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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

Contingency Maps

March 2023 | Abby Rowley, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Contingency maps can help an individual visualize their behavioral choices and the outcomes/consequences of their behaviors. They can help make the problem-solving process more concrete. The individual should be encouraged to determine which outcome is preferable and/or enables them solve their problem.

Here is an example (click or tap on the image to open a printable version): 



These are the steps to complete a contingency map: 

  1. Determine the problem or situation.

  2. Help the individual determine two different behavioral choices. One will be the problematic behavior that the individual has displayed in the past.

  3. Help the individual discuss what the potential outcomes/consequences of their behaviors could be. For example, the consequence of refusing to do what your boss tells you to do could result in your being fired from your job. Alternatively, requesting a different task from your boss could result in a more enjoyable position.

  4. Using the outcomes discussed, ask the individual which they would prefer. Then discuss the behavior choice that helps them reach their goal more effectively. 


Here is a blank contingency map template (click or tap on the image to open a printable version): 

Contingency map template, opens in new window

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Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.