There is a reason… Problem behaviors serve a purpose for the individual. Most often, they engage in the problem behavior to get something (toy, hug, adult attention and approval, sense of pride) or avoid something (bad grade, reprimand, loud noise, embarrassment). All behavior that persists over time does so for a reason.
Understanding the function is important to the design of effective interventions. We cannot determine interventions for specific behaviors like noise making without first looking at the behavior functionally. FBA (Functional Behavior Assessment)
Replacement Behaviors Must be as easy for the student to accomplish as the problem behavior Must gain the exact same thing the problem behavior gained (i.e., meet the same function) Put original problem behavior on extinction…must be unsuccessful in gaining what it previously gained Initially, reinforce replacement behavior often
Escape/Avoidance Potential Interventions Reinforce for compliance…frequently! Teach how to seek help Reinforce for absence of problem Initially remove or reduce task demands, then gradually increase or reintroduce task demands
Escape/Avoidance AVOID! Removing the assignment, sending the student to the office, or using time-out
Attention Seeking Potential Interventions Increase attention for appropriate behaviors…LOTS of it! Withhold attention for problem behaviors (ignore or NEUTRALLY redirect) Teach acceptable alternatives Use time-out as a last resort…disclaimer!
Attention Seeking AVOID! Verbal reprimands or other forms of attention… Eye contact Lecture Argument Excessive Redirection
Access to Items Potential Interventions Deny access Teach appropriate alternatives to obtain access
Access to Items AVOID! Access to food, item, or attention following problem behavior
Important… It may take a few weeks to feel change with problem behaviors that occurred frequently Behaviors often get worse before they get better Data is another way to tell us if its working It is only an opinion unless you have data to back it up