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Functional behavior assessment

 

A functional behavior assessment is a way to understand a behavior problem and work on changing it. It is also called an FBA.

What does an FBA involve?

An FBA involves finding out how a behavior problem is related to your child’s environment. School staff talk to your child and watch how he acts. Health care providers sometimes do, too. The goal is to learn:

  • The behavior problem that causes concern – Staff and health care providers call this the “target.”
  • What happens before the behavior problem – Staff and health care providers call this the “antecedent.”
  • What happens after the behavior problem – Staff and health care providers call this the “consequence.”

The FBA results help you, school staff, and health care providers understand why your child has the problem. For example, your child might get extra attention by acting a certain way in class. Or he might act a certain way to avoid a bully or other stressful situation.

How can an FBA help my child?

Doing an FBA shows school staff and health care providers what happens before and after the behavior problem. So they can help change these things. The changes can help the behavior problem.

The FBA results can also be used in school or counseling. School staff can create a plan to help your child with the behavior problem. This plan is called a behavior intervention plan. If your child sees a counselor, the counselor can also use the FBA results. 

How can I ask for an FBA?

Talk to your child’s school guidance counselor about an FBA. You can also have a health care provider such as a psychologist do an FBA.

Questions?

If you have questions about a FBA, ask your child’s psychologist, neuropsychologist, teacher, school counselor, or principal. You may also call the St. Jude Psychology Clinic at 901-595-3581.

Important terms to know about FBAs

FBA: Functional behavior assessment. A way to understand a behavior problem and work on changing it.

Antecedent: In an FBA, what happens before a behavior problem happens.

Behavior: The behavior problem, such as hitting or walking out of class.

Consequence: What happens after the behavior problem.

Behavior intervention plan: A plan based on the FBA results. It can be used to help change the behavior problem.

 

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

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