ABC Observation

ABC Observation

Key features of ABC Observations:

  • A = Antecedent (what happened leading up to the behavior)
  • B = Behavior (the behavior itself)
  • C = Consequence (what happened as a result of the behavior)
  • Focused on an individual child, though could include specific other children

When ABC Observations are useful:

  • When you want to better understand why a certain behavior is happening
  • When you are preparing documentation to share out with a parent
  • To brainstorm ways how to change the environment to avoid the behavior
  • To understand what a child needs that they are not getting
  • To understand how your assistant teachers are responding to challenging behaviors

Sample ABC Observation:

Antecedent: Logan was sitting on the floor playing with the blocks and cars when teacher Mary said, "It's time to clean up to go outside."

Behavior: Logan yelled, "No!" and threw his body on the floor crying and kicking.

Consequence: Teacher Mary picked Logan up and pulled him into her lap and said, "Logan, I see that you're upset. Can I help?" Logan squirmed out of her lap and back onto the floor. Teacher Mary said, "Logan would you like to play with the blocks and cars again later?" Logan nodded and said, "I want to play with the red one."