Disruptive behaviors often occur as method to escape tasks. When we throw around the “escape-maintained behavior” term we need to be sure we are clear on why the escape is occurring. Is your students acting out because he can’t do the work or because he won’t do the work? There is a significant difference in these types of behaviors that will majorly impact the way you respond in the classroom.

Every decision is shaped by:

  • the person’s skill and ability to perform the action

  • the person’s motivation to act or to not act on particular options available

Such inferences are frequently inaccurate because they are based solely on casual observation. Don’t assume “he’s lazy” or “he doesn’t care.” Analyze the issue and determine the root cause. If you are able to more accurately determine if the behavior is a “won’t do” or “can’t do” – you will be able to decide the best strategy for improving student responding. Win/win.

Stay tuned for more on strategies to utilize for “won’t do” and “can’t do” behaviors! 🙂

Sasha Long
Sasha Long

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