Why do we teach New Behaviors?

In the last 2 posts, we have talked about knowing the purpose of the behavior and replacing it with a more appropriate or communicating behaviors. Why must we replace their behaviors?

This is because most behavior problems are a result of SKILL DEFICITS on the parents’ part and the children’s part.


  • Communication wants/needs
  • Social skills
  • Activities of daily living (routine activities).
  • How do we teach these behaviors?

There are various teaching methods that can be used in teaching new behaviors but for this purpose, we will consider the following methods;

  • Shaping
  • Chaining (Task analysis)
  • Prompting
  • Behavioral skills training.

Shaping is used to develop a target behavior (desired behavior) that a child does not currently exhibit or has some general skills but cannot complete the task without assistance.

So, you teach by providing positive reinforcement for behavior changes that are successive steps towards the final desired behavior. (see behavior replacement table posted yesterday)

  • It helps to generate a new desired behavior
  • Reinstates a previously exhibited desired behavior
  • Changes some dimension to an existing behavior