Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA): An
to the 1997 amendments to IDEA, there are explicit requirements
of an IEP Team in regards to the determination of addressing behavioral
problems of students with disabilities.
is imperative that educational professionals understand that there
is no single cause for problem behaviors. Specifically, disruptive
behavior can be the result of many different causes including
avoiding embarrassment, seeking power, gaining attention, communicating
a feeling, along with other motivators for a disruptive behavior.
a student presents with a behavioral problem, the students
behavior must be understood as the topography, or
what the behavior looks like or sounds like. Equally important
is the fact that for each and every behavior, there may be different
causes or functions of that behavior. By focusing
only on the topography, educators are not afforded
the necessary information to develop effective interventions.
Rather, by identifying underling causes of student behaviors,
we can develop proactive instructional strategies, including positive
behavioral interventions and supports which can serve to reduce
behaviors that interfere with academic success.
contrast to such proactive approaches, reactive procedures such
as suspension or punishment, simply address the symptoms of the
problem and tend not to address the underlying function of a behavior.
Reactive procedures often do not decrease the occurrence of a
maladaptive behavior as underlying causes are not being addressed.
is also important for educators to remain aware of the fact that
functions of a behavior are not usually considered inappropriate.
Rather, it is the behavior itself that violates school rules.
For example, seeking attention by getting good grades is a pro-social
behavior linked to the same function, i.e., attention, that disruptive
behavior in the classroom might be linked. Herein, the function
of the adaptive behavior and the maladaptive behavior, is the