Once you have target behavior and behavioral definition you need to start taking baseline data. Baseline data has two purposes (1) to show function and (2) to determine if an improvement has been made. Basically baseline data is going to tell you what road to take and it will also make sure you are continuously on the right track. No baseline data = no map. You won’t know which intervention train to ride and you want be sure if you are headed towards behavior-free-land.
So what is baseline data?
Baseline data is data you take before you start an intervention.
Why should I take baseline data?
To determine if there has been improvement. You don’t know if things are better if you don’t know where you started. Also to determine what the function of the behavior
Function means what the individual is getting out of doing the behavior. Every single behavior your little lovelies are engaging in are working. They are successful. They are getting something out of it. And probably something awesome. They are getting loads of peer attention or they don’t have to do that stupid math work anymore. It’s something great and it’s immediate. If they weren’t getting something out it, they wouldn’t be doing. That simple. Hmm… if only it really were…
You can identify function by taking stellar baseline data and looking at a few things – What is the consequence of the behavior? What happens after the child does the behavior?
Function will determine what type of intervention you choose. It’s critical to determine take baseline data to get that function piece. Or else you won’t now where to go!
This post is part of Summer Series: Reducing Problem Behavior. Click here to see more in this series!