|Problem: The student engages in off-task and possibly distracting behavior.
|Behavioral Possibility: Seek Adult and/or Peer Attention
Step 1: Organize observations relevant to the problematic behavior/issue
- Who is reporting the problem?
- When does it occur? (Include time of day, activities etc).
- Where does it occur?
- What tends to precede the problematic behavior/issue?
- What tends to follow the problematic behavior/issue?
- What is the age and functioning level of the student?
- Previous documentation/charts?
Step 2: Identify possible contributors to the problematic behavior/issue
Some students may engage in off-task and possibly distracting behavior in the classroom as a way to seek adult and/or peer attention. (See Tutorials on Attention; Behavior Management: Prevention Strategies; Behavior Management: Contingency Management)
Relevant observations: The student may engage in distracting behaviors in front of others. The student may tell others about behavior in a manner that seems designed to obtain attention (positive or negative).
Useful experiments for assessment and intervention:
- Observe and record the frequency and/or intensity of the problem behavior when a new teaching strategy or support is being implemented versus when it is not being implemented.
- Possible exploratory teaching strategies or supports for attention seeking (See Tutorial on Attention): Create an environment that provides ample attention to the student. For example, the student may be given a leadership role in the classroom. Or adults may give special attention to the student on a regular basis.
- If the frequency and/or intensity of the targeted behavior decreases during intervention, it may be that this student’s distracting behaviors are a result of attention-seeking behavior. (See Tutorials on Attention; Behavior Management: Prevention Strategies; Behavior Management: Contingency Management)
Possible referrals: School psychologist or behavior specialist for behavioral assessment and behavior management strategies; counselor for counseling