SPED 8013 | Chapter 23: Antecedent Interventions

Classifying Functions of Antecedent Stimuli

  • Contingency Dependent
    • Dependent on the consequences of behavior for developing evocative and ablative effects
    • The term ‘antecedent control’ is used to identify these antecedent events
      • This is not what this chapter is about! Here we are talking about antecedent stimuli that are not dependent on consequences!
  • Contingency Independent
    • Not reliant on the consequences of behavior for developing evocative and ablative effects
    • The term ‘antecedent intervention’ is used to identify these antecedent events

Antecedent Interventions

  • Noncontingent Reinforcement (NCR)
  • High-probability Request Sequence
  • Functional Communication Training

Noncontingent Reinforcement

  • Stimuli with known reinforcing properties are delivered on a fixed-or-variable time schedule
  • INDEPENDENT of the learner’s behavior (non contingent)
  • Can include positive social reinforcement, negative social reinforcement, and automatic reinforcement
    • Positive social reinforcement: access to attention, food, etc.
    • Negative social reinforcement: escape from task or environment
    • Automatic reinforcement: access to items that compete with sensory stimulation
    • ALL OF THE ABOVE are provided on a timed basis, independent of behavior

High-Probability Request Sequence

  • Sometimes called “Behavioral Momentum”
  • Present a series of easy-to-follow requests for which there is a history of compliance (the high-p sequence) before giving the target (low-p) request
    • Typically 2-5
    • Followed IMMEDIATELY by the low-p request
  • Selecting appropriate high-p tasks, presenting tasks rapidly, acknowledging compliance, and using potent reinforcers are all factors in the effectiveness of the high-p request sequence procedure

Functional Communication Training (FCT)

  • Establish an appropriate communicative behavior to compete with problem behavior evoked by an EO
    • First identify the function of behavior
    • Then use those stimuli as reinforcers to develop an alternative behavior
  • Doesn’t change the EO – develops alternative responses that are sensitive to the same EO
  • An application of Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior
  • Can include many forms: vocalization, signs, PECS, devices, etc.
  • Often combined with other procedures

Effective Use of FCT

  • Dense schedule of reinforcement initially
  • Decreased use of verbal prompts
    • The danger of “what do you want?”
  • Combine with behavior reductive procedures
  • Thin to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement
    • For maintenance and generalization