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Evidence for Effective Practical FBA & BSP Trainings for School Personnel Sheldon Loman, PhD 9 th Annual Conference on Positive Behavior Support March.

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Presentation on theme: "Evidence for Effective Practical FBA & BSP Trainings for School Personnel Sheldon Loman, PhD 9 th Annual Conference on Positive Behavior Support March."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evidence for Effective Practical FBA & BSP Trainings for School Personnel Sheldon Loman, PhD 9 th Annual Conference on Positive Behavior Support March 15 th, 2012 Contact:;

2 Who’s here? o Administrators? o Teachers? o Paraprofessionals? o Behavior Specialists? o Higher Education Members? o Other related services? o Others?

3 Special thanks to: Kristy Lee Park, Chris Borgmeier, Kathleen Strickland-Cohen, & Rob Horner

4 Concern As schools adopt Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports, the behavior specialists in the district are often overwhelmed with requests to conduct functional behavioral assessments and building behavior support plans. Basic Message: Any time you feel overwhelmed the answer is likely to include investing in the training of others. Basic Message: Any time you feel overwhelmed the answer is likely to include investing in the training of others.

5 Goals Propose an approach for making FBA/BSP a practical part of behavior support in all schools. Define how to teach typical school personnel to conduct “Practical FBAs and BSPs” Present documentation that basic FBAs are valid for use in building behavior support plans. Present preliminary data on the efficacy of a practical training of function-based interventions Present How Schools are Using these Practical Approaches

6 A primary goal of FBA is to…. guide the development of effective positive interventions based on the function of the behavior (e.g. tangible, escape, attention, automatic; Horner, 1994).

7 FBA is…. an empirically supported practice that has been demonstrated to improve both the effectiveness & efficiency of behavioral interventions in schools Blair, Umbreit, & Bos, 1999; Carr et al., 1999; Ingram, Lewis-Palmer, & Sugai, 2005; Lee, Sugai, & Horner, 1999; Newcomer & Lewis, 2004.

8 Filter & Horner, 2009

9 Ingram, Lewis-Palmer & Sugai, 2005

10 Newcomer & Lewis, 2004

11 Challenges schools face today are not finding what works, but implementing what works. Fixsen, Naoom, Blase, Friedman, & Wallace, 2005 Since 1997 FBA has not been implemented widely in schools. Not due to lack of knowledge, but to practicality of use

12 District Behavior Support Specialist Support Teams building behavior support plans from Assessment information Train 1-2 people per school to conduct “basic” FBA & BSP Train and coach PBIS at all three tiers

13 “Logical Flaws” of FBA use in public schools (Scott et al., 2005) FBA is used mainly as a reactionary approach. opportunity is lost to utilize FBA technology to develop interventions that address minor behaviors that usually precede more serious problems. FBA is restricted to set of procedures used by “experts” The rich supply of information from people with whom the student interacts with the most is lost. FBA is restricted to rigorous procedures that are unrealistic for public school settings. Disincentive for using FBA technology. Cynicism as to the practicality of FBA.

14 “Scaling Down to Scale up” Scott, Alter, & McQuillan (2010) In order for FBA to be applied in typical classrooms we need to simplify the practices associated with effective FBA It is essential to use straightforward language, rationale, and examples of how FBA can be applied in the context of classroom 14

15 Proactive…Parsimonious…Practical FBA in schools Proactive parsimonious procedures required to create an effective behavior support plan. Given the time & resource constraints in schools, we must encourage schools to “work smarter” to develop capacity to implement technology to effectively support more students. Use Practical FBA procedures to develop capacity within a school to utilize FBA technology.

16 Practical FBA Logic Model School-wide Positive Behavioral Supports 80% of Students Secondary Group Supports 10-15% of Students Individualized Supports 5% of Students Overwhelmed Behavior Specialist AKA: “Fire-fighter” Personnel with “flexible” roles conduct proactive Practical FBA to expand the scope of FBA, prevent intensive problem behaviors, & decrease reliance on specialist.

17 Current Issues and Needs in Your District… Do people already know how to do FBA in your schools? Can a district leader teach FBA procedures in a reasonable amount of time? Are the basic FBAs developed by school personnel valid for building behavior support plans? Do our school teams understand the CRITICAL FEATURES of function-based interventions ? Do we have materials that are practical and effective for use by district specialists?

18 Training Series 4 training sessions on conducting functional behavioral assessments (FBA) for students with mild to moderate behavioral problems in schools. The training series teaches participants to conduct interviews and observations in such a way as to precisely determine the relationship between student problem behavior and the context: – What the problem behaviors are. – When, Where, & Why a student’s problem behaviors occur. A summary of this information will help an individual student team develop effective behavioral supports that: -prevent problem behaviors from occurring -teach alternative behaviors -& effectively respond when problem behaviors occur.

19 Practical FBA process D.A.S.H. D efine behavior in observable & measurable terms A sk about behavior by interviewing staff & student -specify routines where & when behaviors occur -summarize where, when, & why behaviors occur S ee the behavior -observe the behavior during routines specified -observe to verify summary from interviews H ypothesize: a final summary of where, when & why behaviors occur 19 Session #1 Session #2 Session #3 Session #4

20 Format of Practical FBA Training Sessions Objectives Review Activities Checks for Understanding Comments/ Questions Tasks Key Points

21 Practical FBA vs Comprehensive FBA Practical FBAComprehensive FBA For:Students with mild to moderate problem behaviors (behaviors that are NOT dangerous or occurring in many settings) Students with moderate to severe behavioral problems; may be dangerous and/or occurring in many settings What:Relatively simple and efficient process to guide behavior support planning Time-intensive process that also involves archival records review, family- centered planning, and collaboration with agencies outside of school Conducted by whom:School-based personnel (e.g., teachers, counselors, administrators) Professionals trained to conduct functional assessments with students with severe problem behaviors (e.g., school psychologists, behavior specialists) 21 Focus of this training series


23 Session #1: Defining & Understanding Behavior Overview of the Practical FBA training series and introduces concepts, examples, and practice opportunities for participants to learn how to: (a) Define behavior (WHAT), (b) Identify events that predict WHEN & WHERE the specific behavior occurs (c) Identify the function of behavior (WHY), and (d) Construct functional behavioral summary statements TASK: Find someone at their site whom they may conduct a practice interview with next week.

24 Always start with the Behavior 1- Once you have defined the behaviors (the What) 2- & know the Where & When the behaviors occur #2 (Routine & Antecedents) 3- Then want to find out WHY (the outCome of the behavior…what happens right afterwards) 24 2 Antecedent/Trigger: When _____ happens…. 1 Behavior: the student does (what)__ 3 Consequence/OutCome..because (why) ______

25 Rules for Defining Behavior Definitions of behaviors need to be: Observable: The behavior is an action that can be seen. Measurable: The behavior can be counted or timed. Defined so clearly that a person unfamiliar with the student could recognize the behavior without any doubts! 25

26 Functions that behaviors serve 26 What is the pay-off of the problem behavior?

27 Create a Hypothesis Statement for Johnny’s Behavior After interviewing Mr. Smith and conducting several observations of Johnny in the third grade classroom, the team determined that during less structured class time (free time, cooperative group art projects, etc.), Johnny tears up his paper and stomps his feet. After Johnny engages in this behavior his peers laugh at him. Routine: During __(some routine e.g.: _______________ 27 Antecedent/Trigger: “When..” Behavior: “Student does..” Consequence/OutCome: “Because..” Peers laugh at him Therefore, the function of the behavior is to: get/avoid Peer Attention Less structured class time Third grade classroom Tears up paper & stomps feet

28 Session #2: Investigating Behavior Review content from the first session Instruction, modeling, and practice opportunities in conducting FACTS interviews with staff and students (modified from Borgmeier, 2005) Practice constructing behavioral summary statements from each interview. TASK: Complete a practice FACTS interview with a staff member at school site.

29 Setting Events/ “Set ups” Antecedent/ Trigger Consequence/ Outcome Problem Behavior 4 terms of Hypothesis/Summary Statement Following events that maintain behaviors of concern Preceding events that trigger Observable behaviors of concern Infrequent events that affect value of outcome


31 Select #1 Ranked Answers to Insert into Summary Have Teacher Rate the Statement

32 Follow-up ANTECEDENT(s): Rank Order the strongest triggers/predictors of problem behavior in the routine above. Then ask corresponding follow-up question(s) to get a detailed understanding of triggers ranked #1 & 2. Environmental Features (Rank order strongest 2)Follow Up Questions – Get as Specific as possible 1 X a. task too hard ___ g. large group instruction ___ b. task too easy ___ h. small group work _X_ c. bored w/ task ___ i. unstructured time _X_ d. task too long ___ j. transitions ___ e. physical demand 2 _X k. independent work 3 _X f. correction/reprimand ___ l. with peers ___ m. Other, describe ______________________ _______________________________________ If a,b,c,d or e - describe task/demand in detail __writing sentences, paragraphs, letters, journals, etc. student cannot write because they don’t know how to read or spell fluently______________________ If f - describe purpose of correction, voice tone, volume etc. _________________________________________________ If g, h, I, j or k - describe setting/activity/content in detail ____Independent work involving writing or reading; works better in small groups if he doesn’t have to read or write____________ _________________________________________________ If l – what peers? Make sure to ask follow-up questions in the right column of Antecedents & Consequences section

33 Session #3: Observing & Summarizing Behavior Review content from previous training sessions & practice interviews from week before Instruction & practice opportunities (using videos) for participants to conduct ABC observations of students within routines identified as settings in which the problem behavior occurs most frequently (based upon the staff FACTS interviews). Participants practice constructing summary statements based upon data from their observations to verify or modify summary statements derived from their FACTS interviews. TASK: Complete a practice ABC observation at school site.

34 Videos used in training available from Sopris West: Scott, T. M., Liaupsin, C., & Nelson, C. M. (2005). Team-based Functional Assessment and Intervention Planning: A Simplified Teaming Process. Longmont, CO: Sopris West.



37 Practical FBA ABC FAQ How many times should I observe the student in the routine? Observe until you are convinced (about 5 to10 occurrences of behavior OR 3 to 1 ratio verifying FACTS summary). You may have to go in on more than one day or period….but make sure you are going during identified routine. Need to be convinced your observation data are accurately representing situation

38 Session #4: Function-based Behavior Support Planning Review of concepts, skills from first three sessions Review practice ABC observations & summarizing results Provide opportunities for participants to practice the skills that they have learned in conducting interviews, observations, and constructing behavioral summary statements Introduce the Competing Behavior Pathway and ideas for helping individual student support teams in designing function-based behavioral supports.

39 Competing Behavior Summary Typical Consequence Maintaining Consequence Desired Behavior Problem Behavior Alternate Behavior Antecedent Setting Event Summary of Behavior

40 Neutralize/ eliminate setting events Add relevant & remove irrelevant triggers Teach alternative that is more efficient Add effective & & remove ineffective reinforcers

41 Summary of Behavior - Shane Setting EventAntecedentBehaviorConsequence Teacher/Staff Interview Summary Statement Academic Failure in previous class that day Difficult tasks, any word problems & most math operations Work refusal, doodling, not follow directives, yells at teacher, disruptive Avoid math task, doodling, work refusal, sent to office ABC Observation Summary Statement Negative relationship w/ teacher??? Teacher confrontation Work refusal, doodling, yells at teacher, disruptive Avoid teacher confrontation, avoid math task, to office Final Summary of Behavior (move to Behavior Plan) Negative relationship w/ teacher & previous academic failure 1. Teacher confrontation 2. Math task Work refusal, doodling, yells at teacher, disruptive Avoid math task & teacher confrontation

42 Examination of Efficacy of Practical FBA To determine if staff with flexible roles in schools (e.g., counselors, administrators) can be trained to conduct FBA for students with mild to moderate behavior problems (i.e., students with recurring problems that do not involve physical aggression or violent behaviors). To determine the efficacy and acceptability of Practical FBA methods and tools with school personnel.

43 Methods: 3 Phases of the Study Phase 1- Practical FBA training on FBA tools & methods provided to 12 school professionals. -Pre- & Post-Tests of FBA knowledge Phase 2- 10 of the 12 Trained participants conducted an FBA according to procedures they were taught for one student within their school. -Using Practical FBA tools: interviewed, observed, and hypothesized summary of student behavior. Phase 3- Functional analyses conducted by researcher to test each participant’s hypothesis/summary statement -Experimental manipulations to determine the efficacy of the Practical FBA training.

44 Pre/Post Training FBA Knowledge N=12 Overall Pretest M= 39.50% (SD=18.82%) Overall Posttest M= 92.55% (SD=7.22%) Results: Phase 1 99% Inter-rater Total Agreement on 25% of tests. 39%

45 Acceptability Ratings Agree Results: Phase 2 N=10 Strongly disagree Strongly Agree

46 Comparison of Summary Statements Generated from Interviews 9 out of 10 of the summary statements hypothesized by the FACTS interviews with teachers were verified by results of experimental functional analysis. The one FACTS summary statement that was not verified by FA actually resulted in further clarification from the direct observation. The school participant decided to use the results from the direct observation which resulted in a function that was verified by experimental functional analysis. Results: Phase 3

47 Participant 2 Hypothesis: Access Adult Attention All 10 of the FAs confirmed the Hypothesis Statements

48 Contributions of Study Use of Basic FBA v. Comprehensive FBA Proactive, Parsimonious, Practical School personnel can conduct “valid” FBAs for students with mild to moderate behavioral problems. Usefulness & acceptability of training/tools Utility of FACTS interview tool, but implications of essential direct observation validation Ideas on how to organize personnel within a school/district to implement best practices

49 How has Practical FBA been used? Designed to be used by someone well-versed in FBA and behavioral principles (e.g., behavior specialist, school psychologist) to train school personnel. Springfield Public Schools trained instructional assistants, teachers, principals, vice principals, counselors, and specialists from elementary, middle, and high schools (over 40 in attendance). Rural Virginia K-8 School District (20 teachers and staff)

50 Different Formats Used Middle and High School Administrators and Counselors 4 sessions, 1.5 hours, 2 weeks apart K-12 educators – general education teachers, special education teachers, title reading teachers, classified employees 5 sessions, 2 hours, 2 weeks apart Elementary teams – principals, counselors, school psychologists, special education teachers 3 sessions, 1 half day followed by 2 sessions, 1. 5 hours, 1 week apart

51 District in Virginia 2011 – 2012 Plan for District-Wide Behavior Support 1.Provide Practical FBA Training for all teachers within the district 2.From teacher self-nominations, provide coaching and feedback to complete function-based interventions

52 Practical FBA Training Day 1 Part 1: Defining Behaviors Part 2: Assessments Part 3: Summarizing Behavior Information

53 3-hour Practical FBA Training Results

54 Beyond Training to Professional Development Teacher self nominations FBA support Walked through DASH assessment procedures Provide feedback on data assessment 1-3 hours of direct coaching

55 From Practical FBA to Practical Training on Function-based Interventions The most important purpose of conducting FBA is to inform the development of Behavior Support Plans that directly address the FUNCTION of student behavior

56 What the Research says BSP’s in schools are not function-based, they are rarely related to the function of behavior identified in FBA Blood & Neel, 2007; Etscheidt, 2006; Scott, et al., 2005; Van Acker, et al., 2005 We need to continue to examine how we train school personnel and their ability to develop function-based interventions with fidelity Blood and Neil, 2007; Scott, & Kamps, 2007

57 Steps in Behavior Support Planning Step 1: Develop Competing Behavior Pathway Step 2: Develop Behavior Support Plan Step 3: Implementation Plan Step 4: Evaluation Plan Step 5: Follow-up Meetings to Review Progress

58 Practical BSP Training: Identifying Function-Based Interventions Borgmeier & Loman, in preparation

59 In One Hour Can We Train You to Identify Effective Behavioral Interventions for Challenging Students? Borgmeier & Loman, NWPBIS conferences in Oregon & Washington 59

60 Participants (n=361) NorthWest PBIS Conference Attendees Oregon (n=150 & n=51) Washington (n=46) Vancouver, British Columbia Training (n=22) School District in Washington (n=20) Portland State University Students (n=72)

61 Participant Experience w/ FBA/BSP

62 Pre-Test/ Post-Test Design 1 hour training + 15 min for Pre & Post-test

63 Training format Identify function-based interventions for: Alternate Behavior Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence Interventions Training Sequence Provide Rationale Present Critical Features of Intervention Model selection of Best intervention option w/ think-aloud applying critical features Practice w/ Partner & Review Test (Forms Counterbalanced between groups)

64 Example Training Slides

65 Behavior Support Planning Identify a range of interventions that address prevention (A), teaching (B) & consequences (C) You may not use them all, but it is good to identify multiple interventions options across A, B & C

66 Start w/ Summary of Behavior from FBA Maintaining Consequence & Function Problem Behavior Antecedent Targeted Routine

67 FBA: Summary of Behavior Maintaining Consequence & Function Problem Behavior Antecedent FUNCTION FUNCTION is where student behavior intersects with the environment Function = Learning Student learns…. When (A), if I (B), then (C)… Function = how I benefit so I keep doing B Targeted Routine

68 Function Based Interventions Maintaining Consequence & Function Problem Behavior Antecedent FUNCTION Function should guide selection of alternative/ replacement behaviors When generating interventions we use Function to develop ideas to change A, B & C Targeted Routine

69 Develop the Competing Behavior Pathway Maintaining Consequence & Function Problem Behavior Alternate Behavior Antecedent Targeted Routine Desired Behavior Natural Consequence Start by identifying the Alternate Behavior … and then the Desired Behavior

70 Why the Alternate Behavior? Why can’t we go right to the Desired Behavior? Success, another problem Sent back to table (escape task) Complete math problem Throws a Tantrum Raise hand & ask for break Given double digit addn problems None identified 1. This is what we’re asking the student to do. 2. This is what the student wants now. 3. Look how different this is from what’s happening now 4. The student is going to need to gain the math skills before being able to do this like peers 5. So… in the meantime we use the alternate behavior

71 Critical Features of a Replacement / Alternate Behavior An appropriate Replacement Behavior: Serves the same function as the problem behavior Is easier to do & more efficient than the problem behavior Alternate Behaviors require less physical effort & provide quicker, more reliable access to desired outcome/response than problem behavior Is Socially acceptable

72 Which of the Following are Appropriate Replacement Behaviors? Leslie is 12, has severe intellectual disabilities, does not use words, and hits her head. Head hitting is maintained by adult attention during work periods. Which is the best Replacement Behavior hide under her desk and be ignored sign for “more” to another student take completed work up to show the teacher move to sit by another student Use picture communication system to request teacher help Start w/ the Function 1. Serve same Function? Does it provide adult attn? 2. Is Behavior easier to do than problem behavior? 3. Is Behavior socially acceptable?

73 Then, must explicitly TEACH alternative behavior & desired behaviors

74 Then, move to preventing the problem behavior & prompt alternative

75 Antecedent Interventions Prevent & Prompt

76 Antecedent Interventions Maintaining Consequence & Function Problem Behavior Antecedent FUNCTION Function should guide selection of prevention strategies Function should guide selection of alternative/ replacement behaviors When generating interventions we use Function to develop ideas to change A, B & C Targeted Routine

77 Does the intervention directly address: a) the antecedent? b)the Function of the problem behavior? Antecedent Interventions Yes or No? Why? Critical features of Antecedent Interventions to prevent the Problem Behavior?

78 Behavior Support Planning

79 Function Based Interventions Maintaining Consequence & Function Problem Behavior Antecedent FUNCTION Function should guide selection of prevention strategies Function should guide selection of alternative/ replacement behaviors Function should guide selection of consequences: (+) and (-) When generating interventions we use Function to develop ideas to change A, B & C Targeted Routine

80 Consequence Intervention: Reinforcing Positive Behavior 1. Identify an intervention to Reinforce the Alternate Behavior Yes or No? Why? Critical features of Reinforcers? 2. Identify an intervention to Reinforce the Desired Behavior Steps in Identifying Reinforcers? a)Is reinforcer valued? (start w/ function of behavior) b) Are expectations & timeframes reasonable for the student?

81 Consequence Intervention Responding to Problem Behavior 1. Prompt the Alternate Behavior at earliest signs of problem behavior Yes or No? Why? 2. Identify a response to problem behavior that does not reinforce the Problem Behavior Steps in Identifying Responses to Problem Behavior?

82 Morgan’s Function-Based Intervention

83 Results Overall Mean Increase by 30%

84 Percent Correct Pre v Post By Function




88 Implications We can improve the ability of school personnel to select function- based interventions from a list of interventions using a vignette Previous to training, participants had the most difficult time: Identifying Alternative Behaviors Teaching Alternative Behaviors Reinforcing Alternative Behaviors Both Before and After Training participants had difficulty with: Interventions for Responding to Attention Maintained Behavior

89 Limitations Continue to develop the assessment tools Reliability & Validity testing Validity study: Experts indicating logic for identifying function- based interventions. Continue to explore features of Function-based interventions

90 Next Steps Expand training to be more comprehensive (not confined to 1 hour) Train beyond choice selection Assess maintenance of skills Assess generalization of skills to real cases Move beyond choice selection to intervention identification Kathleen Strickland-Cohen Dissertation Efficacy of Training School Personnel to Build Behavioral Interventions from Functional Assessment Information

91 Four 1-Hour Training Sessions Session #1: Using FBA data to build competing behavior pathways Session #2: Identifying and selecting function- based prevention, teaching, and consequence strategies Session #3: Contextual fit, implementation and evaluation planning Session #4: Leading a BSP team

92 Methods by Phase Phase 1: From “Practical FBA” to BSP training series – 13 BSP Team Leaders Pretest of behavioral knowledge Pre- & Post-tests of BSP development knowledge Preliminary Results: From 62% to 88% Phase 2: Nine participants from Phase I lead behavior support teams in development of BSP for 1 student BSPs assessed for technical adequacy and contextual fit Phase 3: Seven Student BSPs implemented Direct observation data to assess: Impact on student behavior Fidelity of Implementation

93 Initial Results

94 References Blood, E., & Neel, R. S. (2007). From FBA to Implementation: A Look at What Is Actually Being Delivered. Education and Treatment of Children, 30(4), 67- 80. Etscheidt, S. (2006). Behavioral Intervention Plans: Pedagogical and Legal Analysis of Issues. Behavioral Disorders, 31(2), 223-243. Scott, T. M., & Kamps, D. M. (2007). The Future of Functional Behavioral Assessment in School Settings. Behavioral Disorders, 32(3), 146-157. Scott, T. M., McIntyre, J., Liaupsin, C., Nelson, C., Conroy, M., & Payne, L. (2005). An Examination of the Relation between Functional Behavior Assessment and Selected Intervention Strategies with School-Based Teams. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 7(4), 205-215. Van Acker, R., Boreson, L., Gable, R. A., & Potterton, T. (2005). Are We on the Right Course? Lessons Learned about Current FBA/BIP Practices in Schools. Journal of Behavioral Education, 14(1), 35-56.

95 Slides are available on-line at: Questions? Contact:

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