I recently attended the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children’s state conference and learned a lot of great things. Over the next few days, I hope to share with you some of the information that I learned.
This session was presented by Deb Leach of Winthrop University along with Hannah Grim and Misty Hill. They gave an overview of functional behavior assessments, common functions of challenging behaviors, strategies for behavior intervention plans and two case examples.
These are the notes that I took:
1. A function means that the behavior serves a purpose for the individual.
2. There are two major functions for challenging behavior: to gain access to something or to excape from/avoid something.
3. Steps for conducting a Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA): select a target behavior, collect baseline data, collect data to develop a hypothesis for the function of the behavior, triangulate the data to form a hypothesis.
4. 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.
5. When developing Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP), consider the three I’s (make the behavior ineffective, make it target behavior inefficient, and irrelevant) and PTR (prevent, teach, reinforce)
6. You can attempt to change the environment, the behavior of the adults/peers in the child’s environment or the child.
7. Antecedent interventions should be the primary focus of BIPs.
8. BIPs should serve to prevent problem behavior from occurring or at least reduce the occurrence of the target behavior.
9. Always consider if the problem behavior is a performance issue or skill acquisition issue.
10. Steps for developing a BIP: environmental modifications, changes to teacher/peer behavior, objectives for the student/strategy selection, and plan for monitoring progress and evaluating the BIP.
11. Often, all of the necessary information is gathered during the interview process.
12. Many times explicit instruction of expectations is all that is required.
13. Many times environmental modifications or changes to adult/peer behavior is needed.
14. In some cases, if you focus efforts on increasing the student’s active engagement, problem behaviors are significantly reduced.
15. Many times, you can find a student’s purpose of the behavior by interviewing the student.
The main takeaway that I got from this session is the importance of talking with the student. Many times the student is left out of this process and they know exactly why they are acting the way they do and can often give ideas on how to stop this behavior.