Functional Behavior Assessments: Understanding and Intervening on Maladaptive Behavior Susan Elswick EdD, LCSW, LSSW
What is Behavior? Behavior is the activity of a living organism; human behavior includes everything that people do • It is an organisms interaction with its environment • Cooper Heron, and Heward (2007)
Why do students display inappropriate behaviors? • Behavior is the way children communicate • Many children do not have social-emotional literacy • Attempt to get needs met through behaviors and actions • It has worked for them in the past (history of reinforcement) • It is a behavior that has been reinforced • To fulfill a need
What Maintains Behavior? • Behaviors are maintained by what the student gets out of displaying the behavior and this is often described as the function of behavior • Function=pay off or reward for the student
Why should we intervene? • Research notes “that many students that misbehave often times also present with serious learning challenges.” (Walker, Stieber, Ramsey, & O’Neill, 1993) • “Research strongly suggests that if schools raise their level of achievement, behavior decreases; and if schools work to decrease behavior problems, academics improve.” (Hawkins, Catalano, Kosterman, Abbott, & Hill, 1999)
Why Should We intervene? • It has been noted that “school districts that utilize office referrals, out-of-school suspensions, and expulsions-without a comprehensive system that teaches positive and expected behaviors and rewards the same- are shown to actually have higher rates of problem behavior and academic failure.” • (Mayer, Butterworth, Nafpaktitis, & Suzer-Azaroff, 1983)
Why is it important to determine functions of behavior? • Keeps us from continuing ineffective interventions • Helps to determine appropriate interventions • Saves time and resources • Assists in increasing the likelihood that the students outcomes will be successful
The Law:When are FBAs required by IDEA ‘97 An FBA must be conducted if • suspensions or placements in an alternative setting equal more than 10 school days in a school year • suspensions or placements constitute a change in placement (length, duration, proximity) • the student is placed in an Interim Alternative Education Setting (IAES) for 45 days for weapons or drug offenses • a due process hearing officer places a student in an IAES for behavior that is dangerous to self or others (Drasgow & Yell, 2001)
The Law:When Should FBAs be Conducted? An FBA should be conducted • when the student’s problem behavior impedes the learning of self or others • when there is a known history of problem behavior • when the student’s suspensions or placements approach 10 cumulative days • when the student’s behavior presents a danger to self or others (Drasgow & Yell, 2001; Martin, 1999)
Timelines for FBAs • FBAs must be conducted within 10 business days when the student *is first removed for more than 10 school days *removed in a manner that constitutes a change in placement *placed in an IAES for dangerous behavior * BIPs based on the FBA must be implemented as quickly as possible
Three Major Points Supporting the Disciplinary Changes of IDEA’97 • Emphasis on the use of positive behavioral interventions, supports, and services for students who exhibit behavior problems • Use of positive programming to teach appropriate behaviors rather than simply using punishment-based procedures to eliminate inappropriate behavior
Updates to FBA BIP Law • New Special Education Restraint Law and the BIP process • Parental permission is required prior to conducting an FBA
Violations of the Law: National Due Process Hearings School districts lost in 13 out of 14 (94%) state level due process hearings. School districts failed to conduct an FBA and develop a BIP when it was required by IDEA in 11 of the cases. School districts lost in 3 of the cases for development of an inadequate FBA.
Three Tiered Service Model Academic Systems Behavioral Systems 1-5% 1-5% • Intensive, Individual Interventions • Individual Students • High Interventions • Intensive, Individual Interventions • Individual Students • High Intensity 5-10% 5-10% • Targeted Interventions • At-risk students • Classroom/small group focus • Targeted Interventions • At-risk students • Classroom/small group remediation PBIS 80-90% 80-90% • Universal Prevention • All settings, all students • Preventive, proactive • Universal Instruction • All settings, all students • Preventive, proactive PBIS
Functional Behavior Assessment • It uses an ABC approach (antecedent, behavior, and consequence)= 3 term contingency • The first step in addressing problem behaviors • Gathers data about the student and their behavior (indirect and direct assessments) • Includes an interview of the teacher, family, and the student • Identifies students strengths and needs; reinforcers and preferences • Helps to reveal patterns in behaviors
Antecedent • Antecedent- The set of environmental conditions that immediately occur before a behavior • Directives/ direct request, redirection, ask to complete/ participate in a non-preferred activity, etc.
Behavior • Behavior- A movement that produces a change in the environment
Consequence • Consequence- The set of environmental conditions that immediately occur after a behavior • Sent to the office, placed in time out, teacher supplied a verbal reprimand, teacher provides attention, student is given a wanted toy, etc.
4 Functions of Behavior • There are Four Functions: • Attention- from peers and adults • Escape/ Avoidance- from persons, activities, or environment • Sensory- tactile needs or inputs • Access to a Tangible- an actual item (pencil, computer, food, etc)
How to Determine Function? • Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) • A systematic method of assessing information about the purpose of a problem behavior; results are used to guide interventions • Cooper, Heron, and Heward (2007)
Phases of FBA • Phase I: Descriptive Phase • Phase II: Interpretive Phase • Phase III: Verification Phase • Phase IV: Treatment Implementation & Monitoring
Phase I: Descriptive Phase • Indirect Methods • Interviews - Teacher, Parent, Student • Rating Scales • Academic Record Review • Discipline Record Review • Previous Intervention Attempts
Phase I: Descriptive Phase • Direct Methods - Direct Observations • Scatter Plot • ABC Assessment • Frequency or Event Recording • Interval Recording • Rating Forms
Phase II: Interpretive Phase Involves the development of hypothesis or summary statements about the triggers (antecedents) setting off the behavior and events (consequences) maintaining behavior.
Phase III: Verification Phase Direct changes are made in the environment to test the hypothesis or summary statements. • Functional or Experimental Analysis • Hypothesis-based • Multi-element (multiple behaviors) • Brief • Intervention Testing
Phase IV: Intervention Development & Monitoring • Focus on increasing positive behaviors • Focus on teaching skills • Focus on making problem behaviors inefficient, ineffective, and irrelevant • Focus on proactive instead of reactive strategies • Monitored closely for integrity • Direct Observation • Intervention Checklists
Indirect Assessment • Indirect Methods • Interviews - Teacher, Parent, Student • Rating Scales • Academic Record Review • Discipline Record Review • Previous Intervention Attempts/ Review
Questions What is the setting event? (happens before they get to us) What appears to set off the problem behavior (antecedent/the predictor/ trigger)? What do the problem behaviors look like? What happens right after behavior occurs? (consequence) What does she gain from the behavior (function)? What do you want her to do instead? (replacement behavior) It’s as easy as the A-B-C’s!!!
Examples of Indirect Assessments • Motivational Assessment Scale (MAS) • Created by Durrand and Crimmins 1986 • Likered scale assessment used to determine function of the behavior • Assists with determining function of behavior • Indirect Observation Measure • Other examples: FAST, QABF, FAI, etc.
Direct Assessment • Direct Methods - Direct Observations • Scatter Plot • ABC Assessment • Frequency or Event Recording • Interval Recording • Rating Forms
Additional Considerations • Many problem behaviors may serve one function • One problem behavior may serve multiple functions in the same setting • Same problem behavior may serve a different function in a different context • Function of a particular behavior may change over time
He does not care about anything!?!Choosing a Reinforcer • Preference Assessments are important • Index Card • Forced Choice Preference Assessment • Hierarchy of Reinforcers • Free play observation • Interviews • Understanding satiation/ deprivation
Functional Analysis Direct changes are made in the environment to test the hypothesis or summary statements. • Functional or Experimental Analysis • Hypothesis-based • Multi-element (multiple behaviors) • Brief • Intervention Testing
How to Conduct an FA in the classroom? • Use in Context of the Classroom • Do 5 minute sessions in each condition • Alone • Attention • Play • Demand
Functional Analysis Protocol Condition EOConsequence Contingency Attention Ignored Th. Attends to PB Pos reinf (dep) (attention) ________________________________________________________ Demand Present Time out for PB Neg Reinf Demand (escape) Alone No stimulation N/A N/A (automatic) Play No work, open, N/A Control free time, attention
Ways to Change Behavior • Change the Antecedent • The set of environmental conditions that immediately occur before a behavior • Changing the “A” actual cuts problem behavior before it gets out of hand (PBIS Techniques) • Change the Behavior • A movement that produces a change in the environment • This is actually occurs by teaching Replacement Behaviors • Change the Consequence • The set of environmental conditions that immediately occur after a behavior • This takes great patience, strength, and consistency
Replacement Behaviors Replacement behaviors are behaviors you want to replace the target/ maladaptive behaviors displayed. You Must Teach Replacement Behaviors!!!
Data Collection • Understanding data collection is imperative to accurate data collection, seeing a true picture of target behavior, and ensuring fidelity of the intervention/ assessment • Types of data collection/ recording: • Partial interval • Whole interval • Latency • Frequency/ rate • Duration
Partial Interval • Type of Interval Recording • Used for behaviors that appear continuous • Provides an estimate of actual number of times the behavior occurs • target behavior counted if it happened anytime during the interval (over estimate) 15s 30s 45s 1min 1m 15 1min 30
Whole Interval • Type of Interval Recording • Used for behaviors that appear continuous • Provides an estimate of actual number of times the behavior occurs • Occurrence of target behavior counted ONLY if it lasts the entire predetermined interval (underestimate of behavior) 15s 30s 45s 1min 1m 15 1min 30
Duration • Used to look at the length of time the student engages in the behavior
Latency • Similar to duration but more interested in when behavior stops and starts • How long it takes a student to respond to a teacher request … “Clear your desk and get out a piece of paper and a pencil.”
Frequency/ rate • Event Recording • Total count of number of times the behavior occurs • Tally marks used to determine frequency
Other ways to Collect Data about Behavior • A-B-C (Continuous or Narrative Forms) • Clickers • Timers (Red-All-Gone) • The Penny Pass
H.U.G. (Hello, Update, Goodbye) Name: ____________________________ Date: ________________ Please indicate whether the student has met the goal during the time period indicated: Meets = 2 pts So, so = 1 point Doesn’t meet = 0 pts HUG Daily Goal _____/_____ HUG Daily Score _____/_____ Teacher Comments: Please state briefly any specific behaviors or achievements that demonstrate the student’s progress. Parent’s Signature ___________________________________ Parent’s Comments _________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________