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Documenting behavior? Stick to the facts.

Date: January 22nd, 2015
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: When we document behavior, we want to remember to put JUST the facts. Many times we add other information that isn’t needed.

For example, let’s say a child pushes another child on the playgound. That is all we need to write, “She pushed a kid on the play ground.”

Or if a child is using her cellphone in class. We don’t need to say, “I asked the child to put her cell phone away, she rolled her eyes and got upset with me. I reminded her it’s against the rules. She began to argue with me, then she took the cell phone, she swore at me and she threw it on the floor. I picked it up.”

These are the types of things that we don’t need to add when documenting behavior. Child refused to follow the rule, using a cell phone. Period.

It’s so important that we use objective language. If somebody has to do an FBA–Functional Behavior Assessment–they’re going to have to pull all that information off of those write ups. All that is needed is the facts. Not all the other stuff, which is usually driven by our personal feelings. And we don’t want to put personal feelings on behavior documentation.