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A Practical Functional Behavioral Assessment Training Model for Personnel in Schools. Sheldon Loman, Doctoral Candidate firstname.lastname@example.org University of Oregon, Special Education. From www.publicagenda.org. FBA in schools.
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A Practical Functional Behavioral Assessment Training Model for Personnel in Schools Sheldon Loman, Doctoral Candidate email@example.com University of Oregon, Special Education
FBA in schools • Federal legislation mandated the use of FBA in schools over a decade ago (IDEA, 1997). • Despite gallant efforts, schools continue to struggle to use FBA in supporting students with behavior problems • (Blood & Neel, 2007; Hawken, Vincent, & Schumann, 2008; Scott et al., 2005; Van Acker et al., 2005) • The field has voiced concerns as to if schools are adequately equipped to conduct effective FBAs • Drasgow & Yell, 2001; Ervin et al., 2001; Sasso et al., 2001
“Logical Flaws” of FBA use in public schools (Scott et al., 2005) • FBA is used mainly as a reactionary approach. • opportunity is lost to utilize FBA technology to develop interventions that address minor behaviors that usually precede more serious problems. • FBA is restricted to set of procedures used by “experts” • The rich supply of information from people with whom the student interacts with the most is lost. • FBA is restricted to rigorous procedures that are unrealistic for public school settings. • Disincentive for using FBA technology. • Cynicism as to the practicality of FBA .
Proactive…Parsimonious…Practical FBA in schools • FBA conceptualized by Scott et al. as a proactive pre-referral routine that uses the most parsimonious procedures required to create an effective behavior support plan. • Given the time & resource constraints in schools, we must encourage schools to “work smarter” to develop capacity to implement technology to effectively support more students. • Use Practical FBA procedures to develop capacity within a school to utilize FBA technology.
Practical FBA Logic Model Individualized Supports 5% of Students Behavior Specialist responsible for 25 FBAs in school of 500 Personnel with “flexible” roles conduct proactive Practical FBA to expand the scope of FBA, prevent intensive problem behaviors, & decrease reliance on specialist. Secondary Group Supports 10-15% of Students School-wide Positive Behavioral Supports 80% of Students
Purposes of this study • To determine if staff with flexible roles in schools (e.g., counselors, administrators) can be trained to conduct functional behavior assessments (FBA) for students with mild to moderate behavior problems (i.e., students with recurring problems that do not involve physical aggression or violent behaviors). • To determine the efficacy and acceptability of a “practical” training on FBA methods and tools with school personnel.
Primary Research Question • Is there a relationship between the Practical FBA training and valid summary statements generated from FBA conducted by school professionals?
Overview of the Study • A training and manual, Practical FBA training, designed to teach FBA methods delivered to school professionals. • The school professionals will utilize the practical tools/methods from this training to develop a hypothesis (summary) statement of student problem behavior. • The FBA hypothesis statements generated by the trained school professionals will be validated by functional analyses conducted by trained behavior specialists.
Possible Implications from the results of this study • Suggest that school personnel can conduct “valid” FBAs for students with mild to moderate behavioral problems. • Suggest the utility and acceptability of practical FBA training methods to train school personnel in schools to conduct FBA. • It may be possible to train school personnel within the constraints of professional development in schools. • Suggest the utility of the FACTS interview tool to guide FBAs.
3 Phases of the Study Phase 1- Practical FBA training on FBA tools & methods provided to 12 school professionals. -Demographic Information and Pre- & Post-Tests of FBA knowledge provided before and after Practical FBA training. Phase 2- The 12 trained participants conducted an FBA according to procedures they were taught for one student within their school. -Interview results with staff, observations of the student, and a summary statement based upon these will be generated by each school professional. Phase 3- Functional analyses conducted by researcher to test each participant’s hypothesis/summary statement -The percentage agreement between the functional analyses and summary statements calculated to determine the efficacy of the Practical FBA training .
Participants—School Professionals 12 School professionals with a flexible role (i.e., not directly responsible for instruction of students) in an elementary school (K-5) were recruited to participate in the study. 7 Counselors/ 2 Special Educators / 2 Principals/ 1 V.P. 1. Participated in four 1-hour Practical FBA training sessions (over the course of 4 weeks) 2. Completed tests of FBA knowledge before and after the Practical FBA training program. 3. Completed a Practical FBA using the tools & procedures from training (Phase 2). -FACTS, ABC Observations, Summary Statement 4. Completed a Time Expended Log & Acceptability Rating Profile
Practical Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) Training Series • 4 training sessions on conducting functional behavioral assessments (FBA) for students with mild to moderate behavioral problems in schools. • The training series teaches participants to conduct interviews and observations in such a way as to precisely determine the relationship between student problem behavior and the context: • What the problem behaviors are. • When, Where, & Why a student’s problem behaviors occur. • A summary of this information will help an individual student team develop effective behavioral supports that: -prevent problem behaviors from occurring -teach alternative behaviors -& effectively respond when problem behaviors occur.
Focus of this training series Practical FBA vs Comprehensive FBA
Requesting a Practical FBA • Teachers & school teams can complete a Request for Assistance form to refer a student for a Practical FBA • Talk to school on obtaining parent permission to conduct a Practical FBA with a student • Request for Assistance should give a broad picture of the student and their behaviors
Format of Practical FBA Training Sessions Objectives Review Activities Checks for Understanding Comments/ Questions Tasks Key Points
Session #1: Defining & Understanding Behavior • Overview of the practical FBA training series and introduces concepts, examples, and practice opportunities for participants to learn how to: (a) Define behavior (WHAT), (b) Identify events that predict WHEN & WHERE the specific behavior occurs (c) Identify the function of behavior (WHY), and (d) Construct functional behavioral summary statements TASK: Find someone at their site whom they may conduct a practice interview with next week.
Practical FBA processD.A.S.H. Today’s Training Define behavior in observable & measurable terms Ask about behavior by interviewing staff & student -specify routines where & when behaviors occur -summarize where, when, & why behaviors occur See the behavior -observe the behavior during routines specified -observe to verify summary from interviews Hypothesize: a final summary of where, when & why behaviors occur Session #2 Session #3 Session #4
ABC’s of Understanding Why students engage in problem behavior:Finding out the Pay-off or Function of Behavior A= Antecedent(s). Find out the events that occur right beforethe behavior. • Allows you to predict:Where (During routine)? & When(Trigger event)? B=Behavior. Find out what is the observable problem behavior? C=OutCome/ Consequence. Find out what happens afterthe behavior occurs? WHY? A B C
Practical FBA Always start with the behavior Despite the ABC concept, the behavior (B) is our starting point! 2 Antecedent/Trigger: When _____ happens…. 1 Behavior: the student does (what)__ 3 Consequence/OutCome ..because (why) ______
Defining Observable Problem Behaviors • Definitions of behaviors need to be: • Observable: The behavior is an action that can be seen. • Measurable: The behavior can be counted or timed. • Defined so clearly that a person unfamiliar with the student could recognize the behavior without any doubts!
Remember: Always start with the Behavior 1- Once you have defined the behaviors (the What) 2- & know the Where & When the behaviors occur #2 (Routine & Antecedents) 3- Then want to find out WHY (the outCome of the behavior…what happens right afterwards) 2 Antecedent/Trigger: When _____ happens…. 1 Behavior: the student does (what)__ 3 Consequence/OutCome ..because (why) ______
Create a Hypothesis Statement for Johnny’s Behavior After interviewing Mr. Smith and conducting several observations of Johnny in the third grade classroom, the team determined that during less structured class time (free time, cooperative group art projects, etc.), Johnny tears up his paper and stomps his feet. After Johnny engages in this behavior his peers laugh at him. Routine: During __(some routine e.g.: _______________ Third grade classroom Consequence/OutCome: “Because..” Peers laugh at him Therefore, the function of the behavior is to: get/avoid Peer Attention Antecedent/Trigger: “When ..” Behavior: “Student does..” Less structured class time Tears up paper & stomps feet
Session #2: Investigating Behavior • Review content from the first session • Instruction, modeling, and practice opportunities in conducting FACTS interviews with staff (modified from Borgmeier, 2005) and students. • Practice constructing behavioral summary statements from each interview. TASK: Complete a practice FACTS interview with a staff member at school site.
Select #1 Ranked Answers to Insert into Summary Have Teacher Rate the Statement
Session #3: Observing & Summarizing Behavior • Review content from previous training sessions & practice interviews from week before • Instruction & practice opportunities (using videos) for participants to conduct ABC observations of students within routines identified as settings in which the problem behavior occurs most frequently (based upon the staff FACTS interviews). • Participants practice constructing summary statements based upon data from their observations to verify or modify summary statements derived from their FACTS interviews. TASK: Complete a practice ABC observation at school site.
Session #4: Function-based Behavior Support Planning • Review of concepts, skills from first three sessions. • Review practice ABC observations & summarizing results • Provide opportunities for participants to practice the skills that they have learned in conducting interviews, observations, and constructing behavioral summary statements; • Introduce the Competing Behavior Pathway and ideas for helping individual student support teams in designing function-based behavioral supports.
Add effective & & remove ineffective reinforcers Neutralize/ eliminate setting events Add relevant & remove irrelevant triggers Teach alternative that is more efficient
Hypothesis/Summary statements • A statement of student behavior that provides a hypothesis of the: • Operational definition of problem behavior • Antecedent variables that trigger the problem behavior • Functions maintaining the problem behavior • e.g., Get/Avoid Attention/Activity • Accuracy of summary statements will provide a metric for the efficacy of the Practical FBA training
Functional Analysis • Experimental methodology in which motivating operations (ANTECEDENTS) and potential reinforcers (CONSEQUENCES) of a problem behavior are carefully arranged in a controlled manner to isolate the effects of potential sources of reinforcement that are often confounded through other observational methods (Iwata, Kahng, Wallace, & Lindberg, 2000; Mace, Lalli, & Lalli, 1991). • Can lead to causal rather than correlational outcome data with respect to the relationships between environmental events and behavior (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007) • Few studies have utilized experimental functional analysis to determine the accuracy of summary statements. (Borgmeier & Horner, 2006; Bergstrom, 2003; Yarbrough & Carr, 2000)
Functional Analysis (FA) • Functional analyses conducted with each student to confirm the hypothesis statement developed by the trained school professional. • Purpose of Functional Analysis: • Experimentally determine the function of problem behavior • Uses at least 3 conditions: Control (baseline), Attention (provided when problem behaviors occur), Escape (removal of aversive when p.b. occur) • Should be conducted by individual trained in FA and how to deal with extreme problem behaviors
Design of Functional Analysis Conditions • Individualized according to the functional hypotheses developed by the school professionals. • The functional analyses for all students consist of at least three conditions: control, attention, and escape. • Control Condition: baseline condition in which student has consistently exhibited little or no problem behavior. Reinforcement should be freely available and no demands placed on student • Attention Condition: will involve the contingent provision of attention following occurrence of the problem behavior. • Escape Condition: will examine the function of student behavior through the contingent removal of aversive tasks (e.g., difficult, long, or physically taxing tasks)
Direct Observations During Functional Analysis • Trained data collectors collect observation data on the occurrence or non-occurrence of target behavior using a partial-interval recording system.
Functional Analysis Condition Procedures • Each functional analysis condition consists of 10 trials and lasts a maximum of 5 minutes. • Between conditions, the student is offered a 1-minute break. • Before starting a new condition, the student will be provided with a verbal description of the procedures that will be used in that condition. • Following occurrences of problem behavior during each condition, the researcher will systematically follow through with the prescribed response (i.e., removal of task, providing attention, etc.).
Preliminary Results • Pre/Post Test Results • Acceptability Ratings • Time Log • Functional Analysis Results
Acceptability Rating Profile • Each participant rated their agreement or disagreement with statements concerning the training, tools, and process. • Likert Scale of 1 to 6: 1= Strongly Disagree 2= Disagree 3= Slightly Disagree 4= Slightly Agree 5= Agree 6= Strongly Agree Results are based on first two cohorts as 3rd cohort still conducting FBAs
1. The “Practical FBA” training you received equipped you for conducting an FBA in your school. • Range= 5 (Agree) to 6 (Strongly Agree) • Average= 5.84 2. I will use these FBA procedures again with another student for whom an FBA would be appropriate. Range= 5 (Agree) to 6 (Strongly Agree Average= 5.59
3. I would suggest this training to other school professionals needing to learn to conduct FBA. • Range & Average= 6 (Strongly Agree) 4. The tools used within this FBA process were relatively easy to use. • Range= 5 (Agree) to 6 (Strongly Agree) • Average= 5.71 5. I will use the FACTS interview with teachers when conducting my next FBA. • Range= 5 (Agree) to 6 (Strongly Agree) • Average= 5.84
6. I will use the student-guided FACTS with students when conducting my next FBA. • Range= 3 (Slightly Disagree) to 6 (Strongly Agree) • Average= 4.88 7. I will use the ABC observation form when conducting my next FBA. • Range= 3 (Slightly Disagree) to 6 (Strongly Agree) • Average= 5.17
8. I feel confident that I can conduct an FBA that will inform interventions for a student. • Range= 4 (Slightly Agree) to 6 (Strongly Agree) • Average= 4.75 9. The time spent in completing the FBA was reasonable. • Range= 5 (Agree) to 6 (Strongly Agree) • Average= 5.71 10. Overall, the experience in using “Practical FBA” was beneficial for me. • Range= 5 (Agree) to 6 (Strongly Agree) • Average= 5.84
FBA Task Time Log Results • Scheduling FACTS interview with teachers • Average time= 7 Minutes • Conducting FACTS interview with teachers • Average time= 33 Minutes • Observing Student Behavior using ABC Forms • Average Time= 40 Minutes • Completing Summary of Behavior Table • Average Time= 17 Minutes • Average Time to Complete Entire Practical FBA process for 1 student= 97 minutes (1 hour 37 min)