2. Pinpointing The Settings

It is usually very helpful to keep a detailed record of the timing and frequency of the behaviours of concern for a couple of weeks. To gather information about how often the behaviour occurs, you can use a tally (behaviour frequency) chart. An example is in the resources area on the right side of this page. These tally charts can be adapted to suit the specific circumstances of the individual.


You can also use the STAR chart as a tool to gather information regarding the Settings, Triggers, Actual behaviours and Results of the behaviours. A copy of the STAR chart can be found in the resources area.

Once you have collected data for a couple of weeks, some useful questions to ask yourself are:


  • When, where and with whom does the behaviour usually occur?

  • Is there a pattern to the behaviour (e.g. does it occur at a particular time of day or during a specific activity)?

  • Does the behaviour tend to occur when the environment is noisy, crowded, hot, cold or smelly?

  • Does the behaviour tend to occur when expectations are placed on the person or when they may not have understood what is being communicated to them?

  • Does the behaviour tend to occur when the person might be feeling tired, unwell, thirsty or hungry?

  • Does the behaviour tend to occur when they are asked to go somewhere or to do something that they do not like/have no choice over?

  • Does the behaviour tend to occur when they are not sure about what is happening or where they are going?


It can also be helpful to think about THE TIMES WHEN THE BEHAVIOUR DOES NOT TEND TO OCCUR using similar questions to the ones listed above. Thinking about the times that the behaviour does not tend to occur can also help us to learn a lot more.

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