you for creating your updated Functional Behavior Assessment and Positive Behavior Support Plan. We have had several students that have a history of great trauma, and I was not satisfied with the traditional FBAs and BIPs we had in the past. They were so black and white and more focused on a result of a behavior rather than taking action of the reason why the behavior occurred in the first place.
So far we have put three students officially on this plan. The dialog that happens between parents, staff, and the child have been remarkable. When the families and students notice that we are looking at the whole child, and not just a desired attitude or behavior, but truly working to shape brain and body states, there is a mutual connection and understanding.
While going through the plan, the various quotes, ease of design, and language for identifying triggers, characteristics, and skills helps give a neat, well-rounded picture of how to support the student. Teachers and families have been awestruck by this approach.
Thank you, and we look forward to utilizing this resource more often.”
“I had the pleasure of working with Connie on a FBA/BIP for my younger son when our school district reached out to her. My son had gone through a lot of changes due to the pandemic and we wanted to better support him as he transitioned back to school full time. After my first interactions with Connie, I was already so grateful for the lens she was seeing my son through. She was able to see the underlying trauma he had endured during the pandemic and how that affected every aspect of his school experience. Any kind of struggle or challenge he had that she observed was explained in a way that made complete sense to me as a parent and felt very true to his character and personality. Connie checked in with me multiple times throughout the FBA and BIP process to confirm I felt that my son was being advocated for properly and that she was supporting me as a parent and what I had hoped to get out of the process for my son.
The BIP was presented to me in very clear and concise terms. Every step that she was proposing the school implement had clear data and observations to back it up. I felt like the plan she created was custom tailored to my son and our school district. Outside of the BIP, she found ways to support me in my understanding of the trauma my son was experiencing and she provided me with ample resources to broaden my education and support my son better.
What could have been an extremely overwhelming and stressful situation was made easier thanks to Connie. I am so grateful for all of the insight she provided to myself and our school team. Her knowledge on autism and trauma, and how those work together, has completely changed how I support my son in this post-pandemic time. I feel confident moving forward that we will be able to implement her BIP and help my son feel secure and happy at school. Even in the midst of discussing challenges, the entire process left me feeling very encouraged as a parent and hopeful for my son moving forward.”