Trigger Analysis in ABA Explained | Chicago ABA Therapy

Does your child behave aggressively whenever you or anyone else around you shouts for some reason? 

Does he start reacting when you show affection to one of their siblings? 

Did you know these issues don’t emerge out of a vacuum? In fact, negative behavior is always an outcome of some kind of trigger. 

The most challenging thing for parents of autistic children is to observe and deal with the child’s inappropriate behaviors. Finding that trigger can be challenging for parents. 

Trigger analysis practiced by therapists in Chicago ABA therapy centers provides a way for inappropriate behaviors to be identified and observed.

Parents, therapists, and even teachers can use trigger analysis to observe the child’s challenging behaviors.  

Caregivers and experts can use the best trigger analysis practices to analyze challenging behaviors and create strategies to help a child develop social skills.

Besides that, these strategies can also support social interaction and mental health to ensure the child’s overall well-being remains intact.

In this post, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know about trigger analysis in ABA therapy. Let’s begin with the basics first…

What is Trigger Analysis?

Simply put, trigger analysis is a technique ABA therapists use to identify negative behaviors in a child or any other individual.

The purpose of using trigger analysis is to determine the root causes of such behaviors. In other words, ABA therapists use trigger analysis approaches to pinpoint triggers that cause a child to behave inappropriately. 

How does Trigger Analysis work in Conjunction with ABA to Reverse Some of the Challenging Behaviors?

The good thing about trigger analysis techniques is that you can use them in conjunction with your pre-designed ABC model

ABC stands for Antecedent, behavior, and consequences. By using this approach, a caregiver, parent, or therapist can easily identify environmental triggers. 

For instance, they can determine what happened in the environment before an event happened. Based on these findings, they can observe the behavior that follows the particular event, and finally, the consequences.

Let’s suppose a child always negatively reacts when they see their parents using a cellphone. In this case, the antecedent would be the phone bell. 

The child then starts reacting negatively. They can adopt different inappropriate behaviors to seek the attention of their parents. 

The consequence could be loss of access to a thing/event that triggers such behaviors in a child. 

Parents and therapists can even reverse some of those challenging behaviors by using the ABC model of ABA in conjunction with trigger analysis.  

Trigger Analysis – Benefits

Some of the many benefits of using trigger analysis include:

  • Improvement in social skills
  • Awareness of impulsive behaviors
  • Promotes self-control and self-awareness
  • Help create healthy environments where children can thrive and grow
  • Helps children excel in their academic and social life

Trigger Analysis – How it Works?

Step 1 – Identify the antecedent

Write down every single thing that happened a minute or two before the actual problem occurred. Find out who is around – people present in the room (also, who was doing what). 

What events were going on in the surroundings before the behavior. Besides that, also pay attention to the environment in general. This includes lighting, noise, smell, and more.

Step 2 – Define the behavior

The next step is to write everything about the problematic behavior. Do not get judgemental here, and avoid making assumptions. Be very specific about what exactly has happened during the episode of the challenging behavior. 

Step 3 – Define the consequence

Describe what happened after the episode of the problematic behavior. Don’t omit any information (even if you find something less relevant to the situation, write it down for your reference). 

If a consequence therapist or a caregiver sets in place doesn’t modify or improve the behavior, you may think of other approaches that could eliminate or at least lower down the intensity of such behaviors. 

Step 4 – Eliminate and experiment

Because there are a few triggers, a therapist or a guardian should experiment with different variables to determine what works best for the child. 

Once you have successfully identified the triggers, the next thing you may want to do is to create a foolproof behavior intervention plan.

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