We take data all day long as special education teachers. When a new behavior arises, we have to determine the function of the behavior. We use ABC data to determine that function and in turn make decisions about how to address it. I’ll show you how to use ABC data sheets! Plus, there is a FREE download!
What is ABC Data?
First, let’s look at what ABC data is. ABC stands for:
- A: Antecedent- what happens immediately before the behavior occurs?
- B: Behavior- what is the behavior? What does it look like? What exactly is happening?
- C: Consequence- what happens immediately after the behavior occurs?
We look at these 3 things to determine what the function of the behavior is.
When Should I Take ABC Data?
When should you take ABC data? Whenever a behavior arises you don’t know the function of. ABC data serves a specific purpose and can be used to make decisions regarding behavior. We have to use data to make all decisions. Data driven decisions will result in the best behavior change. I like to keep a copy of the digital version in my Google Drive and some printed copies on my personal clipboard to have on hand. Grab the free download here!
How Do I Take ABC Data?
Observation, observation, observation! Observe the student! Observe to note the antecedent, behavior, and consequence. Note everything you see and hear at each step. It may seem silly to make so many notes, but when you look at everything in the big picture of the behavior, something small may be the key to determining the function. Make sure to note the start and end times of each behavior. That can also play a role in the function of the behavior.
What Do I Do with the ABC Data?
Analyze it and make some data driven decisions! Once you determine the function of the behavior, you can start working on it. You can create a goal and objectives and begin teaching replacement behaviors. That is the beauty of ABC data. It shows you exactly what you need to work on with your students. You can find my data sheets here!
ABC data takes the guess work out of behavior change. Determining the function of a behavior is the key to creating positive behavior change and finding appropriate replacement behaviors for our students. For more data tips, check out The Special Educator’s Guide to Data Collection! Don’t forget to grab the FREE ABC Data Sheets!