FBA & PBSP Guidance

Behavior is Functional

The primary principle of function-based behavior support is that individuals act the way they do for a reason. That is, most behavior is functional: it serves a purpose. The function of the behavior may be to obtain something the person wants, to generate adult or peer attention, or to escape from an aversive situation or person. The results or consequences of behavior affect the future occurrence of behavior.

A behavioral intervention has two primary goals: reduce problem behavior and increase appropriate behavior. There are at least three means to meet these goals:

1. Make the problem behavior irrelevant. Decrease or eliminate the need to engage in the behavior.

2. Make the problem behavior inefficient. Provide the child with a replacement behavior that serves the same function as the inappropriate behavior.

3. Make the problem behavior ineffective. Do not allow the child to obtain what he or she wants through inappropriate behavior.

Crone, D. & Horner, R. (2003). Building Positive Behavior Support Systems in Schools: Functional Behavior Assessment

Functions of Behavior Flowchart

The D.A.S.H. Framework

for Functional Behavior Assessments and Positive Behavior Support Plans

The VBISD Behavior Committee has developed comprehensive resources to guide teams in the completion of quality Functional Behavior Assessments and Positive Behavior Support Plans. Using the DASH framework, educators in Van Buren County are trained to:

Define the behavior of concern (in observable and measurable terms)

Ask about the behavior (via interviewing tools like the Functional Assessment Checklist for Teachers/Staff)

See the behavior by completing ABC Data Observation

Hypothesize the function of the behavior based on evidence collected through the interview, observation, and other data collection methods

After developing a supported hypothesis statement, educators are then trained in identifying appropriate replacement behaviors, matching interventions to the function of the behavior, and constructing plans for implementation.

Resources and Forms

FBA & PBSP Rubrics

These tools were developed by Abbey Mix, Kent ISD, Shannon Shy, Livingston ESA, and Renee Thelen, Ionia County ISD, and can be used to assess the quality of an FBA and PBSP:

Rubrics are an effective way to:

  1. Improve consistency from one provider to the next.

  2. Develop clear expectations for work that relfects both compliance and quality.

  3. Provide structured opportunities for staff to reflect on their own work.

From the presentation The Rubric Roadmap: Your Guide to High Quality FBAs/Function-based BIPs & IEP Guidance by Renee Thelen, Abbey Miz, and Shannon Shy. Presented at the MASSW Conference, 2020.