An antecedent is anything that happens before a behavior (something that triggers the behavior). This can give a clear idea into what may have initiated a behavior, but it can also give information on what to do to prevent a behavior from happening in the future. Here are a few ways to prevent behaviors before they start:
- Provide ample time/warnings before a transition: Use visual or auditory aids to give warnings before a transition or new task to ease the person into a change and give them time to process what is happening before it occurs.
- Break down a task into smaller pieces: breaking down a task into smaller parts can cause less stress and anxiety and help the person to feel like the task is more attainable, possibly creating better results.
- Start small: Only do the necessary parts of a task to start and then add on other parts to a task later to make the task easier for the person to follow.
- Spend less time in a place: If your child struggles with being in certain places, only go there for a small amount of time and reward successful behavior and then slowly move towards staying for longer durations
Once you’ve implemented a few of these strategies, you can track whether you’re seeing improvement in the behavior or not by tracking how long or how often the behavior is happening. This will help to improve your ability to go places in public, enjoy time with others and prevent long or frequent behaviors. It may seem daunting at first, but soon you and your family will have more freedom and independence.