When a child has behavior problems that do not respond to standard interventions, a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) includes the following:
1. A clear description of the problem behavior.
2. Observations of the child at different times and in different settings. These observations should record what was happening in the environment before the behavior occurred, what the actual behavior was, and what the student achieved as a result of the behavior.
3. Positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address that behavior and to teach behavior skills.
Once the FBA has been completed, the results may be used to write a behavior intervention plan or to develop behavior goals for the Individualized Education Program.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) specifically requires an FBA whenever a child with a disability has his or her current placement changed for disciplinary reasons. A FBA can be considered at other times, too. You may request a FBA at any time if your child’s problem behaviors are becoming more difficult, or when the team cannot explain to you why the problem behaviors occur.