Is Your Child Receiving An FBA? What Is That?

An FBA is a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). An FBA helps to identify challenging behaviors and then determine what replacement behaviors can be taught that are socially appropriate. Parents, therapists, other service providers, and teachers can request an FBA. A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) conducts the FBA. The BCBA will typically work to conduct the FBA in the location where the challenging behavior occurs – this will likely include making observation of your child at times they are engaging in the behavior(s) as well as times when s/he is not engaging in the behavior(s) to better identify the contingencies supporting the behavior(s). This process begins by working with the BCBA to identify the target behaviors the assessment may focus on and then collecting data! Data such as “A-B-C” data is information that tells the BCBA the A=Antecedent (what happens immediately before the behavior occurs), B= Behavior (what does the behavior look like/what did you see in concrete terms), C= Consequence (what happens immediately after the behavior occurs). By having this information, the BCBA has the complete behavior sentence that helps to understand the need being met for your child when s/he engages in the behavior.

After the FBA is conducted, the findings of the assessment will help you understand why your child is engaging in the challenging behavior. In this type of assessment, the answer to “why” the behavior is taking place is another way to say we are working to identify what your child is gaining or avoiding by engaging in the behavior(s). Based on this information, the BCBA can then put together a treatment place, which includes teaching alternative replacement behaviors with the goal of having your child learn other ways and behaviors to have these needs met! When you go over the FBA with your BCBA, it will include your child’s background information, a summary of the observations, an overview of the A-B-C data, and the behavior support plan to be implemented with an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician/Behavior Therapist).

— Morgan Ottone, Lead Behavioral Therapist

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