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Conducting Functional Behavior Assessments for Students with ASD Module 8 Lesson 2.

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Presentation on theme: "Conducting Functional Behavior Assessments for Students with ASD Module 8 Lesson 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conducting Functional Behavior Assessments for Students with ASD Module 8 Lesson 2

2 Outline Overview of FBA Functions for Challenging Behavior Steps for Conducting a FBA

3 Defining Functional Behavior Assessment A function means that the behavior serves a purpose for the individual. Behavior functions to make some desired change in the environment. The FBA approach is built on the premise that before planning intervention to address challenging behaviors, information about the nature of the problem behavior and the environmental contexts in which the behavior is observed is essential (Sugai et al., 1999). Thus, FBA is a method of assessing the relationship between the environment and behavior (O'Neill et al., 1997).

4 Functions for Challenging Behavior There are two major functions for challenging behavior ◦ to gain access to something ◦ to escape from/avoid something (Scott & Caron, 2005) However, there are multiple ways of looking at functions within those two categories The next slide shows a table with examples related to the two main functions for challenging behaviors

5 The Purpose of Conduction FBAs The purpose of conducting a FBA is to develop a behavior intervention plan (BIP) that encourages the individual to engage in alternative prosocial behaviors (replacement behaviors) that serve the same function as the problem behavior and make necessary environment arrangements to prevent problem behavior from occurring (Horner, 1994) BIPs based on FBAs are effective for individuals of all ages and all functioning levels (Hanley, Piazza, Fisher, & Maglieri, 2005)

6 Examples of Functions of Challenging Behavior To Gain Access to Something To Escape or Avoid Something To gain positive or negative attention To escape from or avoid undesirable tasks such as difficult schoolwork. To obtain a tangible consequence: food, drink, a token, money, a favorite toy or object. To avoid or escape from undesirable social situations such as social games, conversations, or turn-taking play activities. To gain access to a desired activity such as use of a computer, watching a video, listening to music, etc. To avoid or escape from attention. For example, if a child doesn’t like to receive extensive amounts of praise, the child may display challenging behavior to avoid or escape from someone who typically delivers large amounts of praise. To gain sensory consequence: to get warmer if one is cold, or cooler if hot, to gain some tactile, taste, auditory, visual, or physical consequence. To avoid particular objects or events that are aversive to the individual. For example, an individual may display challenging behavior when a particular sound is heard or when going on an airplane. To obtain emotional regulation. For example, if a child with autism is disengaged, bored, anxious, or frustrated, the child may engage in self-stimulatory behavior for regulation purposes (to feel better) due to lack of communication and social interaction skills. To escape from internal stimulation that is painful or uncomfortable. For example, a child who is nonverbal may display self-injurious behavior because of a severe toothache.

7 Steps for Conducting a FBA 1. Selecting a Target Behavior 2. Collect Baseline Data 3. Collect Data to Develop a Hypothesis for the Function of the Behavior 4. Triangulate the Data to Form a Hypothesis

8 Step 1: Selecting a Target Behavior

9 Selecting a Target Behavior Target behaviors are challenging behaviors that are having a negative impact on the individual displaying them and/or others Target behaviors must be defined in ways that are observable and measurable The next slide shows examples and non-examples of possible target behaviors for students with ASD

10 Target Behaviors ExamplesNon-Examples The student runs out of the classroom. The student is non- compliant. The student shouts out inappropriate verbalizations that are not related to the content being presented during whole group and small group instruction. The student is disruptive. The student hits himself in the face with an open hand. The student is aggressive. The student undresses in the cafeteria. The student displays inappropriate social behavior.

11 Selecting a Target Behavior It is helpful to collaborate with the people who spend the most time with the student and create a list of challenging behaviors You may then choose to create “classes,” or groups, of behaviors ◦ For example, you may have a class of aggressive behaviors that entail hitting, kicking, and spitting. You may also have a class of non-compliant behaviors such as not following directions, talking back, and failure to begin tasks. ◦ But, not all target behaviors will belong to a class of behaviors. For example, a target behavior may simply be running away from adults

12 Selecting Target Behaviors To determine which behavior or class of behaviors to target, the following questions can help in the decision making process: ◦ Is the behavior dangerous to the child or to others? ◦ Is the behavior disruptive on a frequent basis or to an intense level? ◦ Does the behavior interfere with socialization or acceptance from peers? ◦ Does the behavior interfere with learning, either academic or social? ◦ Will decreasing this behavior result in positive outcomes for the child?

13 Selecting a Target Behavior You may choose to prioritize the behaviors on the list and begin addressing the first priority, the second, and so on. It is important to note, however, that you do not necessarily have to select the most severe behavior to address first. ◦ For example, it may be that focusing on decreasing off-task behaviors at school will also decrease aggression. Thus, it may be appropriate to begin with a less severe behavior such as off-task behaviors as you may see decreases in other more severe challenging behaviors while doing so.

14 Step 2: Collect Baseline Data

15 Collect Baseline Data It is important to collect baseline data on the target behavior for two main reasons: 1.Determine if the defined target behavior occurs often or intensely enough to warrant conducting a FBA 2.Have pre-intervention data that can be compared to data collected during the implementation of the BIP to determine the effectiveness of the plan

16 Collect Baseline Data The method for collecting data will depend on the target behavior selected The next slide shows a table of the different types of data collection procedures with explanations for implementation To view actual data sheet samples for each procedure presented, ask a special education teacher, behavior analyst, or school psychologist who is responsible for conducting FBAs to share the ones they use with you

17 Examples of Methods for Collecting Data (Glasberg, 2006) ProcedureExplanationExamples Frequency or Rate recording Counting how many times something happens during a given time. Hitting, running away, cursing, undressing DurationMeasuring how long a behavior lastsTantrums, crying LatencyMeasuring the amount of time that elapses between the onset of an event and the start of a behavior Following directions, disruptive behavior that occurs during instructional activities IntensityTracking the various degrees of intensity of behavior using a rating system such as: 1: taps face; 2: slaps face but leaves no mark; 3: slaps face and leaves a red mark Self-injurious behavior, tantrums. screaming Partial Interval Time Sample The observation period is broken into small intervals and the observer indicates whether the behavior occurred or not during that interval. High frequency behaviors such as self-stimulatory behaviors, talking out of turn

18 Step 3: Collect Data to Develop a Hypothesis for the Function of the Behavior

19 Functional Behavior Assessment Interview A FBA Interview entails conducting interviews with as many individuals as appropriate to acquire information about the student’s target behavior across a variety of contexts. The interview should consist of questions related to under what conditions the behavior is most likely to occur, least likely to occur, and what typically happens before, during and after the behavior. The individual being interviewed should be given an opportunity at the end of the conversation to state why they believe the behavior is occurring. The following link from the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice (CECP) provides an example of an interview form that can be used when conducting FBA’s: tm tm

20 Direct Observation Based on the information gathered during the FBA Interviews, direct observations should be conducted to accurately identify antecedents and consequences associated with the behavior and likely functions of the behavior. (Calloway & Simpson, 1998) A-B-C data collection and scatter plots are two effective procedures for gathering information related to the function of target behaviors.

21 A-B-C Data Collection The A in the A-B-C model refers to antecedents (events that take place before the behavior occurs) The B in the A-B-C model refers to target behavior that follows the antecedent The C in the A-B-C Model represents consequences (these are events that take place after the behavior occurs)

22 Analyzing A-B-C Data Collection When analyzing the information from the A-B-C data collection you should look for: ◦ how frequently the challenging behavior occurs ◦ consistent patterns of reinforcement or punishment of the behavior ◦ identifiable antecedents of the behavior (patterns to the antecedents) ◦ recurring chains of specific antecedents, behaviors, and consequences (Alberto & Troutman, 1999)

23 A-B-C Data Form Date/TimeSetting Events AntecedentBehaviorConsequencePossible Function

24 Example of an A-B-C Data Form Date/ Time Setting Events AntecedentBehaviorConsequencePossible Function 4/2/08: 9:00am John was asked to get off of the computer for writing. The teacher gives John a writing assignment John runs out of the room The teacher chases after John. Once she gets him, John is sent to the office. Avoid writing assignment 4/3/08: 11:00am All of the students are playing with one another. John roams around the playground by himself. Walks by the teacher several times. John runs away from the playground. The teacher runs after John and brings him back to the playground. Get teacher attention 4/4/08: 10:15am The students are at centers working. John is roaming around the room. John runs out of the room. The teacher runs after John and brings him back to the room. Get teacher attention

25 Scatter Plots Scatter plots allow the observer to identify patterns of behavior that relate to specific conditions. The observer records the amount of times the behavior occurs at the identified times and locations on a chart or grid. If it would be helpful to determine when and where the behavior is occurring the most often and least often then using a scatter plot would be appropriate. ◦ For example, if a middle school student is yelling out during instruction, it may be necessary to use a scatter plot to determine in what classes does the behavior happen most often or what portions of the class period does the behavior occur most often to assist in determining a hypothesis for the function of the behavior. The following link from CECP provides a variety of examples of scatter plots:

26 Step 4: Triangulate the Data to Form a Hypothesis

27 Triangulating the Data At least three sources of information should be used to develop the hypothesis as opposed to simply relying on information collected from interviews or A-B-C data alone. This process is called data triangulation. The following link from CECP provides examples of charts that can be used to show data triangulation:

28 Forming a Hypothesis A hypothesis should address the purpose the behavior serves for the student, how the behavior is related to setting events, antecedents and consequences, and may also include information about skill deficits (Scheuermann & Webber, 2002) For example, a hypothesis that states, “William runs out of the classroom to avoid work,” is not very specific. Instead the hypothesis may state, “William runs out of his science and math classrooms when given directions to go to his designated work group to avoid working collaboratively and socially interacting with peers.” This hypothesis statement addresses the function for the behavior (avoiding work), how it is related to setting events, antecedents, and consequences (math and science classes, working collaboratively with peers), and skill deficits in social interaction.

29 Forming a Hypothesis When triangulating the data, you may deduct that the target behavior has multiple functions. Here are some examples: ◦ A student may engage in self-injurious behaviors to gain attention and to escape difficult tasks ◦ A student may engage in vocal “stims” to gain sensory stimulation during times when he is disengaged and to get attention from the teacher

30 Conclusion It is important to note, that a FBA should not exist without the purpose of developing a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) In other words, a FBA is not intended to be an intervention in and of itself (Nelson, Roberts, Mathur, & Rutherford, 1999) Conducting a FBA allows school staff to make informed decisions related to the function of a student’s behavior for purposes of developing effective BIPs.

31 Module 8 Lesson 2 Activity Conduct a FBA for a child with ASD that you are currently working with. You can work with the teacher(s) from you district who are also taking this course and turn in one FBA if that is possible. If not, you can either conduct it by yourself or with a team at your school. Turn in a description of the target behavior, any FBA Interviews you conducted, direct observation data, and a hypotheses form through data triangulation.

32 References Alberto, P., & Troutman, A. (1999). Applied behavior analysis for teacher (5 th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill. Calloway, C. J., & Simpson, R. L. (1998). Decisions regarding functions of behavior: Scientific versus informal analyses. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 13 (3), Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice (CECP): Glasberg, B. A. (2006). Functional behavior assessment for people with autism: Making sense of seemingly senseless behavior. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House. Hanley, G. Pl, Piazza, C. C., Fisher, W.W., & Maglieri, K. A. (2005). On the effectiveness of and preference for punishment and extinction components of function-based interventions. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38, Horner, R. H. (1994). Functional assessment: Contributions and future directions. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 27, Nelson, J. R., Robers, M. L., Mathur, S. R., & Rutherford, R. B. (1999). Has pubic policy exceeded our knowledge base? A review of the functional behavioral assessment literature. Behavioral Disorders, 24, O'Neill, R. E., Horner, R. H., Albin, R. W., Sprague, J. R., Storey, D., & Newton, J. S. (1997). Functional assessment and program development for problem behavior: A practical handbook (2nd ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. Scheuermann, B., & Webber, J. (2002). Autism: Teaching does make a difference. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning. Scott, T. M, & Caron, D. B. (2005). Conceptualizing functional behavior assessment as prevention practice within positive behavior support systems. Preventing School Failure, 50 (1), Sugai, G., Horner, R., Dunlap, G., Hieneman, M., Lewis, T., Nelson, M., Scott, T., Liaupsin, C., Sailor, W., Turnbull, A., Rutherford, H., Wickham, D., Ruef, M., & Wilcox, B. (1999). Applying positive behavioral support and functional behavior assessment in schools. Technical Assistance Guide 1, Version Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (OSEP), Washington, D.C.


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