Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 2012 Newsletter


July/August Topic: Preventing Problem Behaviors -

What are Antecedent Interventions? -

When Do Antecedent Interventions Take Place? -

How Do Antecedent Interventions Prevent Problems? -

New Free Stuff

New Free Materials: Castles and Knights Theme Activities -

New Free Download: Travis the Train Delivers Shapes -

News and Announcements

Send Your Nominations for Positively Autism's Teacher of the Month and Teacher of the Year -

July 2012 Positive Autism News -

We'll have more info on Antecedent Interventions next month! Follow us on Facebook to get new articles and free materials as they are posted.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Teacher of the Month and Teacher of the Year

Positively Autism wants to recognize outstanding teachers of students with autism! Parents can nominate their children's teachers and teachers can nominate their co-workers. Each month from September to May, one teacher will be randomly selected as our teacher of the month. Each Teacher of the Month will receive a certificate and will be featured on our blog and newsletter.

In May, one of these teachers will be randomly selected as Positively Autism's Teacher of the Year, and will receive the following:

  • A free enrollment in one of Positively Autism's online training courses.
  • A prize from Natural Learning Concepts
  • Free materials from PositivelyAutism's store on Teachers Pay
  • A "Teacher of the Year" certificate.
For more details and to nominate a teacher, visit this link:

Friday, July 13, 2012

New Free Materials: Castles and Knights Theme Activities

Check out our new page of vocabulary activities, stories, songs, and links on castles and knights! "Travis the Train" also visits a castle!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So, How Do Antecedent Interventions Prevent Problems?

Continuing the example of the preschool child kicking in order to escape from circle time, we can use antecedent interventions (based on an FBA) to reduce kicking. I’m providing a very brief overview of this FBA process, so if you’d like to learn more, please visit our ABA Tutorial.

Some of the first steps we would want to take are tracking the behavior using an ABC chart, as pictured below. This is just a hypothetical example. In a real setting, you would want to take data on more than 2 incidents of the behavior to look for a pattern.

If we look at the pattern, we can see that this behavior occurs during songs at circle time. In the example, I stated that we already knew this. Taking the ABC data is what allows us to see this pattern. So, now we can make some changes to the circle time routine to help support the student. We might seat the student on the side of the group instead of the middle, so that there is less singing noise, if the student is sensitive to sounds. We might provide a schedule of circle time activities, so the student knows what to expect during circle time. We might provide the student with some visual materials such as pictures or toys related to the song for the student to hold during circle time. What strategies we choose will depend on our knowledge of the student and what his needs and sensitivities are. Once we choose some strategies we will still need to track how often the student kicks, so that we will know if our strategies are helping reduce the behavior or if we need to think of new strategies.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

When Do Antecedent Interventions Take Place?

In behavior analysis, behavior is often looked at using the “three-term contingency” (ABC).

In the above outline, antecedent refers to what happens before a behavior (such as a teacher’s instruction to begin work), the behavior is the student’s response (such as screaming), and the consequence (such as the teacher backing away and withdrawing the instruction) is what happens after a behavior.

As an example, if we are trying to stop a 4-year-old’s kicking behavior at school, we might use the ABC model. If we kept an ABC chart, we might discover that kicking happens most often when the children begin to sing songs at circle time. So, singing songs at circle time is the antecedent that comes before the behavior on a consistent basis, and being removed from circle time is the consistent consequence. Knowing this, the teacher can make some modifications to the circle time routine to make the child not want to escape from the activity.

So, antecedent strategies are strategies that are put in place in order to prevent behavior from occurring.

When looking at behavior in this way, we can also take into account “setting events,” which also may take place before the behavior occurs, but not immediately before. Examples of setting events include being late for school that morning, family problems at home, not sleeping well the night before, etc. We’ll talk more about this in a future blog post.

Friday, July 6, 2012

What are Antecedent Interventions?

Antecedent interventions refer to strategies that parents, educators, and others can use to prevent incidents of problem behaviors before they happen. Examples of behaviors that may be addressed with antecedent interventions include aggression, self-injury, being off-task during class, disruptive behaviors, and more.

Some benefits of using these strategies include:
  • Less teacher or parent time used for discipline after behaviors have taken place,
  • Reduced need for punishment, making the classroom or home a more relaxed and pleasant place,
  • Appropriate behaviors are improved, not just negative behaviors being reduced,
  • Students feel more comfortable because their needs and preferences are taken into account.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July/August Topic: Preventing Problem Behaviors

For July and August, we'll be sharing information and resources about Antecedent Interventions. These are strategies that can be used to prevent behaviors before they become a problem.

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