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Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans

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  1. Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans Presented by: Dr. Caren Baruch Feldman Hewlett Woodmere School District May 8, 2009

  2. The Good News….. • Functional Behavioral Assessment when done right helps students. • If we embrace it –we will always have a job.

  3. The Bad News…… • To do it right takes effort and time. • It is a process not a piece of paper. • Psychologist can case manage the process but to do the process justice requires a team effort.

  4. The Goals of Today’s Presentation • Understanding FBAs and BIPs • Description of Common Pitfalls • Forms that Can be Used by Your District • Review of Actual Cases

  5. Key Concepts in My Approach to Functional Behavioral Assessment. Behavior occurs in a context. One needs to consider the environment as well as the child. Behaviors continue because they are reinforced. The misbehavior on some level works for the child. Our challenge is to identify the function that behavior serves and attempt to identify a replacement behavior that is more acceptable and will serve the same purpose for the student. One needs to make the problem behavior irrelevant, inefficient, and ineffective. Not enough just to punish. We need to “teach” replacement behaviors and allow for practice of those new skills. Rome was not built in a day. We should be proactive in addressing challenging behaviors and try to prevent problems before they occur. “An ounce of prevention is with a pound of cure.”

  6. What is Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)? The FBA is a method for gathering information that identifies the function of problembehavior and the events that predict its occurrence. Function = the purpose the behavior serves Antecedents = Conditions that Precede the Occurrence of the Behavior Consequences=Events that Follow the Behavior A complete FBA includes: Definition of the problem behavior. Antecedent conditions that exist both when the behavior occurs and doesn’t occur. The consequences that maintain the behavior. Definition of the replacement behavior. A statement of behavioral function.

  7. What is a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) The BIP refers to the development of behavior change strategies that are based on the data gathered during the FBA and that are directly linked to the function of the behavior. The BIP should: • Decrease the target behaviors. • Increase the replacement behaviors. • Eliminate the consequences maintaining the problem behavior. • Change the antecedents that evoke the target behavior. • Be derived from the FBA.

  8. Why is it Important? Interventions that take into consideration function have proven to be more effective as compared to interventions that simply increase reinforcement for appropriate behaviors and penalties for problem behaviors. Why is this true? • Penalties may actually reinforce the problem behavior. • Reinforcers we choose may not be “reinforcing” or strong enough to overcome the problem behavior.

  9. When Do We Have To Do FBAs: Best Practices & I.D.E.A.? • In cases of a change in placement due to disciplinary action, a functional behavioral assessment must be conducted to inform the development of a behavior intervention plan. • In the case of a child whose behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others, consider, when appropriate, strategies, including positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address that behavior.

  10. Who Does an FBA? • The IEP team • One person should not be responsible for an FBA, although the psychologist can coordinate the process.

  11. What are the Common Functionsof Behavior Functions for the MisbehaviorMatching Intervention_______________ Avoidance/escape from task Alter task and/or make escape demands contingent on appropriate behavior. For example, teach to request assistance or a break. Attention from adults Ignore and/or make attention contingent or peers on alternative behavior. For example, planned ignoring, time out, and teach appropriate attention seeking. Increase schedule for appropriate behaviors. Obtain tangible or preferred Make tangible or preferred activities contingent on activities appropriate behavior. For example, teach appropriate request behaviors and schedule time with reinforcers. Obtain internal stimulation Provide access to a replacement activity. Set targets of self control and reward. * Behavior can have multiple functions

  12. Identifying the Problem: Defining Target and Replacement Behaviors Target Behavior = Behavior Selected for Intervention Replacement Behavior = Behavior you want the student to perform TARGET BEHAVIOR Behavior needs to be observable, measurable, and repeatable. Pass the stranger test. Could a complete stranger read the definition and know exactly what to look for in an observation? Distinguish between behaviors and outcomes of behavior The so- what test? - Is it important to change this behavior? The REPLACEMENT BEHAVIOR 1) Must be stated in the positive (in terms of what you want the student to do and no dead person behaviors) 2) Be something that the student can learn 3) Be supported by the environment

  13. FBA: Functional Behavioral Assessment: Necessary Components • Informant Interviews = with teachers, school personnel, and parents • Record Review • Student Interviews • Observations using an ABC Model • A= Antecedent • B= Behavior • C= Consequence

  14. A-B-C Observation FormStudent:_______________TargetBehavior:________Date:_________________ Time:_________________Location: _____________Observer:______________

  15. Observing Behavior: Concepts to Consider • Frequency- How often the behavior occurs. • Topography- the description of the behavior, what it looks like. • Duration-how long the behavior lasts. • Latency- the amount of time between behaviors. • Magnitude-the force or power of the behavior. • Locus- where the behavior occurs.

  16. Good Practices when Observing in the Classroom and Other School Setting • Observe a student across settings and a variety of different times. • Observe also when the child doesn’t have a problem so you can discover contexts that support success. • Collect data on a second student of the same gender and age so you can objectively compare the incidents of misbehavior.

  17. Types of Observation Methods Narrative recording- taking notes and writing down what occurs. Frequency or Event Recording- Counting how many times a specific behavior occurs during a given period. Good for discrete behaviors rather than continuous. Interval recording- Divide the observation time into equal intervals and the record whether or not the behavior occurred. Duration recording- determining how long a particular behavior lasts. Latency recording- how much time between behaviors. Scatter plot - record the occurrence of the behavior on a time grid. The aim is to record when and where a behavior occurs, chart the information and look for patterns. ABC- narrative account of the antecedents, behavior, and events that follow the behavior, consequences.

  18. Behavior Intervention Plan Developed based on the FBA Method #1: Teach the Replacement Behavior Examples include communication, social skills, prerequisite academic skills, and self management. Method #2: Improve the Antecedents or Environment Examples include clear and specific incentives, rules, and choices; modifying routines, physical arrangements, and organization; increasing time spent on instruction, and using effective teaching strategies; cueing and foreshadowing change. Method # 3: Adjusting the Contingencies or Consequences Eliminate the consequences that formerly maintained the target behavior and provide reinforcements for the replacement behavior.

  19. Teach the Replacement Behavior Communication Skills RB needs to be more efficient than the PB Reinforce new communication skills Use extinction for PB Allow escape by asking Social Skills Depends on the area that is weak (e.g., sharing, anger management, dealing with teasing). Teach the skill. Prerequisite Academic Skills Can occur b/c student not know how to execute the academic task. Self management Includes self recording (counting and recording your own behavior), self evaluation (making a judgment whether one has earned the reinforcement). Includes a visual and auditory clue for performing the replacement behavior. “We’re encouraging people to become involved in their own rescue.”

  20. Improve the Antecedents or Environment Eliminate the antecedent event. Modify the task so that it includes the student’s interest. Change the task difficulty. Make the task more meaningful. Behavioral Momentum. Task length. Increase the opportunities for choice. Good classroom management. Transitions should be smooth, with little wait time, and with warning. Prompting and cueing. Arrange the room for success (e.g., distracting classroom arrangements, noisy peer activity, changes in routine, and seating assignments).

  21. Adjusting the Contingencies or Consequences 1. Eliminate the consequences that formerly maintained the target behavior and provide reinforcements for the replacement behavior. 2. Extinction - Withhold the consequence when the target behavior occurs. 3. Reinforcement- Provide the consequence that previously reinforced the target behavior, but only for the replacement behavior. Need to be done immediately. 4. Build a positive climate- provide 4 positives for every 1 correction. 5. Redirection towards alternative responses. To create opportunities to give the student positive feedback for appropriate behavior. 6. Increases the effectiveness of the replacement behavior by minimizing reinforcement for PB and increasing reinforcement for TB.

  22. Selecting a Method and Strategy: Where Should I Intervene? Ask yourself the following questions. 1. Can the student perform the replacement behavior? a) If the answer is “NO,” use Method # 1: Teach the replacement behavior, and b) Ask the next question. 2. Do the antecedents conditions represent “effective educational practice”? a) If the answer is “No,” use Method # 2: Improve the Environment. b) If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” use Method #3 : Adjust the contingencies. c) If the answer to both questions is “No”, use Method #1: and Method #2.

  23. Behavior Intervention Plan: What are the Essential Components • Examine the antecedents and consequences surrounding the targeted behavior and introduce new antecedents and consequences that will lead to an increase in the replacement behavior. • Consider what function the targeted behavior serves for the individual and match the intervention to the function. • Make sure to withhold the reinforcers that originally reinforced the targeted behavior. • Need to make the problem behavior irrelevant, inefficient, and ineffective.

  24. Problem Behaviors Need to Become Irrelevant, Inefficient and Ineffective • Irrelevant- typically involves structural changes such as altering the physical setting, changing the curriculum, or increasing predictability, and choice options available to the student. For ex. modifying schoolwork so that the student doesn’t feel a need to escape. • Inefficient- refers to the amount of effort required to perform a particular behavior, the number of times a person must perform the behavior before receiving reinforcement, and the time delay between the problem behavior and reinforcement. For ex., if students laugh when a student makes odd noise changing it so the student is in a leadership role and the teacher calls on him very frequently. • Ineffective- make the problem behavior an ineffective way to obtain reinforcement. This involves extinction- withholding reinforcement for the problem behavior. For ex., soliciting the cooperation of the other students to ignore the student’s odd noises.

  25. How Do I Know if my BIP is Working? Convenient Outcome Data to Collect • Amount of work turned in • Discipline referrals • Grade report • Frequency of time outs or direct intervention • Student report • Parent report • Structured Observation

  26. Putting It All Together : From Problem Identification to Effective Intervention • Problem behavior occurs because it is consistently followed by the child getting something positive or escaping something negative. • By focusing on the contexts and outcomes of the behavior, it is possible to determine the functions of the behavior, male the problem behavior less effective and efficient, and make the desired behavior more functional. This often involves changing systems, altering environments, and teaching new skills, as well as focusing on the problem behavior.

  27. How Does Functional Behavioral Assessment Fit into an IEP • May be included in the present level of educational performance (PLOP) • Special factors • Annual goals and short term objectives/benchmarks • Attach the FBA and BIP

  28. Some Common Pitfalls • It is not a form but a process. • Needs to be multi-methods assessment. • A team of individuals need to work on the FBA and BIP. • Make sure there is a connection between the FBA and BIP. • Make sure there is a connection to the actual problem. • Specify people who are responsible for each aspect of the plan. • The devil is in the details. • BIP must be feasible. • Specify a review date. • Need to consider what to do in a crisis.

  29. Examples of Forms that are Commonly Used • NYASP Form • FBA and BIP by Pro-Ed 2000 • Review Resource Book