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June 27, 2008



More helpful than consent might be some minimum qualifications for the person who does the FBA. I have had school personnel respond to my request with "a what?" and then be given some forms to fill out that constitute the FBA. Needless to say--it's a mess and not very helpful. Only thing that it generally does is substantiate that "the behavior" is not as generalized as we have been led to believe, as the observer never gets to catch "it" in the act. Once they told me, "well, he's real smart, he's not going to do it when the observer is there."

Never have actually succeeded in getting anyone to understand that the goal is to come out with a testable hypothesis about the FUNCTION of the behavior (does it scare you that these are the same people who are supposed to teach the scientific method to students?), that can be manipulated to meet the child's need in a more acceptable way.

And if I can figure this out by going online at 11 PM at night, how come the trained teachers can't?

Angela Anderson Moore

Wow...this is interesting but it makes since. I am aware of many times that as the teacher is completing a FBA they are still upset witht the behavior(s) of the child and may biased in the process of conducting the FBA. Maybe it would be wise to have another teacher observe the student and provide input to complete the FBA.


It is scary when you see how things are done in schools, such as writing a BIP without a FBA . The school principal agreeing on a change of placement for a student using the word "we" when the team did not even discuss the matter. I finally stated in a meeting (I am a Special Educaiton Teacher) that I request they comment on the IEP notes that the teacher "team member" does not agree to do a BIP without a functional. When excused from the meeting (god forbid anyone wants to allow these kids and their families their rights,) I stated "Not a problem, although the meeting is continuing without me, please remove my name from the roster, as I would be happy to leave." Boy will I pay for that one!

Sandra Brown

It is unfortunate that FBA are done in the heat of the moment. My district has set guidelines and will not do FBA until documentation has been collected over a certain period of time. We also has to document contact with parents and plans developed with the parents. That way the parents are aware of the behaviors and concerns of the schools.

Michael Cocchiola

Functional Behavior Assessments may be primarily intended to identify concerning behaviors and their 'function', but coming in fast at the heels of function is a well-thought out BSP that addresses concerning behaviors with proactive and effective interventions. Empirical data is necessary thereafter to support the function.

A simple FBA is useless if it does not drive an effective intervention. I often times equate it with the "Broken Bone" example. The FBA serves as the x-ray, but a simple x-ray does nothing unless a skilled professional looks at the x-ray and resets the bone in a cast to correct the error.

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