Mitigate Behaviors Using Antecedent Strategies: Part 3- Intervention

Mitigate Behaviors Using Antecedent Strategies Part 3- Intervention.

In parts 1 and 2 of this series, we delved into antecedent adjustments and modifications— all in a preventative effort to mitigate problematic behaviors for 12-year-old Jamie, who was returning to school.


This article will identify different types of interventions to be implemented after utilizing various adjustments and modifications.


Given Jamie’s services for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), his team would focus on identifying target behaviors for skill acquisition and reduction.


Examples of skill acquisition would be functional communication (i.e., requesting a break instead of eloping from an aversive task or activity), following multi-step directions, having a conversational exchange with another person, or raising a hand in class instead of engaging in vocal outbursts.


There are four antecedent interventions, which focus on classroom behavior management. However, these interventions are not limited to the classroom and can be used across other settings.


Behavior Skills Training (BST)

  1. Instruction
  2. Modeling
  3. Rehearsal
  4. Feedback


While learning new math content, the teacher will:

  • Instruct the concept.
  • Model an example.
  • Practice another example with the student.
  • Provide feedback in the form of positive praise and consideration.
  • Give constructive feedback.
  • Provide time between each step for processing.


Backward Chaining

Essentially, the teacher will complete all steps in a chained task except for the last:

    • Allow the student to complete the previous step independently or with the least restrictive prompt.
    • Continue until the student is independent with the last step.
    • Expand the student’s independence, starting with the previous two steps and so on, until he can complete all steps independently.


Forward Chaining

  1. Think of forward chaining as the opposite of backward chaining; the teacher allows the student to complete the first step in a chained task independently or with the least restrictive prompt.
  2. The teacher will complete or assist in the completion of the rest of the steps.


Video Modeling

  1. Individuals will observe themselves performing a target behavior successfully on video.
  2. The aim is to have the behavior imitated.

Example 1: Teacher records the student participating in waiting and ordering food in the lunch line. The targeted behavior is to join with peers in an educational setting.

Example 2: Teacher records the student interacting with a peer in a special education setting. The targeted behavior is to increase interactions with peers to promote social skills.


All of the antecedent interventions listed above are evidence-based practices that are proven to be effective with the prevention of maladaptive behaviors and skill acquisition for functional replacement behaviors.


As clinicians, we need to anticipate maladaptive behaviors in practice. This anticipation allows us to be steps ahead of our patients, focusing on the expected, desired behaviors needed for beneficial treatment and service outcomes. I hope you can use a tip or two from this series and apply them to your practice.


Thanks for reading,

~ Danielle


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