6. Prevention

Once we have worked out why a behaviour is occurring, we can start to try and do things to prevent it from occurring again in the future. These strategies may work immediately, but sometimes they take longer to have a positive effect. In addition, sometimes a strategy will work for a long time, but sometimes they are only a temporary solution. Some key points to remember are: -


  • Prevention can be easier than dealing with something after it has happened.

  • The more time a behaviour has gone on for, the more stuck it will have become.

  • Prevention may not be the long term or only answer.

  • Prevention can certainly help reduce the frequency and/or intensity of the behaviour and can also help to decrease everyone’s anxiety.

  • It can be easier to teach new skills or coping strategies once prevention strategies have been put in place.

  • With less stress there is often more success.


Some prevention strategies to consider include: -


  • Avoiding some situations for now e.g. busy supermarkets; crowded tube stations

  • Make changes to the environment

  • Reducing the demands placed on the person and then re-introducing them slowly and with more support

  • Giving more structure to the day

  • Giving clearer expectations e.g. using visual supports or social stories

  • Giving advanced warnings and preparation (preparing them for changes that will occur) 

  • Giving them more explanation as to why they need to do something (e.g. through using social stories)

  • Using incentives or rewards



  • Twitter Classic