When the function of a behavior is known, the behavioral treatment team is able to teach alternative responses that serve the same function as the problem behavior.
Babies provide a good example of how alternative behaviors replace problem behaviors. A baby will use crying behavior for all functions. As the baby gets older, he will begin to replace crying with new behaviors that he has learned.
|Context and Function||Baby's first response||Baby's learned alternative response|
|Obtain sensory stimulation: wants to be rocked||Cry||goes to rocking chair and says "help!"|
|Escape sensory stimulation: wants diaper changed||Cry||looks at parents and pulls on diaper|
|Obtain attention: seeking cuddles||Cry||hugs parent's leg and smiles|
|Escape attention: responding to a stranger||Cry||hides behind parent|
|Obtain tangible: food||Cry||says "banana!"|
|Escape demands: wants out of highchair||Cry||says "all done!"|
Client Alternative Behaviors
Consider the situations below and identify a possible alternative behavior. There is no right or wrong answer, rather this is an opportunity to exercise the concept to an application. When you are finished, some other ideas for alternative responses will be displayed.