Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)

A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is a process that helps figure out the reason(s) for your child’s behaviors.

FBA includes a team of people:

  • You and your family, including your child
  • School staff
  • Master’s-level professional who is trained to complete an FBA and who works in Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS)

People in your child’s life who see the behavior first-hand are interviewed in the FBA process. Interviewing is a way to get more details about what is going on with your child.

Why would your child need an FBA?
Your child might need an FBA to make changes to his or her disruptive or distracting behavior. The FBA helps to identify the reason(s) a behavior occurs and what is contributing to maintaining it. These processes are the function(s) of behavior. The next step of the FBA is also identifying ways to replace behaviors with better ones so your child can communicate their needs in a more appropriate way.

What is your role in the FBA process?
As a parent, your role in the FBA process is important. You can help the team understand your child’s behavior. Because you know your child’s behavior history, you can give the team a lot of information. You might also take part in observing your child and gathering information about their behavior(s) at home or in community settings. You are also an essential team member in helping to communicate and collaborate with other team member’s about your child’s needs in school and preschool settings.

What if my child already has an FBA?
In the event that an FBA has already been completed, it can be used. It is important to think about how current and relevant to the behavior the existing FBA is. The existing FBA or portions of it may be used as a starting point and updated as needed to address current behavior concerns. The process of an FBA can be repeated as often as is necessary to gain understanding of the function of behavior(s).

Why is it important to complete an FBA for your preschooler?
Even if your child is very young, it is important to address challenging behaviors as early as you can. It is easier to change a child’s behavior when they are young than to allow them to continue disruptive behavior as they get older. Children can learn how to get their needs met in a way that is socially appropriate. This helps them function better and get along with others as they grow up.

Call us if you want more information about FBA or to find help for your child.