What is a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)?
An FBA is an approach to figuring out why a student acts a certain way. It uses different methods to understand what's behind behavior challenges. The basic idea is that a student's behavior serves a purpose.
What are the different functions of behavior?
1. Sensory-- A behavior that provides a sensory input that is pleasing to the child. The child does this behavior because it feels good, or helps to regulate over- or under-stimulation.
2. Escape-- A behavior that provides an escape from the task they are expected to do.
3. Attention-- A behavior that provides attention to the student, from peers and/or adults.
4. Tangible-- A behavior that provides access to a tangible item or person of interest or want.
5. Control-- A behavior that enables the child to gain control over a situation, or they perceive that they have control.
How is the need for a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) determined?
Before the FBA/BIP process has even begun, the following should have already taken place:
1. Contact parents to notify them the behavior exists-- Parents are important stakeholders in this process as they can provide valuable information about the student's background, triggers, behavior at home, and other factors that could be contributing to problem behaviors at school.
2. Contact the school counselor about the behavior issue--The school counselor can help determine if the issue is a behavioral issue or a mental health issue. NELSD has our own mental health therapist and provides her own separate services from the behavioral specialist.
3. Attempt to mitigate the behavior issues in the classroom through use of basic behavioral intervention strategies and/or the building's discipline policies.
4. Gather and review relevant school data (i.e. attendance data, data from previous interventions, academic progress, and previous discipline data and actions taken).
5. Refer student to the behavior specialist for further evaluation of the student behavior and behavior plan implementation. The behavior specialist will help the team to develop a behavior plan for the student and review progress after 4-8 weeks.
6. If the student does not make progress after receiving the support of the behavior specialist, the team may decide to conduct a functional behavior assessment to do a deeper evaluation of the behavior. Parents will need to provide consent for the FBA before the team moves forward with the process.
What happens after an FBA has been conducted?
1. The team will meet to review the data gathered from the functional behavior assessment and develop a specific behavior intervention plan (BIP) for the student, which could include multiple components or services depending on the student's needs.
2. The team will review student progress every 4-6 weeks after an FBA/BIP has been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the behavior intervention plan and make changes as necessary.