Why Antecedent Strategies Are Important?

Common antecedent stimuli conditions may affect behavior and function as aversive events

  • Responses to these aversive antecedent stimuli may include attempts to escape and avoid
  • There may be over-sensitivity to sounds, lights, aromas, tastes, and touch. This may affect the way stimuli affect behavior
    • Impacting accuracy in executing responses
    • Timing and precision based on cues
    • Reducing generalization of behavior
    • Application of skills to new situations
    • Reducing contextual control
    • How situations are interpreted

Antecedent Strategies

Antecedent Management – Setting the occasion for a behavior to occur by providing antecedents to cue the behavior. If you know what agitates or sets the person off, teach him/her to tolerate it by:

  • Inoculation
  • Environmental changes
  • Visual cues
  • Verbal cues
  • Mechanical devices
  • Checklists
  • Pre-teaching

Antecedent management strategies:

  • Alter events prior to the occurrence of problem behavior
  • Decrease the likelihood of problem behavior
  • Increase the likelihood of desired behavior
  • Are relatively low intrusive interventions
  • Are relatively easy to implement correctly
  • Require less vigilance from a caregiver because not contingent on behavior

Antecedent Strategies

  • Reduce intensity of sounds, lights, temperature
  • Be aware of your nonverbal communication, facial expressions and tone of voice
  • Model calmness and confidence
  • Use structure and consistency to ensure events are more predictable
  • Provide concise instructions and offer choices
    • Avoid using questions such as: “Are you ready to get your shower?”
    • Instead, state a choice: “Do you want to use a wash cloth or a puff for your shower?”

Behavior Variables

  • Behavior repertoires are reduced, which produces a reduction in reinforcer accessibility and overall level of reinforcement
  • Behavior may be more resistant to change
  • Behavior may become more or less sensitive to antecedent and consequence control and, therefore, more variable and less stable

Behavior Management Strategies

  • Ongoing evaluation of current repertoire and skills
  • Ongoing modulation of difficulty level of activity
    • Break activities into small steps
    • Shorten duration of activities
    • Vary easy and difficult activities
    • Offer breaks often
  • Gradually increase/change performance criteria
  • Establish good Compensation Behaviors, especially good “escape/avoidance” responses and good “attention/object” seeking responses

Consequence Stimuli Variables

  • Previously learned behavior-reinforcer relationships are impaired
  • Effects of rules may be altered
  • Changes in the current behavior-reinforcer relationships may be needed

Consequence Stimuli and Management Strategies

  • Reinforce initiation, quick response to requests, and participation throughout activities, as well as for meeting goals
  • Look for Alternative (compensatory) Behaviors in any form or frequency and provide ample reinforcement
  • Maximize “Positive” : “Negative” Statement Ratio
  • Consider Reinforcement Delivery and make adjustment gradually
    • Magnitude, Duration, Frequency, Delay, Schedule, Choice & Preference

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