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Parent Tips To Determining Why Behavior Problems Happen

One of the most helpful things to keep in mind in having young children is the realization that each and every behavior has a purpose—an underlying reason for why it occurs. Once the function or purpose of a behavior is identified, it is then possible to teach something different directly targeting the underlying reason for why it occurs.

 The functions of behavior are determined by understanding the events that occur before (i.e., antecedents) the challenging behavior as well as the events that occur after the challenging behavior occurs, (i.e., consequences).

 In most cases, the function of a child’s challenging behavior is either to obtain or get something or to escape or avoid something.

Types of Behavior Functions
To obtain…

  • Sensory stimulation (internal)
  • Attention (adults and peers)
  • Objects and materials
  • People
  • Activities
  • Help

     

To avoid…

  • Sensory Stimulation (pain and discomfort)
  • Attention (adults and peers)
  • Demands
  • Tasks or activities
  • People
  • Activities
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