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Overview of Functional Behavior Assessment FBA
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Overview of Functional Behavior Assessment FBA

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    1. Overview of Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) Project ACCEPT Lecture Presentation

    2. What is Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)? A process for determining why a student engages in a problem behavior (the function of the behavior) Process for identifying a relationship between conditions (what is happening in the classroom) and the students problem behavior Process for identifying classroom conditions that could be changed to prevent problem behavior and to promote positive behavior

    3. Regular Educators & FBA Regular educators may be in the best position to observe and assess the behavior of a student with a disability in an inclusive classroom. FBA may be useful when a students problem behavior does not improve under the classroom management system or discipline plan. FBA is typically implemented by a team that includes the regular educator when a student with a disability is included in the regular classroom.

    4. Conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) Direct observation and recording of student behavior in the classroom Observations usually conducted by school psychologist, special educator, and regular educator Indirect methods such as interviews and questionnaires are often used to supplement direct observation

    5. Functions of Problem Behavior Behavioral theory suggests that problem behavior is maintained by: Positive reinforcement in which the behavior results in or produces a new condition or event Negative reinforcement in which the behavior results in avoidance or termination of a condition or event Sensory regulation/modulation in which the behavior results in a change (increase or decrease) in the students level of sensory stimulation

    6. Types of Positive Reinforcement that Maintain Problem Behavior Social attention Reaction from peers or teacher, acceptance or affiliation with peer group Preferred staff Behavior may result in access to a different staff person, such as a classroom assistant Preferred activity or object Teacher may provide access to a preferred activity or object if doing so results in student ceasing problem behavior

    7. Examples of Positive Reinforcement in the Classroom Billys peers all laugh when Billy makes barnyard noises during math class. Billy continues to make noises each day. When Latrice is disruptive in class, the assistant moves next to her for the rest of the class period. Latrice is disruptive earlier in the class period the next day.

    8. Types of Negative Reinforcement that Maintain Problem Behavior Countercontrol Behavior allows student to gain control by not following staff directive, rule, or contingency Avoid or terminate a social condition Behavior results in student avoiding or escaping interaction with a peer or staff Avoid or terminate an activity or task Student avoids or escapes completion of an assigned activity or task by engaging in the behavior

    9. Examples of Negative Reinforcement in the Classroom Students in Mr. Smiths class successfully delay a quiz by asking numerous questions and discussing unrelated topics. They repeat this behavior before the next quiz. William says he is sick and wants to visit the nurse when he is assigned to a group experiment with a bully in his class. He skips class the next time a group activity is scheduled. Clarence does not want to do his math. He complains that it is too hard, and his teacher sits by him and helps him with each problem. He then complains immediately each time he is assigned math.

    10. Types of Sensory Regulation that Maintains Problem Behavior Increase in sensory stimulation Squirming, talking, doodling, leaving seat, listen to music Decrease or modulate sensory stimulation Rocking, leave noisy area, pick skin or nails Combination of increase and decrease in sensory stimulation Some behaviors (e.g., rocking) can be used to both increase or decrease sensory regulation

    11. Direct Observation in FBA Observing to determine relationships between classroom conditions and student behavior Observations involve recording setting events, antecedents, and consequences each time a problem behavior occurs. The function of a problem behavior is evidenced from patterns in observational data.

    12. Setting Events Setting events can occur or begin outside of the classroom but affect the probability of problem behavior in the classroom. Examples: medication effects, physical injury or discomfort, sleep deprivation, conflict or stress, anxiety, allergies.

    13. Antecedents (Predictors) Antecedents or predictors occur just before or as problem behavior occurs. Social antecedents: presence or absence of attention from a peer or teacher, teasing, teacher proximity Activity or event antecedents: teacher presenting instruction, difficulty of task, correction, no materials or demands, group activity, choice

    14. Consequences Social consequences Praise, correction, laughter, change in proximity Tangible consequences Stickers, points Activity reinforcers Free-time, preferred activities, reduced homework Change in sensory stimulation Increase or decrease in level of stimulation

    15. Basic FBA Recording Form

    16. Assessment-Based Interventions Setting event strategies Remove or prevent setting event Minimize effects of setting event Examples Prevent conflict on bus ride to school Allow student with severe allergies or fatigue issues to take breaks during the day

    17. Assessment-Based Interventions Antecedent-based strategies Remove or alter antecedent (predictor) for problem behavior Increase antecedent (predictor) for prosocial behavior Examples Change students seat away from bothersome peer. Reduce difficulty of math assignment by preteaching the strategy needed to solve problems.

    18. Assessment-Based Strategies Teaching strategies Teach student a functionally-equivalent behavior to replace the problem behavior. Examples Teach student to raise hand to get help with difficult work. Teach student to recruit teacher attention in appropriate ways. Teach student social skills for interacting with difficult peers.

    19. Assessment-Based Strategies Consequence-based strategies Increase the benefit (reinforcement) for the replacement behavior Withdraw or prevent benefit (reinforcement) for the problem behavior Example Withdraw attention (planned ignoring) for disruptive comments and praise topic-related comments consistently.

    20. Conclusion The purpose of this brief overview was to familiarize you with the basic principles and procedures for functional behavior assessment (FBA). Inexperienced practitioners are encouraged to read additional sources and work with other team members when implementing FBA with their students. Several different FBA recording forms are available in sources cited on the next slide.

    21. Sources Chandler, L.K., & Dahlquist, C.M. (2002). Functional assessment: Strategies to prevent and remediate challenging behaviors in school settings. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall. Friend, M. & Bursuck, W.D. (2006). Including students with special needs: A practical guide for classroom teachers (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. (Pages 442-461 address FBA). ONeill, R.E., Horner, R.H., Albin, R.W., Sprague, J.R., Storey, K., & Newton, J.S. (1997). Functional assessment and program development for problem behavior: A practical handbook. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.