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Leading a Team from a Functional Behavioral Assessment to a Practical and Effective Behavior Support Plan. Rob Horner University of Oregon TA-Center on Positive Behavior Support www.pbis.org. Assumptions and Objectives. Assumptions

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Leading a Team from a Functional Behavioral Assessment to a Practical and Effective Behavior Support Plan

Rob Horner

University of Oregon

TA-Center on Positive Behavior Support


Assumptions and objectives
Assumptions and Objectives

  • Assumptions

    • Participants already conduct functional behavioral assessment

    • Participants are working with teams to build behavior support plans for individual students.

  • Objectives

    • Define core features of behavior support plans

    • Define a process for helping a team move from FBA to Behavior Support Plan content that is technically sound and contextually appropriate.

    • Define process for adapting planning process at your school.


Positive Behavior


Tertiary Prevention:



Systems for Students with High-Risk Behavior


Secondary Prevention:

Specialized Group

Systems for Students with At-Risk Behavior

Primary Prevention:


Wide Systems for

All Students,

Staff, & Settings


~80% of Students

A context for pbs
A Context for PBS

  • Behavior support is the redesign of environments, not the redesign of individuals

  • Positive Behavior Support plans define changes in the behavior of those who will implement the plan.

    • A behavior support plan describes what we will do differently.

Major changes in behavior support
Major Changes in Behavior Support

  • Prevention

    • Teaching as the most effective approach

    • Environmental redesign, Antecedent Manipulations

  • Function-based support

    • Functional assessment

    • Team-based design and implementation of support

  • Comprehensive Interventions

    • Support plans with multiple elements

    • Link Behavior Support to Lifestyle Plan

    • Person-centered planning, Wraparound, Systems of Care

  • Systems Change

    • Intervention at the “whole-school” level

    • Systems that nurture and sustain effective practices

    • Systems that are durable

  • Purposes of behavior support plan
    Purposes of Behavior Support Plan

    • Define critical features of environments where the focus person will be successful.

      • Behavior support plans describe what we will do differently to establish these critical features.

    • Facilitate consistency across multiple implementers.

    • Provide professional accountability.

    Behavior support elements
    Behavior Support Elements



    Problem Behavior

    *Hypothesis statement

    *Competing Behavior Analysis

    *Contextual Fit

    Functional Assessment

    *Implementation Plan

    Content of Support Plan

    Fidelity of Implementation

    *Technical Adequacy

    * Strengths

    * Preferences

    * Lifestyle vision

    Impact on Behavior and Lifestyle

    Functional behavioral assessment
    Functional Behavioral Assessment

    • Defined:

      • Functional behavioral assessment is a process for identifying the events that reliably predict and maintain problem behavior.

    Outcomes of a functional behavioral assessment
    Outcomes of a Functional Behavioral Assessment

    • Operationally defined problem behavior(s)

      • By response class

    • Identify routines in which the problem behavior is most and leastlikely to occur

    • Define the antecedent events (triggers; setting events) that predict when the problem behavior is most likely

    • Define the ONE consequence that contributes most to maintaining the problem behavior in that routine.

    • Summary Statement of findings.

    FBA Summary Statement

    Setting Events











    In room with Noise and/or many people

    Avoid noise/people


    Head Hit

    Primary purposes of functional behavioral assessment
    Primary Purposes of Functional Behavioral Assessment

    • The primary purpose of functional behavioral assessment is to improve the effectivenessand efficiency of behavior support.

      • Behavior support plans built from functional assessment are more effective

        • Didden et al., 1997 Newcomer & Lewis, 2006

        • Carr et al., 1999 Ingram, Sugai & Lewis-Palmer

        • Ellingson, et al., 2000; Filter (2004)

  • Create order out of chaos

    • Define contextual information, where, when, with whom, etc.

  • Professional accountability


  • Effective environments
    Effective Environments

    • Problem behaviors are irrelevant

      • Aversive events are removed

      • Access to positive events are more common

    • Problem behaviors are inefficient

      • Appropriate behavioral alternatives available

      • Appropriate behavioral alternatives are taught

    • Problem behaviors are ineffective

      • Problem behaviors are not rewarded

      • Desired behavior ARE rewarded

    Place summary statement in competing pathways model
    Place Summary Statement in Competing Pathways Model

    • Use information from interviews and observations to summarize:

      • Problem behavior

      • Antecedent Triggers

      • Maintaining Consequences

      • Setting Events

    Acceptable Alternative:

    1.Same consequence

    2.Socially acceptable

    3.Very efficient

    Play with others

    Peer social interaction

    Reprimand during prior class


    Scream at / threaten others

    Get access to game or equipment

    Use “pass”

    Ask supervisor

    Leading a team from fba to bsp
    Leading a Team from FBA to BSP

    • 1. Summarize FBA

    • 2. Define goals of BSP process:

      • Make problem behavior irrelevant

      • Make problem behavior inefficient

      • Make problem behavior ineffective

      • Do all this in a contextually appropriate manner

  • 3. Lead discussion to identify options

    • Ask questions, don’t give solutions

    • Paraphrase, elaborate, integrate

    • Always bring group back to FBA logic

    • Produce multiple ideas (elements)

  • Make Problem Behavior Ineffective

    And Positive Behavior More Effective

    Make Problem Behavior Inefficient

    Make Problem Behavior


    Examples of Interventions

    Leading a team from fba to bsp1
    Leading a Team from FBA to BSP

    • 4. Given an array of possible BSP elements, shift discussion to contextual fit.

      • What elements are feasible, acceptable, sustainable?’

      • What is the smallest change that will produce the largest effect?

    • Contextual Fit:

      • The extent to which the people who will implement a behavior support plan find the elements of the plan

        • Consistent with their personal values

        • Consistent with the professional skills

        • Consistent with the resources available in the setting

        • Consistent with the available administrative support

    Leading a team from fba to bsp2
    Leading a Team from FBA to BSP

    • 5. Transform ideas for BSP elements into a formal plan for implementation

      • Who will do what, when, and how will we know?

    Outline of a behavior support plan
    Outline of a Behavior Support Plan

    • Set Up (description, strengths, vision) OutlineBSP Template

    • Assessment (FBA, Person-Centered Plan, Wraparound)

      • Operational Descriptions, Routines, FA Hypotheses

  • Prevention

  • Teaching/Education

  • Consequence Procedures

    • Minimize reward for problem behavior

    • Ensure regular, clear reward for positive behavior

    • Punishers (if needed)

  • Define safety/emergency procedures (if needed)

  • Evaluation and Monitoring for Improvement

    • Steps for implementation

  • Examples define a summary statement b prevention c teaching d consequences
    Examples:Define (a) summary statement (b) prevention, (c) teaching, (d) consequences

    • Emmit

    • Eric

    • Rayette

      • FACTS

      • Behavior Support Plan


    • Invest in building consensus around FBA summary statement.

    • Recruit strategies that are local, practical, but still consistent with FBA…(Lead don’t tell). Recruit local knowledge

    • Build efficient plans (the smallest changes that produce the largest effect)

    • Ensure that the plan includes procedures for getting implementation to occur.

    • Always include procedures for evaluation

      • Are we doing what we said we would do?

      • Is the process having an effect on the student?