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Handout 3a. 6q
Individualized Intensive Interventions

dapted from: O'Neill, R. E., Homer, R. H., Albin, R. W., Sprague, J. R., Storey, K., & Newton, J. S. (1997).
Functional Assessment and Program Development for Problem Behavior. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/ Cole Publishing.


Child with Problem Behavior(s):    Quan   
Date of Interview:    1/24   
Age:    3     Yrs    6     Mos
Sex: M * F
Interviewer:    Lisa    
Respondent(s):    Teacher, Assistant & Mother   


1. What are the behaviors of concern? For each, define how it is performed, how often it occurs per day, week, or month, how long it lasts when it occurs, and the intensity in which it occurs (low, medium, high).

How is it performed?
How often?
How long?


Verbal Aggression Threatens (I'm gonna kill you" while pointing a finger gun "Get away", growls...) 2-5 x/day 5 sec.-1min. Low-high


Physical aggression Hits, pushes, kicks, punches rams w/toy 2-3 x/wk 5 sec.-30 sec. High


Property destruction Throwing or banging toys 2-5 x/wk 5 sec.-30 sec. High







2. Which of the behaviors described above occur together (e. g., occur at the same time; occur in a predictable "chain"; occur in response to the same situation)?

Seems unpredictable at this point. At times he will verbally aggress, then do either physical aggression or property destruction or they happen independent of each other. Other times he will begin with either property destruction and/ or physical aggression and intersperse verbal aggression.


1. What medications does the child take, and how do you believe these may affect his/ her behavior?


2. What medical complication (if any) does the child experience that may affect his/ her behavior (e. g., asthma, allergies, rashes, sinus infections, seizures)?


3. Describe the sleep cycles of the child and the extent to which these cycles may affect his/ her behavior.

His mother reports that now that he is in school a routine is better established and will sleep through the night. Although she also reports that getting him to "go to bed" is very difficult and that he falls asleep on the couch around 9: 00 or 9: 30 and is carried to his crib. Then he sleeps very restlessly and is all over the bed. (Did not sleep through the night until he was 2.5 years.)

4. Describe the eating routines and diet of the child and the extent to which these routines may affect his/ her behavior.

Eats independently at school for snack. At home, his mother reports that "he is very explicit with getting food cut up", and that "he sees food as a temporary interruption of play and only eats to live." He sits in a highchair while she feeds him. Won't sit in restaurants to eat.

5. Briefly list the child's typical daily schedule of activities and how well he/ she does within each activity.

Child's Reaction
8:00 AM Wakes, gets dress, eats breakfast Better the last 2 wks -month, in the past, has physically resisted dressing and eating.
8:30 AM To school . Does nicely
8:45 AM Arrives to school Greets by shooting with his finger gun, sometimes cries for hug.
Until 9: 30 AM Playground Verbal and physical aggression, property destruction
9: 30 AM Story Time Sits and attends nicely
9: 45 AM Small Group Sits and attends nicely
10:00 AM Wiggle Time Follows directions and enjoys movement and dancing

10:15 AM

Plan/Centers Plans nicely, once in centers: verbal & physical aggression, property destruction
10:30 AM Centers/Snack (cont.) Eats snack and plays computer nicely, other center areas, especially blocks, he will use verbal and physical aggression, property destruction
11:30 AM Circle Sits and attends nicely
11:45 AM Playground Verbal and physical aggression, property destruction
12:30 PM Lunch Eats nicely
1:00 PM Nap Lays on a cot nicely with book
2:15 PM Snack Eats nicely
2:35 PM Good-bye circle Sits, attends
3:00 PM

Mother picks up

Goes nicely
3:30 PM Then the schedule is not consistent (sometimes out shopping or home, Goes to mall or Target or home to play of sometimes the park) Likes to stay busy
  Drives home Goes nicely
5:30 PM arrives at home, plays on floor enjoys
6:00 PM Cont. playing Does O. K.
6:30 PM Dad home/Dinner Picky, resistant, in high chair
7:00 PM Play chooses activities, sometimes rough with toys
9:00 PM Bath Difficult to get out, gets physically aggressive

6 Describe the extent to which you believe activities that occur during the day are predictable for your child. To what extent does the child know what he/ she will be doing and what will occur during the day (e. g., when to get up, when to eat breakfast, when to play outside)? How does your child know this?

Both family and school feel that his schedule is predictable because they follow the same schedule every day.

7. What choices does the child get to make each day (e. g., food, toys, activities)?

At school— chooses activities outside and during centers, snack, play partners At home— food, afternoon activities, "chooses to behave"


1. Time of Day: When are the behaviors most and least likely to happen?

Most likely: - Centers, Playground
                   - Between 8:45-9:30 at night during bedtime and when he is waiting for food at restaurants
Least likely: - In the morning at home
                    - During circle, story, small group, structures activities

2. Settings: Where are the behaviors most and least likely to happen?

Most likely: - Playground with train or bikes or a new toy and in Centers in blocks
                   - In the housekeeping center
Least likely: - Story time, wiggle time, planning, small group.
                   - Out in Public (but occasionally will "get out of control") and with snacks (His Mother reports that she will"feed him fun snacks to get him to behave.")

3. Social Control: With whom are the behaviors most and least likely to happen?

Most likely: - With teacher or with someone who does not know him (substitute teacher).
                   - Mom
Least likely: - With team teacher next door.

4. Activity: What activities are most and least likely to produce the behaviors?

Most likely: - With a highly preferred item or activity or a novel activity, blocks/ cars/ magnetic people
                   - With family
                   - outings (with new and different places. especially restaurants.) Change in routine.

Least likely: - Quiet time, story time
                   - At home— when he is playing alone and doing what he wants.

5. Are there particular situations, events, etc. that are not listed above that "set off" the behaviors that cause concern (particular demands, interruptions, transitions, delays, being ignored, etc.)?

(Note: still in diapers, will indicate when soiled and needing to be changed. Often after bowel movement, seems agitated.)

6. What one thing could you do that would most likely make the problem behavior occur?

Take a preferred toy away or remove him from computer. Mother reports that he will become angry and aggressive if she changes her response to him or ignores him. She says "He likes to have total control over his mother."

7. What one thing could you do to make sure the problem behavior did not occur?

Do not set limits. Let him have whatever he wants. Sit and give him one-on-one attention and talk to him. Mother reports-if you let him do whatever he wants, play by his rules, do what he says, and do no change anything.


1. Describe how your child plays (With what? How often?).

Solitary play in dress-up and sometimes at computer. Parallel play at blocks, water table, and science area. At home, plays alone with trucks, planes, trains, puzzles, books, and computer.

2. Does your child have problem behavior when playing? Describe.

Computer and dress-up, usually plays nicely, but during outside play and blocks (cars, trucks, magnetic bendable people, legos, blocks, bright builders...) he will get aggressive if he sees something he wants, if he wants to join other's play, if a child takes his toy or a piece of his toy or he perceives a child is going to take his toy. When playing with neighborhood friends the same occurs.

3. Does your child play alone? What does he/ she do?

Yes, he prefers it.

4. Does your child play with adults? What toys or games?

Yes school reports that he craves one-on-one adult attention. At home he wants to play with mom with everything. With dad, he will play rough and he is tolerant of the roughness.

5. Does your child play with other children his/ her age? What toys or games?

Yes, one boy in particular at school and the boy will give in to Quan and try to "fix" situations when he becomes aggressive with others by telling the kids to give him the toy or by giving Quan a duplicate toy. Occasionally he will play with neighborhood friends (one boy and one girl his age) but he needs to be closely monitored because they will be aggressive with one another. Plays with trucks, cars, trains, and planes.

6. How does your child react if you join in a play activity with him/ her?

He's fine at both school and home, as long as you do not change or alter what he is doing.

7. How does your child react if you stop playing with him/ her?

He's fine at both school and home.

8. How does your child react if you ask him/ her to stop playing with a toy and switch to a different toy?

At school he does not like it. He would want to negotiate more time, give reasons why, and tell you he is not finished. At home he does not transition well; says, "no" or "just a minute".


1. Think of each of the behaviors listed in Section A, and define the function(s) you believe the behavior serves for the child (i. e., what does he/ she get and/ or avoid by doing the behavior?)

What does he/she get? Or What exactly does he/she avoid?


Verbal aggression Children react and then leave him alone and/ or adult attention


Physical aggression Gets a toy or activity or avoids group play or avoids transitions


Property destruction Gets a toy or activity, children run away or back off















2. Describe the child's most typical response to the following situations;

a. Are the above behavior(s) more likely, less likely, or unaffected if you present him/ her with a difficult task?

More likely

b. Are the above behavior(s) more likely, less likely, or unaffected if you interrupt a desired event (eating ice cream, watching a video)?

More likely

c. Are the above behavior(s) more likely, less likely, or unaffected if you deliver a "stern" request/ command/ reprimand?

More likely at home, less likely with stern short command at school.

d. Are the above behavior(s) more likely, less likely, or unaffected if you are present but do not interact with (ignore) the child for 15 minutes.

More likely

e. Are the above behavior(s) more likely, less likely, or unaffected by changes in routine?

More likely

f. Are the above behavior(s) more likely, less likely, or unaffected if something the child wants is present but he/ she can't get it (i. e., a desired toy that is visible but out of reach)?

More likely

g. Are the above behavior(s) more likely, less likely, or unaffected if he/ she is alone (no one else is present)?

Less likely


1. What amount of physical effort is involved in the behaviors (e. g., prolonged intense tantrums vs. simple ver-bal outbursts, etc.)?

If "verbal negotiation" is not successful, he will be physically aggressive and then it takes much physical effort to hold him. At home, they give him what he wants to avoid physical effort, although he will kick, hit, and throw toys at adults. If escalated can last up to 15 minutes.

2. Does engaging in the behaviors result in a "payoff (getting attention, avoiding work) every time? Almost every time? Once in a while?

Almost every time

3. How much of a delay is there between the time the child engages in the behavior and gets the "payoff"? Is it immediate, a few seconds, longer?

A few seconds, if he does something like crashes a tower or steps on a finger then the children react and an adult moves in.


1. What are the general expressive communication strategies used by or available to the child? (e. g., vocal speech, signs/ gestures, communication books/ boards, electronic devices, etc.) How consistently are the strategies used?

Very verbal. At home he tries to negotiate everything.

2. If your child is trying to tell you something or show you something and you don't understand, what will your child do? (repeat the action or vocalization? modify the action or vocalization?)

At school he seems to be understood. At home, he will try to explain it to you then start screaming.

3. Tell me how your child expresses the following:


Grab & Reach Give Point Lead Gaze Shift Move to You Move Away from You Head Nod/Head Shake Facial Expression Vocalize Immediate Echo Delayed Echo Creative Single Word Creative Multi Word Simple Signs Complex Signs Self-injury Aggression Tantrum Cry or Whine Other None
Requests an Object                                        
Requests an Action                    x                     
Protests or Escapes                    x                     
Requests Help                    x                      
Requests a Social Routine                    x                       
Requests Comfort                    x                     
Indicates Illiness                    x                     
Shows You Something                    x                       

4. With regard to receptive communication ability:

a. Does the child follow verbal requests or instructions? If so, approximately how many? (List, if only a few).

Yes, he doesn't have problems with this. Good language skills.

b. Is the child able to imitate someone demonstrating how to do a task or play with a toy?

Excellent independent play. Imitates well.

c. Does the child respond to sign language or gestures? If so, approximately how many? (List, if only a few.)


d. How does the child tell you "yes" or "no" (if asked whether he/ she wants to do something, go somewhere, etc.)?



1. Describe the things that your child really enjoys. For example, what makes him/ her happy? What might someone do or provide that makes your child happy?

At school— computer, outside push toys, train, trucks, adult one-to-one interaction, talking about how things work and why things happen At home— any kind of interaction with mommy or daddy especially floor time (cars, crash 'em games.)

2. What kinds of things have you or your child's care providers done to try and change the problem behaviors?

At school— Explicit rules, started 5 day attendance, anticipate negative behaviors, warnings with transitions. At home— Rules given before outings, if rules not followed they leave, snacks in stores when he starts getting aggressive, school 5 days a week.


Distant Setting Event

Immediate Antecedent (Trigger)

Problem Behavior

Maintaining Consequences





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