Organizing your Environment

May 28, 2021

One of the most effective ways to manage behaviour is to organize the environment. It is our job to make sure that the environment is organized in a way that allows for adaptive behaviours to be expressed easily while requiring lots of effort to demonstrate maladaptive behaviours. For example, if a child is required to complete homework it is important to provide an environment which is free from distractions such as television and other electronics, toys, people etc. Therefore, the child is more likely to focus on homework completion as it would require a great deal of effort to find other things to do. There are many things that we can do, or already do, in order to reduce the effort we need to put out in order to accomplish something. For example, if you are trying to avoid returning library books late, you might set an alarm or reminder on your phone as soon as you get the books. Now you will not have to remember when they are due. Other examples of applying this technique could include locking up medication so that adults and children cannot easily ingest/overdose on medication, a programmable thermostat to reduce heating temperatures during peak consumption times, placing a towel on the counter in the bathroom prior to showering. Often maladaptive behaviours can be prevented by taking a few minutes to prepare the environment and plan ahead.

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