What is Functional Behavior Assessment?
This is a technique that relates the proper observation of a certain student to a personalized curriculum as a form of intervention. In other words, a functional behavior assessment (FBA) refers to a process that identifies a target behavior that obstructs a student’s education. The assessment tries to designate the specific behavior, spot the factors that support it, and find out the purpose of such behavior.
This is followed by formulating an intervention plan and steps that teachers can implement and test to improve the student’s situation. Thus, with functional behavior assessment, a teaching plan can be developed that facilitates a more acceptable substitute behavior for the student, which would no longer hinder the student’s education.
For instance, Harry cracking jokes in the middle of his 4th-grade teacher’s lessons is extremely disruptive. The teacher runs an FBA and identifies the reason for Harry’s problematic behavior (getting the social approval of his peers). To replace his problematic behavior with acceptable behavior, the teacher decides to have a 5-minute break in the class, where Harry is allowed to say some of his jokes (that the teacher approves). This way, he can get the social acceptance and approval he desires without disrupting the teacher’s day.
Though FBA was initially designed for children with special needs like autism, it has been found useful with any child who shows a problem behavior that requires to be fixed. When a functional behavior assessment should be done is tricky as there’s no precise formula that indicates the right time for it. This assessment can be a useful tool whenever students display behaviors that inhibit or limit their ability to learn within a class or school framework. Thus, such assessments can be conducted when student behavior triggers concerns for teachers, parents, and other educational professionals and indicates some underlying emotional or behavioral issues.
However, the problems and difficulties displayed by the students must be severe and not playful, such as behaviors that adversely affect their ability to learn. When combined with other interventional and corrective efforts, a functional behavior assessment can help understand the student’s circumstances. Such an assessment can be part of the SAT Process, the Individual Learning Plan, and as corroboration of a disability.
The functional behavior assessment can also be part of the IEP (Individual Education Plan). Such assessment can help to find or confirm a disability. The assessment information could be combined with other facts obtained by reports, observations, and discussions among teachers, parents, and learning specialists. The determination or verification of a disability is a decisive step for making suitable financial support and educational access available to the student.
Under the IDEA – the country’s special education law for individuals with disabilities, federal rules offer local and state agencies federal funds to assure access to special education and related services to disabled children. The rules entail a written plan, known as the IEP plan. A similar segment of the law is the Rehabilitation Act’s section 504, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. Both laws seek to place children with disabilities in an educationally productive setting with the least restrictive learning structure.