Power of Prevention

In the past, children’s challenging behavior was typically addressed with consequences (usually punishment) im-posed after the problem behavior occurred. Parents, teachers, and other people supporting children with special needs are now starting to recognise the power of prevention.

Preventive strategies make problem behavior unnecessary because the situations that set the stage for the problems (e.g., boredom, difficult tasks) have been anticipated and changed. By getting ‘out in front of the
behavior,’ parents can help children deal with daily challenges without resistance or aggression and build the skills children need to be successful. If behavior problems can be stopped before they even have a chance to occur, children may become more receptive to instruction and enthusiastic about learning in general. The changes also may lead to improvements in the child’s and family’s quality of life.

Prevention strategies must be tailored to a child’s and family’s needs and circumstances to be effective. When parents and other caretakers allow themselves to get creative, however, the options for prevention seem endless. Exactly what is changed and how it is changed depends on many things, such as the predicted effectiveness of the strategy, the fit for the child and those around him or her - as well as the environment, the resources needed, and the ease with which the strategy can be put in place and used on an ongoing basis. The ability to anticipate problems and make reasonable changes before problems occur is the true power of prevention.

For more information on preventative strategies tailored to your family Contact Us