Our client is Jill, a 35 year old group home resident who has began acting out and has become destructive in the home. This behavior has been occurring for an extended time, several months, and she is at risk of removal from the home. These behavior disruptions do not occur anywhere except within the group home. Jill has not exhibited any erroneous behavior while attending work twice weekly in a workshop or while interacting in social activities. We seek to find the root causes of her outbursts of destruction and curb this behavior. Jill will learn coping skills with the use of a Behavioral Intervention Plan. The team will first interview Jill, complete a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM. Then finally, a Functional Behavior Assessment in order to get a clearer picture as to what is directing Jill’s unacceptable outburst. It is our focus to treat this client with consideration to her limitations and insure her guardian is involved with the decisions being made for Jill, as well as any treatment plan. The end goal is to provide Jill with the services she needs to insure the freedom of being independent to the best of her ability without negative consequences.
Jill is a 35-year-old young woman who has been residing in a group home for developmentally disabled adults. The home is relatively small as there are only three other residents. Jill has been there for approximately two (2) years, but has become destructive and has destroyed or broken many items in the home during the past few months. This violent behavior has caused Jill to need medical treatment for injuries she has sustained and the director of the group home is threatening to terminate Jill’s placement unless the destructive behaviors ceases. While Jill may have become destructive for many reasons, however, our focus is to determine what the antecedents are to her violent outbursts. By identifying the stimuli, we can take measures to correct the behavior by removing the antecedent or make changes so Jill once again exhibits positive behavior within the group home. This will help Jill to become aware of her negative behavior, if she already is not, and know when to help herself stay focused on the appropriate behavior she should be portraying. According to Steege (2009), the purpose of all activities within the functional behavioral assessment (FBA) domain are to determine under what conditions a behavior is most likely to occur (antecedents) and what happens in the environment because of that behavior and maintains that behavior (consequences). When an evaluator is conducting an FBA, it is critical that they differentiate among antecedents and consequences that are associated with interfering behavior and those variables that are functionally related to interfering behavior. Essentially, a functional relationship is a cause and effect relationship. The two major categories of destructive behavior are self-injurious behavior (SIB) and aggression toward others or toward property. Some of these behaviors involve repeated self-inflicted, non-accidental injuries producing bleeding, protruding and broken bones and other permanent tissue damage, eye gouging or poking leading to blindness, and swallowing dangerous substances or physical objects. All forms of destructive behavior have serious social and personal consequences for people with developmental disabilities. These include isolation, resulting in separation from family members and peers, and deprivation of opportunities to develop normal social relationships (National Institution of Health, 1989).
Obviously, there is a stimulus that leads to the outburst that Jill has been exhibiting. We concluded a time should be scheduled to observe Jill in the group home in order to determine the antecedent to her destructive behavior. During this time the