Course Overview

The behavioral health online training course called “Beyond Behavior: Cognitive Abilities” is a part of the “Cognitive Abilities and Intervention Strategies (CAIS) – Beyond Behavior” series that consists of five one-hour modules. This is Module 2.

The course focuses on relating to a person with cognitive challenges or distressing behavior. It explores how to reduce distress (including fatigue, frustration, and stress for you and for a person you are interacting with) and distressing situations. It looks beyond a person’s behavior to this person’s cognitive abilities, since changes in a person’s cognitive abilities can frequently cause distress and changes in behavior.

The Effects of Change Regarding Cognitive Abilities

The behavioral health course focuses on the following:

  • The effects of changes in the brain on cognitive abilities (for example, the ability to think, imagine, and to understand and respond to your surroundings)
  • How changes in cognitive abilities affect a person’s behavior and emotions. It also explores how it affects their ability to communicate and perform tasks, and their sensitivity to the behavior of others.

This training course also provides:

  • A structured guide to help you address a specific person’s cognitive abilities by using and relying on this person’s cognitive strengths. It also helps you support, adapt to, or compensate for this person’s cognitive needs.
  • Suggestions of possible everyday practical intervention (support) strategies that modify a person’s environment, their tasks and daily routines, and your interactions with this person. The intervention strategies do not require specialized training. Anyone can use them.

Course Modules

The five course modules address:

  • Module I: The Brain and Cognition
  • Module 2: Cognitive Abilities
  • Module 3: The Environment
  • Module 4: Communication
  • Module 5: The Task and Daily Routines.

This behavioral health training course provides helpful tips and explores the ways each of these concepts affect a person’s behavior. It also addresses how these concepts affect a person’s ability to communicate and perform tasks, and to feel comfortable and competent.

A Guide to Support a Person's Cognitive Abilities

The course introduces the CAIS Questions to Ask and CAIS Intervention Strategies, a guide to supporting a person and their cognitive abilities.

  • Modules 2-5 show examples from and the structure of each of the four parts of the CAIS (which address: Cognitive Abilities, the Environment, Communication, and the Task and Daily Routines, respectively).
  • The CAIS Questions to Ask is a set of questions to ask yourself to help identify a person’s cognitive abilities, including their cognitive strengths and cognitive needs. Additional questions identify how well conditions around this person (their environment, communication with this person, and the structure and timing of tasks) currently support this person’s cognitive abilities.
  • The CAIS Intervention Strategies then suggest practical, concrete, everyday intervention strategies (support strategies) that can address this person’s specific cognitive needs and strengths by modifying their environment, communication, and their task and daily routines.

Who Is This Course For?

This behavioral health training course is for anyone who interacts with a person, assists with a task, or advises (or supervises) someone who does. You do not need specialized expertise or training to use the CAIS or to take the online course.

  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Credit Hours: MCBAP-R (1.5), MCBAP-S (0.0), Mi-CEC (0.0), Nursing (0.0)
This module has been designed to conform to the WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standards.

Topics Covered

In Module 2: Cognitive Abilities

  1. Describe how a person’s cognitive abilities play a major role in a person’s ability to communicate, perform a task, and feel competent and comfortable.  

  1. List (using the CAIS) five phases of cognitive processing that a person goes through to respond to others and to the environment, and that guide intervention planning to address a person’s cognitive strengths and needs.  

  1. Use the CAIS Cognitive Abilities Questions to Ask  

  1. List appropriate intervention strategies for a person’s specific cognitive strengths and needs by using the CAIS Cognitive Intervention Strategies.   

Additional Considerations

Have you wondered…

  • Why a person acts the way they do?
  • Why a person seems upset?
  • How to help a person do something quickly when you and they need to hurry? 

If so, this course is for you. It takes a close look at the causes of distress and how to address them. It gives tips on how to respond to or even prevent distressing behavior and situations.

Course Objectives

For a person living with cognitive challenges and you who are helping or interacting with them:

  • Increase comfort, quality of life, and the ability to communicate and perform tasks
  • Reduce distress and distressing situations, including frustration, fatigue, stress, and discomfort
  • Address this person’s cognitive abilities by using and relying on this person’s cognitive strengths, and supporting, adapting to, or compensating for this person’s cognitive needs

What People Are Saying

I enjoyed the level of engagement and the pace at which information was presented. I was able to gauge my understanding in real time through the exercises within the module.

- Todd. B.