Same Function, Different Behavior

Alternative Behaviors

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 FunctionBaby's first responseBaby's learned alternative response
Obtain sensory stimulation: wants to be rockedCrygoes to rocking chair and says "help!"
Escape sensory stimulation: wants diaper changedCrylooks at parents and pulls on diaper
Obtain attention: seeking cuddlesCryhugs parent's leg and smiles
Escape attention: responding to a strangerCryhides behind parent
Obtain tangible: foodCrysays "banana!"
Escape demands: wants out of highchairCrysays "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.