All About the Replacement Behavior

Now that you’ve created your behavior intervention plan, it’s time to put the teaching parts in place.

A replacement behavior is an appropriate behavior that takes the place of the interfering behavior.  When supporting interfering behaviors, a core component of the behavior intervention plan is to teach a replacement behavior.  The interfering behavior has been the child’s way of accessing what they want and what they don’t want.  Therefore, we cannot expect to change the child’s behavior without giving them a replacement behavior that achieves the same outcome.

When we want to decrease an interfering behavior, it is important to remember that we can’t just expect the person to stop that behavior without giving them something to do instead of that behavior.

A replacement behavior can be a new behavior or a behavior the child already performs.  The intent of the replacement behavior is to show that they can get what they want more effectively and efficiently.  Therefore, you must identify the function of the interfering behavior so you can choose a replacement behavior of equal or less effort.   It’s important that the replacement is also easy to perform.

Step 1. Define the interfering behavior.
It is important to know the function or purpose of the interfering behavior before determining a replacement behavior.

Sept 2. Determine which behavior replacement behavior to teach.

Once it has been determined that the interfering behavior is impacting the child’s ability to access learning, relationships, and the community, you can begin to identify a replacement behavior.   Here are tips for determining a replacement behavior:

  • Tip 1: Find the function.
  • Tip 2: Determine what the student should do instead of the behavior.

After you determine the replacement behavior you are going to teach, it is important to teach the student that the new behavior works just as well as the old behavior.

Let us help you create a positive plan of action. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

What are the Steps of Behavior Intervention

aba centerIntervention in interfering behavior is not haphazard but is carefully planned and monitored. As you plan an intervention, there will be several steps you must follow.  By using the information we have about the function of the behavior, you can develop a plan for intervention.  The intervention plan is comprehensive and focuses specifically on the needs of the child. Most importantly, the intervention plan is one that is POSITIVE.

A positive plan is one that contains 3 components. The plan outlines strategies that prevent the behavior from occurring as much as possible, strategies to change or replace the interfering behavior with a more appropriate alternative, and helps us to know what to do or how to respond when the behavior does occur.

The amount and degree of severity to which interfering behaviors occur with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder will vary tremendously. For children with minor levels of interfering behavior, the steps for intervention may be communicated among team members informally through meetings, conversations, or in a document.

The BIP is written after an assessment is conducted, gathering information about the interfering behavior. This assessment, called a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), gathers data about the function, setting events, antecedents, and consequences.

For children who have higher or more severe levels of interfering behavior, a formal Behavior Intervention Plan is warranted. You may also hear this referred to as a Behavior Support Plan or a Positive Behavior Support Plan. The Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is a document that provides steps and guidelines for people working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder who demonstrate the interfering behavior.

Behavior Intervention Plan:

  1. Create an objective and concrete definition of the behavior. This is necessary so that everyone understands exactly what the behavior looks like when it occurs.
  2.  Be proactive in trying to prevent the interfering behavior. There are several ways this can be done. For example, the environment may be altered or redesigned.
  3. Determine the skill the student needs to learn to do instead of the interfering behavior. This is called a replacement or alternative skill.

Let us help you create a positive plan of action. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

 

Understanding the Four Functions of Behavior

four functions of behaviorThere are reasons why we do what we do. Our behaviors have specific functions. So, in order to modify behavior with Applied Behavior Analysis, it’s important to understand the purpose of behavior.

We do hundreds or even thousands of different behaviors every day. Most behaviors can be broken down into four main categories.

  1. Escape or Avoidance. This is behavior that attempts to prevent the child from doing something he or she doesn’t want to. Examples would be the child who runs away because he or she doesn’t want to take a bath or the child who throws food because he or she doesn’t want to eat it.
  2. Attention-seeking. Attention-seeking behavior is behavior intended to get the attention of the parent or another child or anyone in the vicinity. The child that does comical things intended to make the parent laugh in order to avoid doing chores is doing a combination of attention-seeking and escape/avoidance. A crying child is displaying simple attention-seeking behavior that is designed to elicit the attention of the adult.
  3. Sensory Stimulation or the Opposite. This behavior stimulates the senses. One child’s preference for thrilling or fast sports is a method of sensory stimulation. Another child may rock for hours in a self-soothing behavior that de-stimulates the senses.
  4. Seeking Access to Tangibles or Activities. This behavior is like the opposite of escape or avoidance. The child engages in this behavior in order to get or do something that he or she wants. Examples are the child who whines at the grocery stores to get the parent to buy some candy (negative behavior) or the child who gets dressed promptly in order to go outside and play (positive behavior).

Once we understand the goals of different behaviors it becomes easier to modify them. Some of the behaviors that we aim to teach a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder are appropriate table behaviors, toileting behaviors, social interaction behaviors, and sleep and bedtime behaviors.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Why Routine is Important to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum DisorderRoutine is a good thing. There is recent research that we could all benefit from having a routine and a regular rhythm in our lives. But routine is especially important for children with autism. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Order From Chaos. Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder live in a world of chaos. These children have difficulty making sense of everyday movements, sounds, and actions. What sounds like a symphony to you may sound like white noise to the ASD child. Routine creates order in their lives. These children gradually learn what to expect and when to expect it. Routine creates a safe and secure environment in which life is predictable.
  2. Routine Comes Naturally. Children with ASD naturally tend to like repetitive actions. You often will notice them creating repetition themselves. In fact, repetition in behavior can be one of the signs of autism. Routine comes naturally to them, and it’s not hard for them to learn a productive routine in the place of an unproductive one.
  3. Stress Relief. Routine is known to relieve stress is almost all individuals. The child with ASD has a particularly stressful life as he or she tries to make sense of his or her surroundings. Adding routine will relieve the child’s stress.
  4. Routine Adds to the Learning Potential. Once you can relieve the child’s stress, then it’s much easier to help the child learn new things. New habits. New skills. New accomplishments. Routine is a powerful learning tool in the ASD environment.

We have many arrows in our quiver for treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Applied Behavior Analysis. Routine is one of our tools and is central to our philosophy. Once you see how well your autistic child can learn routines, you will understand that the child’s learning potential is probably much higher than you may realize. Your child will be happier when he learns, makes progress, and achieves goals, and we can show you how to help this to happen.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

5 Benefits of Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy for Children

ABA therapy for childrenOur company offers Applied Behavior Analysis—often called ABA—therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. There are lots of benefits of ABA therapy, and we’re going to list five of them for you.

1.ABA therapy works. Applied Behavior Analysis therapy is the gold standard for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. There is more scientific evidence supporting the implementation of ABA than any other type of treatment.

2. ABA helps children make friends. ABA teaches children the social skills that many with Autism Spectrum Disorder are lacking. These are the same social skills that children need to make friends.

3. ABA helps children to live and cope in our world. Learning something as simple yet important as using the bathroom is critical for daily function in our society. ABA can teach the child toileting skills.

4. ABA helps parents be better parents. ABA will teach parents how to interact with their child and teaches the child how to interact with others. Parenting a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder is very difficult. We can help you to parent more effectively.

5. ABA allows parents to have higher expectations. ABA is so effective that some children will lose their Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. More importantly, ABA will show the parents and the child that the child can achieve all kinds of things that were thought impossible before the start of therapy. Higher expectations help the child achieve more and help both parents and children to have lofty goals.

The biggest argument against using ABA therapy is to let the child be “who the child is.” This is not unlike the argument against cochlear implants for children who are deaf. The problem with this argument is that the rest of the world is not on the autism spectrum. If a child is going to live in a world with the rest of us, then the child needs to learn how to cope in the everyday world. ABA is the most effective way to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to live in our world.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com.

Recognizing Potential Signs of Autism

autismEvery child is different, and signs of autism can be quite different from one child to the next. Often parents suspect that something is wrong–although they are not sure what–long before Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is diagnosed. Nevertheless, there are some early signs of impending autism, and these signs tend to appear in groups. We don’t want parents to panic if they notice one of these characteristics by itself, which may mean nothing.

It’s important to note that there seem to be two different patterns of presentation of autism: one is with the child showing signs around one or two years of age and not attaining all the normal neurological milestones; the second is a slightly later onset with the child losing some previously attained milestones and regressing.

Here are ten common signs of potential ASD. As mentioned above, these signs may appear first or normal behavior may appear first, and then the child may regress.

  1. Lack of eye contact. Babies often start to make eye contact around two months of age. But what is “normal” can vary considerably.
  2. Avoiding physical contact. Most babies are consoled when they are picked up and held. The child with ASD does not want to be held and often shows a distinct preference for being alone.
  3. Lack of mimic behavior. The child doesn’t pay attention and try to copy you or other children.
  4. Obsessive-Compulsive behaviors. This is typically seen in the older toddler who wants, for example, his/her toys to remain a special pattern, order, or layout and shows signs of stress if the toys, for example, are in a different order or pattern.
  5. Over- or under-sensitivities of the senses. An example would be a child that gets very upset over certain sounds.
  6. Echolalia, which is repeating certain words or sounds over and over.
  7. Unusual sleeping habits.
  8. Poor language skills.
  9. Poor social skills.
  10. Unusual eating habits.

Remember, that as the name implies, Autism Spectrum Disorder, has a big range from very mild symptoms to very severe. Every child is different, but definitely consult your family doctor if you are worried about your child’s development.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com.