Ep. 10: How to Take ABC Data Effectively in the Classroom

Our next step in gathering information for a functional behavior assessment is collecting ABC data.  Antecedent-behavior-consequence data is a critical piece of the type of naturalistic assessment we typically do in a classroom.  

I recently asked on Facebook who does the FBAs at the follower’s schools and many said they had BCBAs who do the actual FBA…which is great.  With their increased training a BCBA might do a more sophisticated analysis of behavior than I might expect the classroom team to complete on their own.  And that is really wonderful for those complex students who really need that expertise. And it’s great to take the load off the classroom staff as well.  

Regardless of who completes the actual assessment, many of the classroom staff are still responsible for taking much of the data for the FBA.  And this episode is going to focus on tips and pointers for taking the ABC data we often need in naturalistic assessments that are frequently done within schools.

In addition, I have a couple of free tools that you’ll be able to download at the end and I will be also sharing some tips for how to make sure that your ABC data is meaningful and helpful to what you’re trying to do.

Antecedents and consequences are just whatever happens before and after behavior. If we knew the triggers and reinforcers, we wouldn’t need to take the data.


Taking ABC data can be challenging, but making sure that your time is well spent in what you record is critical to not wasting your time.  In this episode I review tips to think about what to record for the antecedent, behavior and consequence.  And I also share tips on how to take the data itself meaningful by being objective and recording the right info.  Finally, check out the free ABC data sheet below and if you are looking for more of a deep dive, come join us in the Special Educator Academy where we have a whole course of Behavioral Problem Solving.

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