How To Set Up Customized Data Tracking

Optimize your experience with BEHCA—every person is unique, so customizing your BEHCA profile is key to fully understanding their behavior

If you have any existing documents or plans (e.g., IEP’s, BSP’s, 504’s, person-centered plans, or other behavior documentation showing what’s challenging and/or what works versus doesn’t work), use these documents to help align both the language as well as the tracking. Even if at first you are not collaborating with anyone else or inviting others to track data, this documentation—specifically the wording you use—can help keep focus, ensure apples-to-apples terminology, and begin to form a baseline perspective.

What to reflect on when you’re customizing your BEHCA user profile:

  1. What is your goal with tracking behavior? What insight are you hoping to gain? (this will help you identify both language as well as “what” to track)
  2. How does this behavior impact the individual’s life and those around them? (this will help you determine the positive behaviors that you want to see more of)
  3. What are successful strategies that have worked in the past or are currently being used? (this will help you identify influencers within the environment as well as in the notes section of what is being done. Even if this area cannot be answered, continue to ponder, revisit and observe a bit and come back to add, with each realization)
  4. How does the environment impact the individual? (this can be anything from smells, textures, sounds, particular people, places, or things. Try to be as observant and creative with this section as possible, and make room for changes within the first couple of weeks as you may begin to notice additional areas that impact them)

Setting up the ‘Customization’ portion of BEHCA:

Positive Behaviors: Identify four positive behaviors you would like to see more of and add those into the positive behavior section. This might look like the following:

  1. Things they currently do well
  2. Include interests/strengths that may lead to added strengths
  3. Combine what they do well (have buy-in) with what we want them to shift in terms of challenging behavior
  4. Example: Johnny frequently hits to get attention; however, he loves interacting with others while putting puzzles together or playing games; Engaged socially with soft touch or communication device; Calmly interacted with peer; Respectfully engaged with taking turns; Clearly stated needs using words successfully

Challenging Behaviors: Identify up to four behaviors (try to keep it under four, to bring validity to the tracking as well as less complexity). List those behaviors in the challenging behavior section. This might look like the following:

  1. Physical aggression: hitting, kicking, scratching, biting, throwing things, pulling hair, pushing, etc.
  2. Sensory seeking/stemming: spinning, making noises, flapping, repeating phrases, rocking, etc.
  3. Verbally Aggressive/threats: screaming, making idle or real threats, swearing, making negative comments towards others, saying explicit phrases, etc.
  4. Self-injurious behaviors (SIB): banging head, biting hand, punching head/face/body, throwing body against floor or wall, slamming self-back, etc.
  5. Suicidal ideation/threats/attempts: Making threats to harm or kill self, making advances into harming self or stating preparedness to kill self, screaming “I want to die,” or other variations of such
  6. Property destruction: kicking walls, throwing items to break them, ripping items apart, using weapons/sharp things to destroy furniture, etc.

Communication/Social Interactions: This is going to vary, widely, from person to person. The goal is to utilize, again, what do you want to see more of.

  1. Initiated conversation
  2. Responded to social interaction in community
  3. Responded to question from housemate/sibling/care provider
  4. Engaged in an ongoing conversation (… exchanges)
  5. Asked for assistance/desire/want/need (with device/sign language, respectfully)
  6. Used sign language/communication device/PECS/etc. (to ask for needs/wants/desires

Environment: Think creatively and observe closely; the goal is to pay attention to ALL variables influencing the person’s ability to self-regulate. The more agitating events, the less patience we have

  1. Particular noises: alarms, fans, sirens, birds, dogs barking, siblings yelling/screaming, road noise from car, windows down in car, etc.
  2. Sensory stimuli response: other people touching them or hugs, hair being brushed/washed or otherwise, certain clothing with tags/material/seams/etc., wind, car rides (particularly longer or curvy), food (textures and flavors), showering (being wet, cold/hot, soap, towels, etc.)
  3. Certain people/personalities: Power struggles, limited choice giving, gruff voice/demeanor, high pitched voice, timid, unsure how to respond or seemingly fearful, specific physical features; beard, long-hair, bald, tall, women, men, children, etc.
  4. Changes in schedule: canceled appointments, time changes, having to wait long periods (appointment late), new provider, new teacher/para professional, different location for school/work/other, favorite choices no longer being available (or being limited)
  5. Pollen count/changes in seasons: Pollen is something we are planning to track regularly, in the meantime we are noticing big effects with the increased count.

Health: Medications/supplements; this section is mostly fill-in; however, it is important to make notes of any observable influencers or changes, related to the health section.