When looking at why a child or anyone for that matter, does something, we often consider the antecedent, or what just happened before, or the consequence, or what happens right after the behavior for the reason. There is often some benefit to this; however, it can often be very shortsighted.
While we know there are specific triggers for behaviors and specific reinforcers for behaviors, knowing those does not paint the whole picture. Often there are other variables, sometimes called independent variables, or Setting Events. Some of these could include; but this is a short list:
Medical or Physical problems
Sleep Apnea and Sleep Cycles
Eating Routines and Diet
Inconsistency in Schedule or People
Density of people (too many people present)
Stimulation (is the environment overly stimulating, this can change over time where initially it is not overly stimulating but becomes so as the person reaches and goes beyond capacity).
Some other Setting Events or Independent Variable may include: motivation, fatigue, hunger, intelligence, expectations, and stress. The relationships a child has with the people around him or her and the relationships between the people around him or her can also be Independent Variables or Setting Events.
Assessment: Targeting the treatment towards the all the issues, not just the child.
CHILD BEHAVIOR: Why does s/he do that? and What can I do about it?
Quality Treatment for Children
What are some of the often overlooked independent variables? (sometimes referred to as Setting Events)
What is the Pyramid Model?
The Teaching Pyrmid
Dependent and Independent variables