Sometimes students struggle to learn in school because of challenges with behaviors. A Functional Behavioral Assessment and a Behavior Intervention Plan are created to understand problem behavior and to find methods to support a student.
A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is an assessment to understand why an identified behavior is occurring and the purpose and function of this behavior. An FBA helps the school to develop a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) that contains strategies and supports to decrease the challenging behavior. With parent written permission a FBA is conducted by qualified staff. The assessment can include a record review of the student’s file, observation, interview and formal testing. The following questions are addressed:
- When and where is the behavior occurring?
- Where is it not occurring?
- How often is the behavior happening and for how long?
- Who is involved when it occurs?
- What is happening before and after the behavior?
A BIP is created after the FBA. The Plan includes strengths of the student and a description of the specific behavior(s). A variety of strategies are identified in the Plan, setting events, antecedent (what is observed prior to the behavior), behavior teaching and reinforcement. A crisis intervention plan may be identified by the team. Additional supports and resources may be included. Key school personnel will be informed of the specific strategies in order to support the student across all environments. Data should be collected on how the new strategies are working and the plan should be revisited as needed. Furthermore, the family may be offered training so that they can implement the plan at home.
Can a parent request that the school conduct a functional behavioral assessment and/or a behavior intervention plan?
A parent/guardian can request a functional behavioral assessment be conducted in order to develop a BIP when the student exhibits behaviors that impact their performance at school. A parent/guardian may also request an updated FBA when new behaviors appear, or old behaviors continue. Put your request in writing.
Who performs the FBA/BIP?
A FBA should be completed by a staff who is trained and knowledgeable in behaviors. The BIP is developed by the IEP team (which includes the parent) with critical information coming from the staff person who conducted the FBA.
Does an FBA require parental consent?
Yes, the school must secure your written permission before they conduct the assessment.
Under what circumstances must a school develop and implement a BIP?
A BIP must be created when a school district is seeking a change of educational placement of a student with a disability because:
- of a behavioral code violation, and
- the IEP team has determined the misconduct was a manifestation of the disability;and
- the school has not conducted an FBA prior to the determination resulting in a changeof placement. If a BIP had been created, the IEP team must review the document and modify if necessary to address the behavior.