Functional Behavioral Assessment

What It Is
Research shows that behavioral difficulties affect a child’s classroom learning and the learning of those around him or her. A functional behavioral assessment describes the challenging behaviors in specific, measurable terms and identifies the factors that reinforce the behaviors. It incorporates observation of the student at school, interviews with parents and school staff, questionnaires, and tracking of the behaviors over time.

When It’s Needed
• Whenever a child’s behavior interferes with learning
• When the school discipline system has failed to alter the
behavior
• When a child does not appropriately respond to authority

Potential Benefits
In conjunction with a neuropsychological evaluation, a functional behavioral assessment can determine whether academic performance is inhibited by any purely behavioral factors. Once the factors that reinforce the challenging behavior are identified, a behavioral plan will be developed that outlines intervention strategies to minimize the frequency of inappropriate behaviors and to encourage more positive behaviors.

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