Unfortunately, cold season has arrived. With that in mind, we wanted to prepare you for what to expect behaviorally as a parent or practitioner. In our office, the first cold has struck! It's happening, whether we like it or not, so let's get prepared as we enjoy, and survive, the season that's upon us. 

Behaviorally. there are considerations that explain what we experience as parents and practitioners. I'll outline those below. 

Setting Events: In reference to cold season, these are certain situations that make it more likely for one to engage in challenging behavior. It's common sense right, when you're not feeling well, you're more likely to engage in uncharacteristic or otherwise challenging behavior.  

Triggers: These are the immediate environmental events that evoke challenging behavior. An example of this could be placing a demand or removing or denying a preferred item. 

How do these concepts work together? Essentially, when you have a cold (setting event), you're more likely to engage in challenging behavior evoked by certain triggers that may not normally be triggers at all. For example, one of our learners had a rough couple sessions recently. Normally, placing demands and removing preferred items is not an issue for him. We've worked through that and it's easy. However, when he had a cold, he responded to these situations by engaging in challenging behavior (crying, etc.). Our BCBA and BT truly do believe (and the data support this belief) that it's likely that the setting event (having a cold), made it more likely for their "normally easy" demands to evoke or trigger the challenging behavior. 


What you can do: 

  • Be prepared for the "little things" to evoke challenging behavior-kiddos might be extra sensitive before, during, or after the common cold 
  • When appropriate, proactively modify the demands knowing that challenging behavior might be evoked by things that are not normally an issue
  • Up your reinforcement 
  • When appropriate, include more preferred activities throughout the day
  • Allow rest and/or restful activities

Let us know if you have questions!  

Rob @ Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education

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