Apps for behavior management: Analysis
Analysis of behavior is an essential first step…until you know who, what, where, when, and why the behavior occurs, you won’t know how to stop it. If you can figure out what causes the problem, changing that may be easier than changing your child’s behavioral reaction.
Whether you’re a parent working with your child at home, or a teacher undergoing a functional behavior analysis of your student as part of Positive Behavior Support, analysis is probably the most important component of behavioral intervention. Analysis is focused on collecting information regarding the child or student’s behavior to get a better idea of why that behavior is occurring. Often, the ABC method (antecedent, behavior, consequence) is used to collect data over time so as to collect information about the context and outcomes of the behavior. Functional behavior assessment, often used by school-based IEP teams to develop a behavioral intervention plan, uses this method. This is an important step: conducting this analysis phase increases the success of your intervention.
There are several apps for behavior management for the analysis phase. Some are very comprehensive and some are more basic. Those that are more complex have usually been developed for use with ABA therapy. There is a rigorous data collection component in ABA that is used to guide therapy (usually with data collection forms and graphs) so these apps require more of an investment to learn to accurately analyze behavior. These apps can be useful as therapists or parents can have the ability to collect data and access it quickly. In addition, many of these apps analyze the behavior in the form of graphs or summaries, so it is easier to come to conclusions about antecedents, behavior and consequences. More basic apps are those that tally behavior so parents or teachers can see a pattern.
Recommended apps for behavior management analysis:
Behavior Tracker Pro was designed by a board-certified behavior analyst. Quite comprehensive and with multiple functions, it requires training. Parents who are working with ABA therapists closely would probably benefit most from this app. There are essentially four options: frequency and duration data, ABC data, high frequency behavior data and interval data. Within these options, you have the ability to collect data and then analyze it. This app can also accommodate multiple student profiles, making this ideal for ABA therapists. Behavior Tracker Pro will provide the therapist with a detailed analysis-we especially like the graphs which allow us to visually analyze ABC’s. It even allows parents or therapists to record video within the app. There is a very comprensive review of Behavior Tracker Pro from iAutism. Another bonus is that this app is available on iOS and on Blackberry devices- more information can be found on the Behavior Tracker Pro website.
Behavior Assessment Pro is an app designed more for Functional Behavior Analysis – which might be used by a school intervention team. Behavior Assessment Pro allows users to answer a series of questions surrounding a particular behavior (antecedents, consequences, etc) essentially allowing for more intensive analysis of the behavior. We like the fact that the questions are scripted which allows for consistent analysis – but we also wish that we could customize some questions as well. This would be a great addition to the app.
Symtrend ADL is an app that focuses on daily living skills such as getting dressed or eating. Unsure as to why a child is having that tantrum every day at the dinner table? Following a step-by step process, it allows the parent to enter data and then provides charts to analyze the patterns and possible causes of the targeted behavior. A nice feature of this app is the strategy section for parents and it is designed to work on both the iPhone as well as natively on the iPad.
Tallymander is very basic app and not really designed for behavioral intervention. However, we’ve had a few teachers report that they’ve used it for keeping track of behaviors for the purposes of functional behavior analysis. There is something to be said for simplicity… essentially, this is a counting app. Need to track how many times your student is performing a specific behavior (negative or positive?) This might be useful tool for teachers as part of the analysis phase, but overall, not really a large part of a behavioral intervention plan. One of the really interesting features about this app is the ability to “count” by flicking the phone, you don’t even have to touch the screen!