Specific ABA tips and tricks: Antecedent & Interventions.

An antecedent is an event that exists before or logically precedes another event. Using antecedent interventions at home are a proactive behavior support to prevent or reduce the likelihood that challenging behavior will occur. Consistent consequence procedures will determine long-term effects of the behavior change at home and the use antecedents are a helpful component to prevent problematic behavior. When identifying which strategy to use you want to make sure you are addressing the function of the behavior. When trying out a new strategy be sure to reach out to your behavior specialist for guidance and support- they will help you be the most effective and successful at home. For escape or avoidant related behaviors here are a few strategies you may consider using at home.

  • Interspersal Training
    • Interspersal Training is when more preferred activities or tasks are interspersed with less preferred activities or tasks in effort to increase compliance. This can be a helpful strategy if you have a list of tasks or chores for your child to complete such as homework. You can intersperse moderately preferred activities with non-preferred tasks saving the highest preferred activities for the end of the list. If handwriting and math are tasks that frequently evoke challenging behaviors, but your child enjoys coloring, reading, sibling play and electronics, the homework schedule could be as follows:
      • Coloring
      • Handwriting
      • Reading
      • Sibling Play
      • Math
      • IPAD time
  • Premack Principle
    • This antecedent strategy, aka Grandma’s law,  uses a first (low probability or nonpreferred task)/then (high probability/preferred activity) sequence and is very easy to use at home. If/then statements are very simple and easy to use daily. This strategy may be used to help increase compliance and complete a variety of non-preferred tasks.

Example- “First eat of your dinner- then you may have dessert.” When implementing this strategy make sure you are providing enough reinforcement quality for the work expected otherwise your child will not be motivated to complete the expected task.

  • Priming
    • Priming is a helpful strategy to help prepare you child for an upcoming change in their daily routine prior to the event. Whether the change is due to a dentist appointment or going to practice after school,  giving you child enough time to process and accept the change may help reduce the event of problematic behavior. This strategy may be especially helpful if your child is routine oriented.

This blog entry was written by Cicily Oblad, BCBA.

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