Functional Behavior Assessments
A functional behavior assessment (FBA) is the first and most important step before any behavior services addressing maladaptive behaviors can be implemented. FBA is a term used to describe the process of determining the cause or function of a behavior of interest. In addition, a FBA also indicates if the behavior of interest is a problem behavior that warrants behavior modification.
WWA utilizes an extensive and evidenced based approach when conducting functional behavior assessments. Initially, the assessment begins with the gathering of basic information that may include; the reason for referral, intake, screening, client disposition, and a preliminary statement of the problem behavior(s). The indirect assessment is the next phase, which is comprised of interview(s) that are completed by primary caregivers of the individual with the problem behavior(s). The information collected is specific to the behavior of interest, and all other environmental variables that may affect the behavior. In the direct assessment phase, the behavior analyst will observe the behavior of interest as it occurs in the natural environment, while collecting data. The behavior analyst compiles all data and information gathered during the direct and indirect phases of assessment in order to make predictions about what variables trigger and maintain behavior(s), and what function the behavior(s) serves for the individual.
FBAs can be conducted in the home, community, school and/or any other environments. The successful completion of methodically sound FBA enables the development of an effective intervention plan that is tailored specifically to the individual and family’s needs.