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Steps for Defining Target and Replacement Behaviors

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Defining the target behavior:

  1. Gather information about the presenting problem or problems from various sources.
  2. If there are multiple examples of the target behavior, develop a general descriptor that encompasses the range of specific examples.
  3. Review the definition to ensure it
    • describes actual behavior rather than an outcome of behavior.
    • describes an observable, measurable, and repeatable behavior.

Selecting a replacement behavior:

  1. Based on the target behavior definition, choose a replacement behavior that
    • states what the student is to do.
    • is something the student can do or can learn to do.
    • is a behavior that is supported by the natural environment.
  2. Review the definition to ensure it
    • describes actual behavior rather than an outcome of behavior.
    • describes an action or activity rather than the “absence” of behavior.

After you determine the function of the target behavior:

  1. Review the target behavior definition to ensure it includes only behaviors that belong to the same response class.
  2. Review the replacement behavior to ensure it fits logically with the function of the behavior.
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