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4 Functions of Behavior

When looking to decrease a problem behavior such as screaming, flopping to the floor, crying, or other behaviors that are interfering with your child’s ability to be successful in their daily life, a BCBA will first look at the function of the behavior.

When talking about function, a BCBA is referring to “why a person engages in that particular behavior” or what does engaging in the behavior result in? What does the person get out of it?

Behavior serves 4 purposes or functions so take a S.E.A.T. while I explain.

S: Sensory

This function requires no one else. The behavior itself is reinforcing. For example, itching a bug bite, twirling your hair, biting your nails-these are a few examples of behaviors that do not require another person. We all engage in behaviors that are maintained by sensory input!

E: Escape

A child engages in an escape-maintained behavior to get away from (escape or avoid) the task. For example, a child is instructed to clean up their toys, but instead runs to their bedroom. Running away escapes the demand of cleaning up toys.

A: Attention

A child engages in a behavior to get attention from another person. For example, a 1-year old playing peek-a-boo with their Mom. The very game, peek-a-boo, requires attention from another person in order to be fun!

T: Access to Tangible

A child engages in a behavior to gain access to a preferred activity or item. For example, a teenager maintains a high GPA so he/she can continue to have access to their parent’s car on Friday night.
Once the function of the inappropriate behavior is identified, it is the job of your child’s support team to identify a socially, acceptable replacement behavior. The replacement behavior should serve the same function, be easier, and more efficient than the target behavior for it to decrease. Understanding the function will decrease the problem behavior and increase the replacement behavior.
One step in determining the function of a target behavior is to record Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence Data or ABC Data. To learn more about ABC data, click on the post!
Nicole Herber, BCBA, COBA

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LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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