Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Support Plan Essay

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.

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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 duration of problem behaviors. Next, it is important to analyze the data collected in order to create a hypothesis about the function of the behavior and also any antecedents and consequences. This hypothesis predicts the general conditions under which the behavior is most and least likely to occur (antecedents), as well as the probable consequences that serve to maintain it” (Quinn, Gable, Rutherford, Nelson& Howell). With an explanation of the function of the behavior, appropriate interventions can be established. Creating a BSP With the FBA completed, the educator can create a BSP. To establish a BSP for a student with challenging behavior, it is important to take the information from the FBA and use it to determine what the problem and goals are for the student.The next step is to create a positive support plan for the student.

First, possible solutions and their probable consequences are discussed by the student’s IEP team. These solutions include ways to manipulate the antecedent and the final consequences of each solution. Also discussed are possible replacement behaviors that can be taught to replace the same function of the problem behavior, and supplementary aids that the student would need such as modifications in curriculum and/or modifications of the physical environment.The next step in the BSP is to determine the best solution and then create a plan on how to carry out this solution. Another element of the BSP is a compilation of positive rewards that the student will receive as the problem behaviors decrease. Along with the rewards are also consequences for the student should the behavior escalate. Lastly, it is very important to include methods of monitoring and evaluating the changes in the student’s behavior. One popular method is to use single-subject research design.

There are many variations available within the single-subject research area, some of which include: A-B design, reversal design, and multiple-baseline design (Wheeler & Richey, 2010, pp. 191-201). With the conclusion of evaluations, the BSP is on its way to effectively intervene and replace the problem behavior with more socially accepted behaviors. Conclusion Teachers are, at times, presented with challenging behaviors from their students.

Positive interventions provide the best method of changing these behaviors. Educators can use FBA and BSP to create a supportive environment for students to learn replacement behaviors.FBA is a systematic approach that teachers can use to understand problem behaviors and their function. By adding a BSP for students with behavior issues, educators can create a positive learning environment for all students to grow socially and academically. Section 2: Who Benefits Students with autism frequently exhibit challenging behaviors and are able to benefit from FBA and BSP. There are many reasons students with autism use maladaptive behavior which include: communicating a need, obtaining attention or irritation from something in their environment.

With communication difficult for some students with autism, it is important to determine the function of the behavior by completing an FBA. Once the function of the behavior is determined, follow- up with a BSP is important to establish interventions such as modifying the environment, altering the antecedent or providing the need of the student. For instance, in a class for students with autism, one particular student would start rocking back and forth and crying. The teacher was aware that the student exhibited this behavior at certain times of the day.By utilizing event recording, a behavior observation method, the teacher could determine that the student presented this behavior before snack and lunch time, thus determining that the student displayed the behavior when he was hungry. Creating a goal in a BSP to teach replacement behaviors, the student could learn to communicate his need in a positive manner.

References Jones, Kevin. (2005). Functional Behavior Assessment. Lee, S (Ed. ) Encyclopedia of school psychology, 214-216. Thousand Oaks, CA: SageReference.Retrieved February 8, 2012 from http://go.

galegroup. om. library. gcu. edu:2048/ps/i.

do? action=interpret&id=GALE%7CCX3453000110&v=2. 1&u=canyonuniv&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w&authCount=1 PENT, (n. d. ) Behavior Support Plans.

Retrieved February 13, 2012 from http://www. pent. ca. gov/beh/bsp/bsp.

htm Quinn, M. , Gable, R. , Rutherford, R. , Nelson, C. & Howell, K. (n.

d. ) FBA/Problem Behavior. The center for effective collaboration and practice. Retrieved February 13, 2012 from http://cecp. air. org/fba/problembehavior/strategies. htm Wheeler, J.

,& Richey, D. (2010). Behavior management: Principles and practices of positive


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