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Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)

Tier 3 interventions involve the process of functional behavior assessment (FBA). FBA is a method for identifying the variables that reliably predict and maintain problem behavior. Variables that predict, or trigger, behavior are called antecedents. Variables that maintain behavior are considered reinforcers; they keep it going. FBA involves an examination of how the student interacts with the environment and attempts to determine specifically where, when, and why problems arise. It includes an assessment of the student’s strengths and interests. It also involves an assessment of how skill deficits may contribute to the problem behavior. Information gathered through the FBA process is summarized and hypothesis statements are developed regarding the factors that might be influencing the behavior of concern. A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is then designed based upon the information gathered in the functional assessment. Interventions should directly match the results of the FBA. FBA is best considered an ongoing process of problem solving conducted by the intervention team. FBA information should be continually gathered, and data should be summarized and reviewed by the team. Data should be used to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and the intervention plan should be modified as necessary.