So, we've defined the behavior, prioritized which to address first, reviewed records and interviewed, and taken ABC data and summarized it. Now, what do we do with all of that information? We need to develop our best guess, or hypothesis, about the function of the behavior. So, how do we do that? I have a freebie and some guidelines to help with that.
Based on your summary of the data, you should have some ideas of when and where the behaviors are occurring. You should have some ideas about what commonly precedes the behavior and what commonly happens after it occurs. Based on that information, you can begin to form a hypothesis about why the behavior occurs.
When presented with [situation], the student [behavior]. When this happens, [consequence].
So, let's look at some examples.
As you can see in the above, I find it useful to write it out in the pieces above and then summarize it with a final hypothesis statement below. To help with that process, I have a little freebie for you of a graphic organizer to write out hypotheses statements. I've made a black and white version and a color version just because sometimes you need a little jazzing up to keep you focused when dealing with challenging behavior. Or as a friend of mine likes to say, the pretty committee sometimes makes things seem better. You can download the freebie by clicking on the picture below.
And here's a few more examples of hypothesis statements about different functions that might be helpful.
Next time, I will talk about some guidelines about writing and verifying hypotheses. I'll talk some more about the fact that you usually will have more than one hypothesis for the behaviors. The strength of a behavior support plan often rests on the accuracy and usefulness of the hypotheses, so writing good ones is important.
Until next time,