Overview of the Functional Behavioral Assessment

What is a Functional Behavioral Assessment or FBA?

The Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is a formal way for parents, teachers, and other school professionals to work together to help make a student become more successful. It is intended to be a problem solving process used to determine the function of a student’s behavior. Students with misbehavior that are not successful with typical behavior supports or the schoolwide discipline plans, may need extra support. The FBA is typically used prior to a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). It is a brainstorming session, where participants attempt to determine the precursors to the misbehavior. Participants should come to the meeting, prepared to discuss times when there is not a disciple problem, and what is occurring to make those times more positive. They should also be ready to discuss what occurs prior to the misbehavior to cause it.

When is it used?

The FBA can be used for students in Special Education and it can be used for regular education students. However, there are not laws requiring a school to complete an FBA on regular education students. When an FBA is conducted regarding a student classified as a Special Education Student, the FBA is a function of the IEP committee.

What are good practices?

-Trained professionals such as a School Psychologist should conduct observations prior to the meeting. They can come with data regarding the current behavior and what may have led up to it.
-Leave negative thinking out of the process. It is not a grip session or a time to discuss what will not work. There are challenging children in our schools, but if we give up on them, they will surly give up on themselves.

Helpful links
Creating Behavior Plans
Intervention Plans
Overview of the FBA and BIP

One Response to “Overview of the Functional Behavioral Assessment”

  1. S. says:

    FBA in my opinion is a good idea for education. Usually through those years in school, you go through “awkward years” and for some students, it can be distracting to their progress in education. There is a company I have worked for, where I feel that sometimes it may be a good idea to not only have a PEO but to administer a FBA as well. We have hired many people in the past who will do well in assessment tests and in the interview, but later we find that they are unbearable at times because they don’t know how to handle their stress or anger. We don’t give up on those employees. We talk with them and help them understand that they need to find a better way to deal with their emotions, but for the future, I believe it would be a good idea to administer a FBA to potential employees in a work environment that can cause stress, etc.