Does your child struggle with behavioral/emotional issues?

Posted By Hollingsworth Zivitz || 7-May-2013

A FBA, or a functional behavior assessment, is a process schools often utilize when a child's behavior begins to impede their learning or the learning of other students. Functional behavioral assessments are generally considered to be a continuous problem-solving process for addressing students' unwanted behavior. It may identify:

· purpose or function of behavior

· variables that influence behavior

· components of an effective behavioral intervention plan

It relies on a variety of techniques and strategies to identify the purposes of specific behavior and to help IEP teams select interventions to directly address the problem behavior. A functional behavioral assessment looks beyond the behavior itself. The focus when conducting a functional behavioral assessment is on identifying significant, pupil-specific social, affective, cognitive, and/or environmental factors associated with the occurrence (and non-occurrence) of specific behaviors. Common functions of behaviors exhibited by students are:

· Justice or revenge

· Acceptance

· Power or control

· Self expression

· Rewards

· Escape or avoidance

By identifying the antecedents to specific behaviors through observing the environment of a child, teachers can better create a plan to either reward good behaviors or replace negative ones by creating a behavior Intervention plan, or BIP. Behavioral intervention plans based on an understanding of "why" a student misbehaves are extremely useful in addressing a wide range of problem behaviors.

The 1997 Amendments to IDEA are explicit in what they require of an IEP team addressing behavioral problems of children with disabilities:

"The team should explore the need for strategies and support systems to address any behavior that may impede the learning of the child with the disability or the learning of his or her peers (614(d)(3)(B)(i));

In response to disciplinary actions by school personnel, the IEP team should, within 10 days, meet to formulate a functional behavioral assessment plan to collect data for developing a behavior intervention plan, or if a behavior intervention plan already exists, the team must review and revise it (as necessary), to ensure that it addresses the behavior upon which disciplinary action is predicated (615(k)(i)(B)); and States shall address the needs of in-service and pre-service personnel (including professionals and paraprofessionals who provide special education, general education, related services, or early intervention services) as they relate to developing and implementing positive intervention strategies (653(c)(3)(D)(vi)."

If your child is struggling with behavior or emotional issues that are effecting his or her school work, we can help.

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