Functional Behavior Assessments: Everything You Need to Know
Students are not all perfect. Some run into academic problems, while others have behavioral issues. Typically, schools approach the problem with care and look at ways to improve the child’s behavior. Remember, children act out for a reason, and schools want to find out what has gone wrong. It isn’t about punishing the child; it’s about finding a solution to the problem.
If a school can find the root cause of the issue, a strategy can be used to prevent the behavior from becoming a problem in the future. Schools will often use the FBA – functional behavior assessment – to locate the source of the problem.
How Can an FBA Be Used?
It doesn’t matter how old the child is; schools will actively seek out the answer to their bad behavior. Most schools start with the FBA to understand the child’s educational needs better. FBAs are mandated by the federal government and are required under IDEA – the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These assessments are crucial for understanding the need of the child, so, if your child’s school doesn’t offer an FBA, you must push for it.
Behavioral specialists will be necessary. So, a specialist will interview the child’s teacher, support assistants, and the parents. Don’t be put off requesting an FBA just because you might have to speak to a behavior specialist; this is for the good of the child. The specialist will document what precedes and follows the behavior.
If a child has a disability, it will be evaluated to determine if it impacts their behavior. Some specialists will recommend environmental changes. These are often used to see whether the child’s behavior calms down.
How are FBAs Used?
FBAs can be used in a variety of ways. For instance, a student is typically well manned but acts out in every music class. The teacher has tried many ways to get the child to calm down and participate but with no luck. A specialist is called in and finds out the child has a mild form of autism. As a result, the child is overstimulated by the noise; so, the specialist could recommend the child attends an alternative class.
When Should FBAs Be Used?
If a child starts to act out, a school should use an FBA immediately. It allows a specialist to find out why the child has started to act in this manner. They can recommend changes too. Unfortunately, FBAs are not initially recommended because schools are understaffed, and teachers are quick to punish. That can create a huge problem because the behavior cannot be identified or challenged.
Schools also can’t cope with the behavior issues of individual students which creates a problem. Most students will continue to be disruptive. That is why parents and teachers need to act quickly when they suspect behavioral problems.
A Child’s Need is Great
Children, teachers, and parents don’t always realize when there is a problem. While a child acts out, they might not be aware of why they do so. It’s the same with teachers and parents; while it’s easy to spot bad behavior, it’s difficult to determine why it occurs. If you’re worried about a child’s behavior, it’s important to speak up and act.