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Understanding and Managing Problem Behavior. Presented by : Lynsey Jackson, BC A BA Melissa Liotti , BCaBA University of Houston Clearlake Applied Behavior Analysis Program. Presentation Overview. Common problem behaviors and their effects The role of the environment

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understanding and managing problem behavior

Understanding and Managing Problem Behavior

Presented by:

Lynsey Jackson, BCABA

Melissa Liotti, BCaBA

University of Houston

Clearlake

Applied Behavior Analysis Program

presentation overview
Presentation Overview

Common problem behaviors and their effects

The role of the environment

Common “functions” of problem behavior

Methods for determining which function the child’s problem behavior is serving

Strategies based on the results of your assessment

Recognizing some common maladaptive strategies that MAY be maintaining the problem behavior

Some adaptive strategies that can help reduce problem behavior

problem behavior
Problem Behavior
  • Some common types:
    • Aggression, self-injury, property destruction, disruption, elopement, stereotypy, etc…
  • Some effects:
    • Risk of physical harm, lack of social development leads to isolation, skill acquisition deficits, independent skill deficits (long term care), family stress
  • So why does problem behavior occur? Why do they do it?
why do they do it
Why Do They Do It?
  • Problem behavior is probably the easiest way for children who lack speech to communicate
  • Problem behavior is usually a learned behavior that serves a purpose for the child (it gets them what they want)
  • Behavior is related to specific antecedents (what happens before the behavior) and consequences (what happens after the behavior) in the environment.
  • Understanding a child’s behavior = determining what the "function” or “reinforcer” for the behavior is
why do they do it1
Why Do They Do It?
  • The relevant antecedents or consequences often involve the behavior of others (e.g., reactions to the problem behavior).
understanding behavior
Understanding Behavior

Antecedent BehaviorConsequence

  • Antecedents:
    • Occur immediately before a behavior
    • Potential “triggers” for problem behavior
    • Can affect the frequency and intensity of behavior
    • Examples:
      • Difficult or ‘excessive’ tasks
      • Denial of desired items or activities
understanding behavior1
Understanding Behavior

Antecedent BehaviorConsequence

  • Consequences:
    • Occur immediately after a behavior
    • What the behavior “gets them”- reaction, items, etc.
    • Affect the likelihood of the behavior occurring again in the future
    • Examples:
      • Attention in the form of stern looks or reprimands
      • Removal of difficult tasks
main functions of problem behavior
Main Functions of Problem Behavior
  • Attention!
    • Children are quick to learn that engaging in problem behavior can get them lots of attention!
    • Remember- any form of attention can be desirable to the child- even stern looks, reprimands, and restraint!
    • “There’s no such thing as bad press.”
main functions of problem behavior1
Main Functions of Problem Behavior
  • Access things they like!
    • Problem behavior can get them things they want
    • Problem behavior can get them things that have been restricted or denied (“5 more minutes!”)
main functions of problem behavior2
Main Functions of Problem Behavior
  • Escape or avoid things they don’t like
    • Children are quick to realize that misbehavior will result in getting them out of things they don’t like
    • This may happen when a child is placed at a desk with work, asked to help with chores, is told it’s time for a bath or bed, or is in the presence of aversive events (loud environments, close proximity to others, etc.)
main functions of problem behavior3
Main Functions of Problem Behavior
  • Sensory stimulation
    • Most difficult behavior to treat
    • The consequences are not provided by anyoneelse (child engages in the behavior when alone)
    • Access to pleasurable stimulation (e.g. rocking)
so how do i determine the function
So How Do I Determine the Function?
  • Indirect Assessments
    • No direct observation
    • Ask people about the behavior
    • Easy and fast but potentially inaccurate/biased
  • Descriptive Assessments
    • Direct observation over several sessions/days
    • Tracks behavior as it naturally occurs
    • Tracks the relevant antecedents and consequences for each instance of problem behavior
descriptive assessments
Descriptive Assessments
  • Help us..
    • gather information/data through direct observation
    • evaluate and interpret the data, look for patterns/commonalities
    • develop a behavior intervention plan (BIP)
  • Some common descriptive assessments:
    • Narrative ABC Recording
    • Structured ABC Recording
structured abc recording
Structured ABC Recording

Hit others

Throwing

2

2

1

3

2

1

now what interpreting the results
Look for a pattern

Common antecedents?

Common consequences?

Determine the possible function

May not always be the same across behaviors and situations

Now What? Interpreting the Results
slide25

Mom gets off phone - scolds Dan

Mom on phone (low attn)

Access attention

Dan hits sister

Teacher tells Nicole to put her dish in the sink (demand)

Nicole yells and throws herself on the floor

Teacher takes the plates to the sink instead

Escape

Teacher says computer time is all done

Dan bites himself on the hand

Teacher says “Ok! 2 more minutes!”

Access items

slide26

Tom

Beth

03/03/10

Hit others

Throwing

managing problem behavior
Managing Problem Behavior

Decrease

Attention

Tangible

Escape

Problem

Behavior

Increase

Attention

Tangible

Escape

Appropriate

Behavior

strategies for attention maintained problem behavior
Strategies for Attention-Maintained Problem Behavior
  • Behavior occurs to get attention
    • Catch your child being good
    • Use Planned Ignoring
    • Teach Your Child A Better Behavior

29

strategies for attention maintained behavior
Strategies for Attention-Maintained Behavior

Catch Your Child or Student Being Good

Give attention often (for example, every 5 minutes).

Give attention as soon as you see any good behavior.

Give enthusiastic attention.

Don’t give attention if problem behavior just occurred.

strategies for attention maintained behavior1
Strategies for Attention-Maintained Behavior

Planned Ignoring

Ignore only behaviors that are not harmful.

Ignore behavior immediately.

Make ignoring obvious.

If giving attention, immediately remove it.

Still catch your child being good!

strategies for attention maintained behavior2
Strategies for Attention-Maintained Behavior

Teach Better Behavior

Identify the specific behavior you want to teach

Practice with your child or student

teaching the better behavior attention
Teaching the Better Behavior - Attention

Set up for Practice

Wait 5 Seconds

yes

No

Provide Attention

Model or Physically Guide

to do Response

Child does behavior

with assistance

Provide Attention

teaching the better behavior attention1
Teaching the Better Behavior - Attention

Get on the phone

Wait 5 Seconds

Did not tap you

on the shoulder

Tapped you on

The shoulder

Take child’s hand and

show him or her how to tap

your shoulder

Provide Attention

Provide Attention

strategies for tangible maintained problem behavior
Strategies for Tangible-Maintained Problem Behavior
  • Behavior occurs to access preferred items/activities
    • Do not give preferred items when problem behavior occurs
    • Teach your child a better behavior

35

strategies for tangible maintained problem behavior1
Strategies for Tangible-Maintained Problem Behavior

Teach a Better Behavior

Place car for your child to see

Wait 5 Seconds

Does not say anything

Says approximation

to car

Direct your child to

“Say Car”

Give car and praise

Child says “car”

Give car and praise

strategies for escape avoidance maintained problem behavior
Strategies for Escape/Avoidance-Maintained Problem Behavior
  • Behavior occurs to avoid or get out of disliked activities or instructions
    • Use Effective Instructions
    • Use Three-step Prompting
    • Reinforce Instruction-Following
    • Teach a Better Behavior
    • Additional Strategies to Prevent Problem Behavior

37

strategies for escape avoidance maintained problem behavior1
Strategies for Escape/Avoidance-Maintained Problem Behavior

Use Effective Instructions

Instructions should be:

Simple

Clear and Specific

Short

Presented when your child is paying attention

strategies for escape avoidance maintained problem behavior2
Strategies for Escape/Avoidance-Maintained Problem Behavior

3-Step Prompt Sequence

(To be used when your child is not following a direction)

TELL your child what to do:

Give clear instruction

Wait 5 seconds

SHOW your child what to do:

Model the exact response OR provide gestures that indicate what you want (e.g. point to object)

Restore environment

Tell your child, “now you do it.”

HELP your child do it:

Take your child hand-over-hand through entire response and say, “you need to _______.”

strategies for escape avoidance maintained problem behavior3
Strategies for Escape/Avoidance-Maintained Problem Behavior

Reinforce Instruction-Following

Follows instructions = lots of reinforcement!

Reinforcers could be one or more of the following:

Break from task

Social: praise, hugs, tickles, high-5

Material: toy, edible, favorite activity

strategies for escape avoidance maintained problem behavior4
Strategies for Escape/Avoidance-Maintained Problem Behavior

Teach a Better Behavior

Say, “Clean up the blocks””

After 5 seconds of following instruction

Did not give you

“break” card

Child gives you

“break” card

Take child’s hand and

physically guide them

to hand you card

Provide a break

Provide break

strategies for escape avoidance maintained problem behavior cont d
Strategies for Escape/Avoidance Maintained Problem Behavior (cont’d)

Additional Strategies to Prevent Problem Behavior

  • Provide choices or more preferred activities when possible
  • Make the situation/event less aversive by manipulating
    • Task length/difficulty
    • Novelty of tasks
    • Noise
    • Crowding
    • Schedule

42

strategies for problem behavior maintained by sensory stimulation
Strategies for Problem Behavior Maintained by Sensory Stimulation

Arrange an “Enriched Environment”

Identify highly preferred activities and objects

Rotate/activities often and encourage engagement

managing behaviors is the hard part right
Managing Behaviors is the Hard Part, Right?
  • Sorry!
  • The really tough part:
    • Doing the procedures correctly
      • Follow your plan exactly
    • Doing the procedures consistently
      • Don’t make exceptions, use the plan every time

44

barriers to implementing procedures
Barriers to Implementing Procedures

Sometimes behavior will get worse before it gets better!

Some settings not conducive for running the program

Plan ahead to prevent problems

More effortful to do procedure than to give in

Adult behavior is just as sensitive to reinforcement as child behavior…the vicious cycle!

break the cycle
Break the Cycle!

Determine why

Antecedents - Behavior - Consequence

Decrease

Attention

Tangible

Escape

Problem

Behavior

Increase

Attention

Tangible

Escape

Appropriate

Behavior