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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

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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?