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  • Huntsville Behavior Assoc

The Functions of Behavior

It's about time to address one of the most important factors to changing behavior... identifying the FUNCTION of the behavior! The very thing that drives the behavior and causes it to occur.

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In order to do this well, we recommend that a BCBA or highly trained professional conduct thorough assessments that identify the function with data-collection to justify. However, being aware of the functions of behavior can help to shift your mindset towards how to better help your child to achieve more socially appropriate behaviors.

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The 4 functions of behavior are:

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To ESCAPE - Example: If a child screams when told "It's time to go to bed," and then is allowed to stay up for 20 more minutes, he may learn that screaming gets him out of going to bed"

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To gain ATTENTION - Example: Your child throws food on the floor during dinner while you're busy talking. Then, you turn to the child and tell them to stop. Even though that is considered "negative" attention, your child still learned that she can gain your attention by throwing food.

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To access TANGIBLE items - Example: If a child wants a toy from another child and gets it by hitting that child, she may learn that hitting gets her what she wants.

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To ease a SENSORY need - Example: Hand flapping, jumping, hair twirling, may feel good and be naturally reinforcing.

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Once you shift your mind to thinking in these terms, it's amazing to see how so many of our own behaviors fall into these categories!

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Have questions or want to learn more?📩info@hsvba.com //www.hsvba.com


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