Functional Behavior Assessments and Positive Behavior Intervention Plans
What is a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)?
It is a comprehensive and individualized, problem-solving process that addresses challenging behavior. It incorporates a variety of techniques and strategies to gather information as a means of understanding the specific reasons for the student’s problem behavior and how a student’s behavior relates to or is affected by his/her environment. An FBA looks beyond the form of the behavior (i.e., what the behavior looks or sounds like), and focuses on identifying what causes and maintains the behavior (i.e., the function). This type of assessment leads the observer beyond the “symptom” (the behavior) to the student’s underlying motivation (escape, avoid, or gain something).
What is a Positive Behavior Intervention Plan (PBIP)?
It is a specific plan of action that designs effective positive behavior interventions to teach the student more acceptable behavior(s) to replace the inappropriate behavior. The purpose is to teach the student more appropriate behaviors that meet the same function, or purpose, as the inappropriate behaviors previously exhibited. When a PBIP is implemented, progress monitoring (data collection) occurs to determine if there are reductions in the inappropriate behavior and increases in the appropriate behavior(s). In order to develop a more effective and efficient behavior intervention plan, we must use the information from the FBA that describes when, where, and why problem behavior occurs. Intervention plans based on an understanding of “why” a student engages in problem behavior are extremely useful in addressing a wide range of problem behaviors.
When should an FBA and PBIP be completed?
Other considerations may include:
When challenging behaviors are present regardless of disability (not
just for EBD)
When current programs/supports are not effective
When the student is at risk for harm or harm of others
When a more restrictive placement is being considered due to
When there are repeated or serious behavior problems
Is the process only for students with disabilities?
Although there are legal circumstances in which an FBA must be conducted, there is nothing in the law that prevents a team from concluding that an FBA and a PBIP are appropriate supports for any child. Best practice suggests that an FBA be conducted for any student whenever behavior appears to be significantly interfering with the learning process and well before behaviors reach crisis proportions. All students can benefit from the use of consistent positive behavior interventions and supports.
FBA Resources & Tools
FBA Process Flow Chart
Team Assessment Plan
Functional Assessment Screening Tool
Formal Assessments & Inventories
Family Interview Form
Teacher/Staff Interview Form
Checklist for Teachers/Staff
Student Interview Form
General Interview Form
Demands in the Classroom Form
Observation & Analysis Form
Behavioral Data Collection Forms
Scatter Plot Form
Duration Record Form
Temporal Analysis & Ranking
FBA Summary Document
Positive Behavior Intervention Plan
Behavior Goal Writing
Student Safety Plan
Safety Plan Flow Chart