Writing Effective Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans Presented by Metro Nashville Public Schools Exceptional Education Department
Presenters: Jessica Weisenbach, B.C.B.A. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Lynnette White, B.C.B.A Email: email@example.com Additional contributors: Cecelia Hampton and Sonya Dobbs
Staff Development Focus: • Improve participant skills in identifying behaviors that require systematic intervention • Develop skills in the area of data collection, interpreting data and appropriate intervention strategies. • Become familiar with forms and the process for developing a FBA/BIP.
Where to locate forms: MNPS Intranet: www.employee.mnps.org • Directory • Departments • Leadership and Learning • Special Education • Behavior Forms
Functional Behavior Assessment: • Process for gathering information about a student's behavior in order to identify the function or purpose that the behavior serves. • The information gathered in this process is utilized to develop interventions to change behaviors of concern and to teach new behavior patterns. • This is the first step in designing a behavior intervention plan, incorporating positive behavioral interventions. • It is not only for the purpose of defining and eliminating undesirable behaviors but to understand the structure and function of those behaviors in order to teach and promote effective alternatives. • A functional behavioral assessment is a process of looking at relationships between behavior and the environment and must be conducted with the dignity of the person as a primary concern (O'Neill, et al).
Policy for Exceptional Education • Parent permission must be obtained prior to starting an FBA. • IEP should be held to review the process and parent signature is required on a separate document specific to the FBA. • This does not pertain to general education student’s only children with IEP’s.
What is Behavior? • Webster defines behavior as: 1:(a) the manner of conducting oneself (b) anything that an organism does involving action and response to stimulation (c) the response of an individual, group, or species to its environment.2: the way in which someone behaves;also: an instance of such behavior3: the way in which something functions or operates
Quote • “Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes” • “For many people, one of the most frustrating aspects of life is not being able to understand other people's behavior.”
What is the purpose of behavior? • Behavior that is reinforced is more likely to occur again. • Behavior that is punished is less likely to occur again. • Behavior meets a need. • Behavior is communication. • Behavior is learned.
Why Are We Doing This? All behavior serves a function.
FBA Step1: Identify Behavior • This is a categorical term for the behavior. • A behavior is something that is both observable and measurable. • Place an (X) in the box of the category that most appropriately sums up the target behavior. • If there is more than one behavior check all that apply. START WITH ONE BEHAVIOR
FBA Step 2: Operational Definition • This should be a statement that specifies exactly what behavior to observe. • State what the behavior includes and excludes if possible. • Avoid stating a specific person/peer that the target behavior is directed at, or a specific location, or antecedent. This can be documented under step 5 and 6 if needed. • If you placed an (X) in more than one box in Step 1, then you will need to write a definition for each behavior. Example: Aggression: any hitting with an open palm or fist to exclude light touch or tapping, to include attempts.
Student A: • John does not follow teacher directions, throws objects at the trash can, makes noises, talks to peers during instruction, and does not turn in homework.
Operational Definition Example Non-Compliance: to include not following teacher directions within 30 seconds of directive, making noises, talking to peers during instruction, and failure to turn in homework. Aggression: any throwing or attempts to throw objects.
Student B: • Maggie is non-verbal, chews on objects, requires hand over hand manipulation, cries, hits self, and falls on the floor.
Operational Definition Example Tantrum: to include any crying, hitting self, and falling to the floor.
Operational Definition: • Activity • Identify the behavior • Write an operational definition for your target behavior.
FBA Step 3: Baseline Data • Collect data on the defined behavior (s). Data needs to be collected over no less than 2 weeks to establish baseline. If the behavior is dangerous to self or others, this may not be feasible and a more immediatebehavior plan or crisis plan may need to be developed.
FBA Step 3 Continued: ABC Data Observational data For each behavioral occurrence, document the antecedent (what happened before), the behavior itself, and the consequence (what happened after)
Hypothesized Function Key: TA: Teacher attention PA: Peer attention EA: Escape attention AA: Access activity EAc: Escape activity AS: Access sensory ES: Escape sensory ABC Data
ABC Data • Activity • Identify the Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence for each behavioral occurrence.
FBA Step 3 Continued:Most common types of data • Outcome recording (Permanent product) • Measures the product of the behavior • Event recording (Frequency) • Number of times a behavior occurs in a set time period • Time sampling (a form of interval recording) • Observing whether a behavior occurs or does notoccur at a specified point in time • Intensity • Measure of severity of the behavior • Duration • The amount of time a behavior takes • Latency • The amount of time between a stimulus and a behavior
The Balancing Act valid measurement feasibility See Handout: “Which Data Measurement System Should I Use?”
Most Common Types of Data: Permanent Product Answers the question: What is the product of the behavior? • DO use for measuring behaviors of long duration with no clear beginning or end • DON’T use if behavior does not produce a “product” (classwork, point sheet) • Examples: work completion, daily/weekly point sheet
Data Collection in the classroom: Permanent Product Determine a way to measure the product of the behavior: • Work completion and accuracy • Daily point sheet where students are rated on their behavior Most permanent product data is taken as a percentage: • Percentage of work completed (3 out of 5 assignments = 60%) • Percentage of work completed accurately (85% correct math problems) • Percentage of points earned out of points possible (20 out of 25 points = 80%)
Most Common Types of Data: Frequency Answers the question: How often does the behavior occur? • DO use for frequent behaviors with a clear beginning and end. • DON’T use for infrequent behaviors, or if you want to know intensity or duration. Good for: talk-outs, verbal aggression, hand-raising, questions asked
Data Collection in the classroom: Frequency • Elementary: choose 2 30-60 min periods throughout the day, 3-4 days/week • Secondary: choose 3 days/week that data will be taken (does not have to be the same 3 days every week) Count the number of occurrences using: • Paper clips/pennies • Tallies on masking tape • Overhead • Mailing labels
Most Common Types of Data: Interval Recording (Momentary Time Sampling) Answers the question: Is the behavior occurring at a specified time? • DO use for high frequency, continuous behaviors, or for monitoring several students or behaviors at once. • DON’T use for behaviors that are infrequent or short in duration. • Examples: on-task, disruption. out-of-seat
Data Collection in the classroom: Momentary Time Sampling The Motivaider = a teacher’s best friend! • Set your Motivaider to the interval you want (1-3 min) • Take data for 60 min, 3 times/week at least • Each time the Motivaider goes off, document if the behavior is or is not being displayed
Most Common Types of Data: Intensity • Answers the question: How severe was the behavior? • DO use for infrequent behaviors that vary in severity. • DON’T use if you want to know frequency or duration. • Examples: biting, fighting, physical aggression, tantrumming, screaming
Data Collection in the classroom: Intensity • Develop a scale of intensity based on the individual child’s behavior • Document intensity when the behavior occurs Example: tantrum 1 = crying only 2 = crying with balling up fists, screaming 3 = screaming, laying on the floor, kicking legs and arms 4 = throwing objects, ripping papers, knocking items off shelves, breaking things 5 = self-injurious behavior (throwing body into walls, head-banging, scratching skin), hitting, kicking, biting, throwing body into walls
Most Common Types of Data: Duration Answers the question: How long does the behavior occur? • DO use for measuring length of time. • DON’T use if behavior does not have a clear beginning and end • Examples: tantrums, task completion, academic engaged time
Data Collection in the classroom: Duration • Use a stopwatch to start when behavior begins and stop when behavior ends • For infrequent behaviors, measure each time behavior occurs
Most Common Types of Data: Latency • Answers the question: How much time elapsed between command and behavior? • DO use for measuring elapsed time. • DON’T use for behaviors without a clear beginning and end. • Examples: tardiness, compliance
Data Collection in the classroom: Latency • Use a stopwatch • Start timing when direction is given • Stop timing when expected behavior occurs • Measure latency 5-10 times daily, document
Determine Effective Data Measurement System: • Activity
FBA Step 4 and 5: Information Gathering Complete the following: • Cumulative File Review • Parent Interview • Student Interview • Teacher Interview (completed by each teacher who serves the student and observes the target behavior(s). • Teacher Self-Assessment (completed by each teacher who serves the student and observes the target behavior(s). • MAS and FAST rating scales (completed by each teacher who serves the student and observes the target behavior(s). All documentation should be attached to the final Functional Behavior Assessment.
FBA Step 6: Determining Function • The function of the behavior is used to understand the relationship between the behavior and the environment. Once the function is determined then replacement behaviors can be identified that serve the same function. • Record the information that was obtained from the assessment tools and the ABC data in the correct location on the form. • Place a (P) in the box of the primary function and an (S) in the box of the secondary function(s).
FBA Step 6: Continued • Escape/Avoidance: these behaviors are performed by the individual in order to avoid a task that the individual finds unpleasant or difficult, or to escape from a situation that the individual finds unpleasant or difficult. • Sensory/Automatic Reinforcement: these behaviors are performed by the individual because they are self-reinforcing; the individual is obtaining internal reinforcement from the activity. • Tangible: these behaviors are performed by individuals because they are attempting to gain access to preferred items or activities. • Communication: these behaviors are performed by individual’s who have limited or no functional language skills. • Attention/Social Reinforcement: these behaviors are performed by individuals in order to gain attention from peers or adults.
Activity: Determine the function of the behavior based on the example you are given.
Example 1: Jamar • Age 7 • 1st grade • 23 students in class
Jamar: FBA • Define Behaviors • Gather Information • Interview Teacher • Interview Jamar • Collect ABC Data • ID Function
Target Behavior • Off-task behavior refers to any behavior that deviates from teacher directions or expectations. Examples include drawing or playing with materials while the teacher is giving directions and during instructional activities.
Teacher Interview • Not paying attention • Doesn’t complete assignments • Doesn’t know why problems occur • “Maybe ADHD”? • Previous Interventions • Talked with him • Took away recess • Took materials
More Teacher Interview • J likes reading stories out loud • Always on task in reading time • J likes • Stories • Computers • Coloring/drawing
Student Interview • Doesn’t like school • Only likes stories & coloring • “Assignment too hard” • “Coloring more fun” • Doesn’t care about bad grades
Parent Interview Has a difficult time getting Jamar to do school work at home Jamar struggles with focusing on academic tasks at home
Cumulative File Review Enrolled in 3 schools previously Other teachers have noted on report card that Jamar has difficulty focusing on schoolwork, and that he loves drawing and coloring