Parenting Special Needs Magazine March/April 2017 : Page 33

You will want to pay attention to when, where, with whom and during what activities your child’s behavior is at its best and worst. It may be important to notice specific details such as how people interact with your child, what exactly is expected during the routines, and what sounds or sights are occurring. You will also want to know what happens after your child’s behavior – how people react or what other changes occur in the environment. It could be that your child gets attention from other people, avoids or delays unpleasant situations, or gains access to items or activities. Finally, you will need to know about setting events -things that could be influencing your child’s behavior, but are not necessarily obvious in the immediate circumstances. Setting events can be related to health (e.g., fatigue, hunger, illness), changes in routines or surroundings, or relationships. Below is a table that summarizes the information that will help you analyze the patterns surrounding your child’s behavior. particular routines when trying to understand your child’s behavior patterns. The following video shows a child and parent interacting during homework. See if you can identify what the child does and what is occurring right before and after the child’s behavior, including what the parent does in response: Antecedent Behavior Consequences What happens after behavior Gets (e.g., items, attention)? Avoids (e.g., demands)? WaTcH ViDeo What the child What happens before behavior says or does Who What Where When Positive behavior, as well as problem behavior setting events: Circumstances (e.g., health, relationships, activity schedule) that affect the probability of behavior To develop an understanding of the patterns affecting your child’s behavior, it is often helpful to deliberately gather information, acting as a detective and trying to remove any assumptions from the equation. It is important to be as objective as possible during this process. Two strategies to help you with this are: Asking and Watching. Asking means posing specific questions (see above) to the people who know your child best and participate in the routines that are of greatest concern to you. Watching involves stepping back from situations and objectively describing situations as they unfold. It is helpful to record this information as laid out in the chart above as A (antecedents) – B (behaviors) – C (consequences) because it makes finding patterns easier. Because children’s behavior and motivations tend to vary across circumstances, it is best to focus in on LISTEN TO AUDIO VERSION OF ARTICLE You probably observed that Jack’s mother was asking him to start an academic assignment and he was not cooperating. The ABCs of this situation could be recorded as: AntecedentS Mother is sitting a table with an academic task. She tells Jack he will be able to watch Lion King after doing his work. She asks him to write his name. Mom places the pencil in Jack’s hand and guides him to begin writing. BehaviorS Jack makes high-pitched noise and sits down. He rubs his eyes and puts head down. Jack leaves the table, squeals and walks to the door. Jack says “no thank you” and then pushes his mother out the door. His mother folds the paper in half, decreasing the amount of work he needs to do. She rubs his head and back. His mother blocks his exit and asks him “what’s up”. Jack is able to leave the room and delay the task. MAR/APR 2017 Parenting SPecial needS.org ConsequenceS 33

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