Managing Behavior

One of the most difficult challenges parents face is managing their child’s behavior.  Whether it occurs at home, at school, or in a residential care setting, problematic behavior is one of the most frequent reasons parents and providers call PWSA (USA) for help.
The first step to effectively manage behavior is to identify the problematic behavior; it should be defined in clear, observable, and measurable terms.  Often, we (the PWS community as a whole) use the term “meltdowns” to describe a challenging behavior.  However, a “meltdown” for one individual can look very different in individual. Be specific in your description. For example, sitting on the floor crying while swinging his or her arms and legs to hit and kick those within reach.

Once the challenging or problematic behavior has been defined, explore the ABCs:

  • Antecedents
  • Behavior
  • Consequences


ntecedent: What occurs before the problematic behavior occurs that either increases or decreases the likelihood of the behavior occurring again.  Often antecedents are referred to as “triggers.” Identifying the antecedent will help you prevent the problematic behavior in the future.

Behavior: The specific action you are trying to increase or decrease.

Consequence: What occurs immediately following the behavior. Consequences, both positive and negative, affect the likelihood of the behavior occurring again.

To learn more about managing behavior watch PWSA (USA)’s NEW video Positive Behavior Support: Making It Work For You and Your Child.

In 20 power-packed minutes, you will learn:

  • The meaning of behavior and positive behavior support
  • How to engage in supportive communication with your child
  • The importance of implementing structure
  • The need for clear expectations and the value of planning
  • Practical tips for creating positive behavior reinforcements and outcomes
  • How to positively respond to a “meltdown”
  • How to start a positive behavior support plan
  • And so much more

Please click here to donate to our Family Support campaign

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