Any parent whose child exhibits challenging behavior at home and in the classroom naturally wants to find a solution to the problem. Parents want to put an end to the misbehavior so that the child can learn to better acclimate him or herself in public settings; they want their child to respect teachers and the learning process so that they can receive the education they need; and they want to establish a home environment in which child and parent can interact during typical family routines without frequent struggles.

Put simply, parents want to know: how can this misbehavior be stopped? How can I get my child to behave? Before those questions can be answered, however, there is another question that must be explored: what is the cause of this misbehavior? With the help of the child's parents, Sunny Days will come to your home and conduct what is known as a behavioral assessment in order to answer that question. Once we have worked together to identify the cause of your child's challenging behavior, then we can begin to develop strategies and techniques to change the behaviors to positive, loving interactions that will enhance your home environment.

What Is a Behavioral Assessment?

When you think about the way your child often behaves you most likely consider it to be "bad." A behavioral assessment looks deeper than this cursory interpretation. It asks the question: what function is misbehavior serving for your child?

A behavioral assessment documents the antecedent (the action that precedes the misbehavior) and the consequence (the action that follows the misbehavior). This documentation is done by Sunny Days' experienced child and behavioral therapists, and it occurs over a period of several weeks in order to give our therapists an opportunity to discover why this misbehavior is a regular occurrence.

The environment in which your child is evaluated will be changed over the course of these weeks in order to determine whether or not that is a factor leading to the child's behavioral tendencies. As part of the behavioral assessment, Sunny Days interviews the child's parents and other caregivers who frequently spend time with the child. Our behavioral specialists then review all of the data to determine why the behavior is occurring and how the behavior can be modified.

Truly understanding why a child behaves the way he or she does is the first step to developing strategies to stop the behavior.