Tips to Equip Video: Behavior Plans (Part 1)

Apr 18, 2024 | Articles, Videos



In part one of this series, we will discuss the functional behavior assessment (FBA) and how it is the starting point when a child behavior impedes their learning or the learning of others. Following the FBA, the IEP team must develop a plan to address that problematic behavior.

IEP Tip to Equip #1
Create a plan to address the problem behaviors.
If a child’s behavior impedes their learning, or the learning of others, the IEP team must develop a plan, including positive behavior interventions, supports, or strategies, to address that behavior. And these services should be added to his or her IEP.

The goal of such a behavior plan is to teach students with disabilities how to correctly navigate school or social situations without the behavior constraints that would impede their learning or the learning of others.

The starting point of such a behavior plan is the FBA, which is an assessment used to determine the behaviors that impede their learning or the learning of others, and how to correctly develop a plan to address those problem behaviors.

So, when does a child’s behavior impede learning? Well, of course there are the obvious situations such as classroom disruptions, tantrums, outbursts, or meltdowns that disrupt the classroom. But behaviors can impede learning even if they are not disruptive. Such examples might include sleeping in class or refusal to participate in classroom activities. These behaviors can also interfere with learning.

So a child’s behavior doesn’t necessarily have to be disruptive to the classroom to qualify for a behavior plan.

IEP Tip to Equip #2
If the IEP team needs more information to explain the cause or purpose behind the problem behavior, then an FBA should be conducted.

So start by determining whether the child’s behavior is impeding their learning or the learning of others. If it is, the next step is to determine whether more information is needed in order to understand the cause of the behavior and what replacement behaviors might be appropriate. If more information is needed to analyze the child’s behavior, then the FBA should be conducted.

So what is the functional behavior assessment or FBA? Well, it’s a behavior assessment that is conducted in order to provide the IEP team with more information about the child’s problem behaviors and their causes or antecedents.

It’s more than simply a review of the data in the child’s file. It’s a new assessment conducted specifically to determine the problem behaviors and their causes, as well as appropriate replacement behaviors.
The goal of the FBA is to develop a hypothesis about the behavior and then develop positive replacement behaviors that don’t interfere with a child’s learning or learning of others.

IEP Tip to Equip #3
The FBA must be appropriate.
Certainly, the FBA should be conducted by someone within the school district who has expertise in behavioral issues. It might be the school psychologist or a behavior specialist, but it’s typically someone with more expertise than simply a staff member who has no skills or training in behavior interventions. That person will typically gather data by observing the child in the school setting, conducting written assessments provided to the child’s teachers, parents, and even the child himself or herself. When all of the data is gathered, the behavior specialist will make a hypothesis about the cause(s) or antecedents of the behavior, how to positively address the behavior and which replacement behaviors might be appropriate. This information will be presented to the IEP team for review and comment.

Next time we’ll talk about the behavior intervention plan (BIP) which is the behavior plan that is created following the information that’s derived from the functional behavior assessment.


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