What is replacement behavior?

What is replacement behavior?

They are the behaviours you want your child to engage in or skills you want your child to learn in place of the challenging behaviours.  In last week’s post, James’s “yelling his mom’s name over and over”, was him seeking or evoking his mom’s attention and his mom “asking whattt”? was giving him attention. Instead of yelling his mom’s name, James will be taught to request for his mom’s attention appropriately.


James hits Richard to steal from his lunch box.

Rather than James hitting to access Richard’s lunch box, we will teach James the replacement behaviour of soliciting to share.

Most problem behaviours are a result of Skills Deficits. Skills deficits includes:

  • Communication (Communicating wants/needs
  • Social Skills
  • Activities of Daily Living

Our children often struggle with these skills. Some have difficulty requesting, sharing, and waiting, while others have trouble interpreting, comprehending, using facial expressions and gestures, which interferes with communication and learning. So, identifying the behavioral deficits is critical for parents to know which skills the child struggles with.

However, there are many Behavioral Interventions and Evidence-Based Strategies that reduce problem behaviors and teach Skills acquisitions specific to each child’s needs.

  • Have you assessed your child’s current functioning?
  • Did you identify his/her skills and behavioral deficits?
  • How are you teaching Replacement Behaviors?

Please share in the comment below.