The Power of the Antecedent

Raising children. Some task, huh?

Our staff undergoes many trainings and quite a few repeat at least yearly, so if you work with us long enough, you get to sit through the same education material over and over. While that may seem like a time-waster, every single time I attend I learn something new. Today, we went over data collection (my third time through) since when you work with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques, writing down anything and everything becomes a daily routine.

An important piece concerns ABC(D) data – in simple terms – recording the Antecedent (A), Behavior (B), Consequence (C) and sometimes the Duration (D) of an action. Paying attention to the whole picture and potential patterns helps us adjust behaviors that we usually don’t want to see reoccur. Our BCaBA pointed out that when including information about what happened before the behavior, we must record everything, since we may think a happening/activity caused an action but we may be incorrect.

As dry as this may seem, such procedures and knowledge can help any parent. When your child acts a certain inappropriate way, look around. Notice everything that happened before and remove it, adjust it, learn to recognize it before “bad” actions happen.


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