What a Behavioral Assessment for Your Child Can Determine

Imagine going to see your doctor and receiving a diagnosis without having an exam. How could they know the extent of your condition? Even more problematic, how could they measure the success of your treatment?

Children can face similar challenges, especially if they have autism or other behavioral and developmental disorders. That’s where behavioral assessments can help.

At Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services in Scottsdale, Arizona, our team of experts uses behavioral assessments to measure a child’s skills and responses in relation to their behavioral, emotional, and developmental health.

Once we gather this data, we can create a personalized program designed to fit their individual needs. And, since we have a clear baseline for where they are, it can help us identify measurable changes that come from our interventions.

The goal of a behavioral assessment

During a behavioral assessment, we work to identify specific behaviors that help or interfere with a child’s everyday life. These observations cover multiple skill areas, such as:

  • Home and basic living
  • School
  • Community participation
  • Independent living
  • Vocational

We also use multiple tools to evaluate basic language and learning skills. This helps us develop goals and objectives, and it also acts as a tracking system for children with learning gaps and language delays.

How a behavioral assessment works

Behavioral assessments involve plenty of one-on-one time with your child, so we can observe the motivations behind each of their behaviors. This process involves three primary types of observations:

  • Antecedents: the environmental triggers activating the behavior
  • Behavior: the actions resulting from the antecedent
  • Consequences: the outcome that often reinforces the behavior

As experts in applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, our team has advanced training to pick up on subtle factors that others may miss. For example, simply saying a child acts out in class doesn’t clearly identify a behavior and the motivation behind it. Instead, a trained specialist’s assessment could reveal that the child throws a book after being asked to solve a math problem.

Once we identify and record specific behaviors, we can determine which factors could be reinforcing them. Then, we can recommend interventions to reduce the problematic behaviors and replace them with preferred, functional behaviors and skills.

What sets our program apart

Depending on who you talk with, behavioral treatment can seem restrictive, dull, or even punitive. However, our experienced team taps into your child’s interests, creating a therapy program that’s fast-paced and interactive — and, perhaps best of all, enjoyable.

Our approach also relies on positive feedback. This strategy alone acts as a powerful motivating factor for both children and their parents and caregivers, especially as dysfunctional behavioral patterns change.

Plus, since our behavioral assessment establishes a baseline, it also acts as a framework, so we can continuously evaluate their responses to our interventions. This careful, data-driven strategy gives us the flexibility to make adjustments to ensure the best results.

Are you ready to learn more about a behavioral assessment and how it can help your child? To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services today.