Antecedent Based Intervention (ABI) – Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the key questions parents ask about ABI or Antecedent Based Intervention for Autism:

Q. How do I know which ABI strategy to use?

A. First, you will need to conduct a functional behavior assessment (FBA) to determine the function of the interfering behavior. This information will help you choose which strategy might be most helpful in addressing the function of the interfering behavior as well as the appropriate strategy for reducing its occurrence.

Q. How do I go about implementing ABI strategies across daily routines and activities?

A. The FBA will help you identify when and where the interfering behavior is occurring. As a result, you will know when to implement the appropriate ABI strategy. Creating an activity matrixwill help you plan the intervention, including when and where it should occur and the person(s) responsible for implementing it.

Q. What do I do if the learner with ASD uses the interfering behavior when I begin implementing ABI during a particular activity?

A. Antecedent-based intervention strategies are often used along with other evidence-based practices such as extinction and reinforcement. When a learner with ASD begins engaging in the interfering behavior when first implementing an ABI strategy, it is best to use extinction. This practice focuses on no longer providing reinforcement when a learner engages in an interfering behavior. The goal is to eliminate the source of reinforcement for the interfering behavior through the use of extinction and ABI.

Q. Are there any other evidence-based practices that I should use when implementing ABI?

A. First, an FBA should always be conducted prior to implementing ABI. The FBA will help you identify the function of the interfering behavior as well as which ABI strategies would be most effective at addressing the function of the behavior. Additional evidence-based practices that often are used along with ABI include extinction, reinforcement, structured work systems, and visual supports.

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