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Ep. 9: How to Start the Functional Behavior Assessment

Behavior Support | October 13, 2019

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We have started diving into the 5 Steps of Behavioral Support and our first step is beginning the functional behavior assessment. Or to paraphrase my friend Abby, the Undercover Secret Behavior Detective stage.

In this episode I am talking about the methods we can use to gather the information we need to help figure out the functions of the behavior.  A big part of an FBA is to get to know everything you can about the student from past history to likes and dislikes.  We need an understanding the context in which he lives and goes to school. Our goal is to try to figure out how the environment impacts his behavior in order to determine its function, which we talked about in Episode 8.

Keep reading for links to tools I talk about in this episode for interviews, checklists and preference assessments.

The best way to make sure you get a strong functional behavior assessment is to make sure you really get to know the student and his environment.

EPISODE 9: HOW TO START THE FUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOR ASSESSMENT

Gathering information is a key element in starting the functional behavior assessment.  We need to gather information about what has worked and not worked in the past.  It helps to talk to family members and classroom staff and in this episode I talk about what those conversations can tell you about the behavior.  Interviews and checklists can be really useful, even though they may not be your best methods of figuring out the actual function.  And I share a few examples of how that might be.  

This Episode Includes

  • The 4 types of information you need to collect as part of an FBA.
  • Why interviews and checklists, while time-saving, are not your only tools to use to figure out the function of behaviors.  But we can get some information from them with skill.
  • How knowing a student’s likes and dislikes may (or may not) translate into possible reinforcers you can use in your behavior program.
  • Why I consider that I’ve got a good solid FBA when a parent tells me I really understand their child.
  • And introduction to taking data and a teaser for the next episode (which will have a free tool to use)!

We have started diving into the 5 Steps of Behavioral Support and our first step is beginning the functional behavior assessment. Or to paraphrase my friend Abby, the Undercover Secret Behavior Detective stage.

In this episode I am talking about the methods we can use to gather the information we need to help figure out the functions of the behavior.  A big part of an FBA is to get to know everything you can about the student from past history to likes and dislikes.  We need an understanding the context in which he lives and goes to school. Our goal is to try to figure out how the environment impacts his behavior in order to determine its function, which we talked about in Episode 8.

Keep reading for links to tools I talk about in this episode for interviews, checklists and preference assessments.

The best way to make sure you get a strong functional behavior assessment is to make sure you really get to know the student and his environment.

Episode 9: How to Start the Functional Behavior Assessment

Gathering information is a key element in starting the functional behavior assessment.  We need to gather information about what has worked and not worked in the past.  It helps to talk to family members and classroom staff and in this episode I talk about what those conversations can tell you about the behavior.  Interviews and checklists can be really useful, even though they may not be your best methods of figuring out the actual function.  And I share a few examples of how that might be.  

Looking for more ideas for preventing challenging behavior and being proactive? Check out the FREE Preventing Behavior Webinar.

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