Case 1: The case of Emily
Emily is a 6 year girl that was referred to you by her pediatric psychologist because she is
having behavior issues. Emily parents said her behavior issues started when she started first
grade. Emily has expressed to her parents that she did not want to go school was not fun
anymore because it was not fun anymore. Emily’s behavior consist of screaming tantrums which
involve crying and banging head on the floor. Her parents also states that when the behavior
begin she start refusing to sleep in her own bed. Emily parents said that they met with her teacher
and it was revealed that she generally behaves well at school and that her academic skills appear
are at grade level. Her parents were very concerned about the outburst and initially let her stay
home from school while they tried to figure out what was bothering her.
As Emily’s therapist I would have to decide what behavior I will target first. The
behavior that I feel is most important to target first is her banging her head on the floor because
this could lead to a serious injury and is also safety issue.
The unintentional reinforcement strategy that may have contributed to Emily’s school
refusal is that she may have been getting more attention when she was in kindergarten than she is
getting in first grade because as a first grader she has a little more responsibility and more is
required of her than in first grade.
In order to change Emily’s behavior there has to be an intervention put in place and the
return should be a desired target behavior. The plan to eliminating unwanted behavior focus
primarily on the development of desirable replacement behaviors. Eliminating unwanted
behavior and focus primarily on the development of desirable replacement behaviors. Using a
constructional approach as oppose to an eliminative approach could...