Monisha Acharya-Lammert
Expert Name:  Monisha Acharya-Lammert
Expert Title: Monisha Acharya-Lammert
Company Name:  Step By Step Academy
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Short Bio: 
Monisha Acharya-Lammert is the Outreach Director at Step By Step Academy (SBSA) and has been serving children diagnosed with autism since 2001. In her role as Director, she delivers parent and staff trainings on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA), provides strategies on behavior management, as well as oversees and develops comprehensive behavior plans with the guidance of the Human Rights Committee. With guidance from the Executive Director at SBSA, she has established and supervised an Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI) classroom in the Morrow County area since August 2010.

Monisha was a home-based private consultant for five years before joining the Step by step team. She is continuing her education by preparing for the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst certification under the direct supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Dealing with Challenging Behaviors: 3 Steps to Help You Figure out the “Why?”

Have you been asking yourself, “Why is my child acting like this?” If so, we can help!  
Some examples of “challenging” behaviors are:
aggression toward others
self-injurious behaviors
Step 1:  What is the target behavior?
Maybe your child engages in non-compliant behaviors quite frequently…basically, it seems like whenever you ask him or her to do something that is non-preferred.  Why does he or she do that?  Well, that is what you need to figure out.
The first step is to identify what the non-compliance looks like:  falling to the floor, protesting, engaging in tantrums, and/or property destruction; all attempts should be considered too.
Once you have identified what the most problematic/challenging behavior is that you want to address, you will need to determine the“payoff,” aka…”What is the function of his behavior?”
Step 2:  What is the function of the behavior?
To identify the function of the behavior, here are the possible functions divided into four groups:
a. Attention-engaging in behaviors to obtain attention
b. Denied access to preferred items/activities-behaviors serve as a means to gain access to preferred objects or activities
c. Escape/Avoidance-engaging in behaviors as a means to escape or avoid social demands
d. Automatic Reinforcement-behaviors that occur as a response to some internal stimulation
Step 3:  What do I do with this information?
Based on the information provided above, you will want to complete what’s called a Functional Behavior Assessment.  This is a way for you to take the target behavior and manipulate it through various conditions in order to actually determine what the function is.
The Special Learning Store has some wonderful products to help get you on your way toward assessing challenging behaviors. Check out the recommended products at