Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Support Plan
Section One: Behavior Analysis and Support
Challenging behavior that occurs within a student population can be a serious issue. It can affect the learner’s education and interfere with the learning of other students. Fortunately, there is a systematic process for educators to use to address problem behaviors. With the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) in 1997, schools were mandated to use Positive Behavior Support (PBS) to address behavior issues. In alignment with this mandate, schools are required to use Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and Behavior Support Plans (BSP) when addressing students with behavior challenges. The Significance of FBA
FBA embraces many factors that are important to education. First and foremost, FBA provides the educator with a methodical process to define, understand, and measure maladaptive behavior in students. The practice of FBA goes beyond simply identifying the problem behavior. With FBA, the function of the behavior is identified, along with the antecedent, the environment and setting events that bring on the behavior. A second important factor of FBA is that it provides a method that schools can easily incorporate to understand the student’s behavior and create positive interventions to address these issues. Yet another merit of FBA is that it is research-supported due to the fact that is it founded on Applied Behavior Analysis. The Significance of BSP
Challenging behavior can present problems to educators, families and other students. One way of addressing these behaviors is to create a BSP, which is essential because it is a “proactive action plan to address behavior(s) that are impeding learning of the student or others” (PENT). In other words, it provides a positive and clear cut way for educators to manage maladaptive behaviors. BSP is also significant because it stems from data collected from an FBA that was performed on the student exhibiting the problem behavior. Elements of FBA
The goal of FBA is to clearly define the target behavior, and also to understand the function, antecedents, environment, and setting events of the behavior. In order to do this FBA uses a straight-forward process that includes several elements: gathering information, observation, hypothesis formulation, and determination of possible interventions.
To start the process of FBA, it is imperative that the target behavior be identified. An educator will gather broad information about the student’s skills, activities, health concerns, past school information, and academic/social goals (Jones, 2005). Next, the target behavior should be clearly defined by utilizing indirect assessment which entails structured interviews of teachers, principals, counselors, parents, and others that are relevant to the student. The subsequent step is to determine the function of the behavior as well as any antecedents, setting events and consequences. This information can be gathered from structured interviews, but can also be found during observations of the student.
With the target behavior identified, the educator can now conduct direct assessments via observations of the student in the natural settings of the classroom and/or home. Observational techniques are utilized to understand the behavior and the environment it occurs in. There are several methods of observation used to collect data on the target behavior. One mode of data collection is to use the A-B-C analysis which can identify the Antecedents, Behaviors and Consequences of the student’s behavior. Another method used to collect data for a FBA is the Scatter-Plot analysis which can identify patterns and the frequency of problem behavior (Wheeler & Richey, 2010, pp.163-167). There are several other modes available for data collection that will identify the frequency, interval and...