ABC Behavior Chart

Learn about how one can use the ABC behavior chart to understand the behavior of children with developmental disabilities.

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What is an ABC Behavior Chart?

An is an observational tool practitioners use for

  • Analysing behaviors of children
  • Identifying the patterns of said behaviors
  • Track how often these behaviors occur
  • Developing behavior management strategies.

The letters are actually an acronym for Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence.

To elaborate, the antecedent refers to what happens before the behavior, such as sensory stipulation, lack of attention, disruption of routine, etc. Behavior, on the other hand, refers to the action or behavior the child exhibits. Most of the time, they fall under one or two of the different types of behavior, namely: sensory, escape, attention, and tangible or SEAT. Lastly, consequence refers to the response to the behavior or how you or anyone responds to the behavior. Sometimes, what you may write as a consequence can be an antecedent to another behavior worth noting.

As for the chart itself, it’s a straightforward document wherein the content relies heavily on the unbiased observations and notes of the observer. They must note the ABCs in detail for medical practitioners involved to design a program that will effectively manage the child’s behavior and ease their discomfort with certain people, settings, or activities.

Printable ABC Behavior Chart

Download this ABC Behavior Chart to better understand the behaviors of children with developmental disabilities.

How does this ABC Chart Behavior work?

Step One. Download and Fill the Template

Download the ABC Behavior Chart template from Carepatron’s template library. Access it through our website or app available via desktop, iOs, or Android. 

Before you begin, remember to fill out the following details: the child’s name, date of birth, age, sex, and your name as the observer. 

Step Two. Set Specifications

Though it is possible to observe and analyze several behaviors simultaneously or in multiple settings, it’s recommended that you focus on one of either at a time. This will help you pinpoint better the antecedent or trigger of that behavior. Additionally, it will help the practitioner you will consult or collaborate with to develop a more specific program and, consequently, be more effective in addressing and managing that behavior. 

Step Three. Observe and Note Down

Once you’ve specified the setting or behavior, note down the date and time you will observe the child, then proceed to fill out the ABCs on the template. To help you out we’ve written down a guide filled with questions per letter to help you out. 

One tip when noting down is to utilize bullet points and take note of unbiased observations. Remember to be as detailed as possible.

Step Four. Review Notes

Finished with the session? Review your notes. Ensure they are understandable even by fellow practitioners because they’ll use this as a reference. 

Step Five. Organize

Since you’ll ideally be tracking the child’s behavior over a certain period, it’s best to organize your notes according to behavior or setting, especially if several practitioners are tracking multiple behaviors. You can utilize our tagging system to make organizing a breeze. 

Step Six: Schedule the Next Session

Analyzing behavior requires more than a single session. So, to remember the next session, set reminders on your calendar and have multiple copies of blank ABC Chart Behavior templates on hand to reduce preparation time and effort. 

ABC Behavior Chart Example (Sample)

Here’s an example of a filled-out ABC Behavior Chart template. Use it as a guide for answering the ABC questions provided in the template in a detailed and objective manner. 

View the sample below or download a copy by clicking the “Download Example PDF” button.

Download this ABC Behavior Chart Example (Sample) here:

ABC Behavior Chart Example (Sample)

When to use an ABC Behavior Charting?

You must only do ABC Behavior Charting and use our template for noting unbiased observations and possible immediate interventions. A management behavior plan or diagnosis should be designed or formulated after a few more sessions and further consultations with specialists. 

It’s also important to note that the template should not be used as the sole resource as it is not only a part of the larger functional behavior assessment but the observer’s notes may not be completely reliable due to possible uncontrollable circumstances influencing behavior or observation. 

And though our template can be used to gather information, ideally, the only types of people one should use this template on are ones who have difficulty expressing themselves. More specifically, patients exhibiting challenging behaviors due to their developmental disabilities. For other ABC charts or worksheets, feel free to search ABC on our template library to find what you’re looking for.

Who is this Printable ABC Behavior Chart PDF for?

Practitioners who will benefit from a PDF copy of this printable ABC behavior chart are specialists who deal with children with developmental disabilities more specifically autism. They are as follows:

  • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians
  • Behavioral Therapist
  • Developmental Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Child Psychiatrist/Psychologist

Because the ABC Behavior Chart is straightforward and is encouraged to be filled up by professionals or adults who are with the child often, other people who can answer the template are:

  • Special Education Teachers
  • Parents
  • Case Managers
  • Social Workers

However, given that our template is editable it can also be helpful for people other than the ones mentioned above. 

Medical practitioners caring for patients with difficulty expressing themselves verbally, such as those with dementia or recovering from a brain injury, can also find this template. Among them are:

  • Rehabilitation Doctor and Therapist
  • Recreation Therapist
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
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Benefits of Free ABC Behavior Model

Simple to Use

This free ABC behavior model template is a straightforward template, flexible enough for your style and preference of taking detailed notes. Should you need help identifying what to place in the ABCs, we’ve also placed guiding questions you can refer to. 

Perfectly Accessible and Fully Digital

Not only is our printable ABC Chart accessible to any practitioner for distribution to parents, caretakers, or fellow practitioners caring for the child, but it’s also fully digital. By being able to edit on your gadgets anytime, anywhere, you can easily make, edit, save, and store notes to bring them out effortlessly when needed.  

Tracking Progress

To identify behavior patterns, practitioners should observe their patients over a certain period, usually multiple times within 3 - 8 weeks. This template is perfect for when you need to track several times a day or week. Moreover, you can compare the changes in behavior after different consequences or as the child follows a program or better understand your patient

Encourage Collaboration

Unlike other assessments, the end goal of filling up the ABC Behavior Chart isn’t to diagnose. Rather, it’s to understand the patient. Hence, the template will function more as a resource other specialists can utilize to ask for further tests, request consultations, or plan behavior management strategies. 

Create Individualized Interventions

It’s a given that approaches to managing behavior will differ depending on the patient and their behaviour. However, with a template filled with more open-ended questions, the sky’s the limit regarding program and strategy ideas. The benefit of this? Practitioners will be encouraged to prevent the behavior and design the intervention plan specifically for the child.

Commonly asked questions

Who created the ABC Behavior Chart?

Sidney Bijou was the first person who described the method itself but it was only in the 20th century, thanks to behavioral psychologists, that it was polished and the terms antecedents, behaviors, and consequences were used.

When is an ABC behavior chart done?

It is done when a practitioner or caretaker wants to understand why their child is behaving a certain way and to identify triggers that are causing distress to their child. 

Furthermore, filling up the chart depends on the behavior being observed. For example, those who want to know their response to being in school must conduct the test and fill up the template only during class time.

Who can administer the ABC Behavior Chart?

Anyone can administer the ABC Behavior Chart, but it’s best for non-practitioners to consult with their child’s doctor or experts to get a copy of the test and to learn how to fill it up properly.

Why Use this ABC Behavior App?

Can’t find an app where you can access, edit, and store this ABC Behavior template? Look no further than Carepatron, a leading practice management software in the healthcare industry, which you can download as an application on a desktop, iOs, or Android.

Simply sign up, and you’ll have access to the means, tools, and resources to handle and accomplish administrative tasks efficiently. By streamlining clinical and business processes, most of your focus, time, and effort is directed toward patient care.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll get when you sign-up for free:

  • Access to over 100 PDF templates such as surveys, forms, and tests, which you can edit using your editor or right on the app
  • An HIPAA-compliant and secure EHR to store your edited templates, digital notes, medical invoices, as well as client information and history
  • Integration with your favorite scheduling and telehealth software applications such as Zoom and Microsoft
  • Use to an automated payment system you can set up for your patient

All of these and more at Carepatron! Give Carepatron a try today!

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Who created the ABC Behavior Chart?
Who created the ABC Behavior Chart?
Written by
Patricia Buenaventura
Patricia Buenaventura

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