The ABC’s of Behavior

 In Behavioral


At school Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) meetings or when talking to other parents…. have you heard the term “The ABC’s of Behavior”? The ABC’s is simple to remember, it stands for: Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence. When you have a child with behaviors; whether it’s aggressive, argumentative, repetitive behavior or plainly the child is ignoring you, HAVE NO FEAR! In Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence are three building blocks of analyzing and changing challenging or difficult behavior. Here’s how it works:

A—Antecedent: Think back to the events or the behavior that precedes the behavior of interest, or target behavior. This can also be known as the “Setting Event.” The antecedent is anything that might contribute to the behavior occurring. Examples might include a request from a teacher or parent, a change in schedule, the presence of an unfamiliar person or student, or even a change in the environment.
B- Behavior: This is the type of behavior that your child shows in response to the antecedent. Sometimes it can be called “the behavior of interest” or “target behavior. It is the behavior that you are focusing on, a problem behavior that creates danger for the student or others, or a distracting behavior that removes the child from the instructional setting, or prevents other students from receiving instruction.
C-Consequence: This is the outcome of the behavior..Did your child go to time out? Lose a treat? Have to leave a party?

You can also think of this in a positive way as well, for example you could use the ABC’s when talking with your child about how their good behavior would give a positive consequence. For example: A- A child wanted to play with a toy your child had. B- Your child gave the toy to that other child. C- You reward your child for the good behavior. Behaviors can be negative or positive behaviors. Consequences/outcomes need to reflect on how your child responded to each antecedent.

For more support and help to discover the antecedent and how to implement ABA within your home please contact us.

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