A functional behavioral assessment (or FBA) is a process that identifies a specific or target behavior that interferes with a student’s education. The assessment attempts to designate the particular behavior, identify the factors that support the behavior, and determine the purpose of the behavior.
The basic idea is that a student’s behavior serves a purpose. Whether they know it or not, kids act in certain ways for a reason. If schools and families can understand what is causing a behavior, they can find ways to change it.
Once an FBA is completed, it is often followed up by the development of a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). The intention of the BIP is to incorporate what was found in the FBA and craft a plan to re-teach desirable behaviors and help the child be more successful in school.
The six steps to an FBA are as follows:
- Choose a problem behavior to change.
- Measure the problem behavior by collecting data.
- Determine the function (purpose) of the problem behavior.
- Conduct a functional behavior assessment.
- Create a behavior intervention plan.
- Teach a new alternative behavior.