Menu Close

Dedicated to Excellence

What Happens During a Functional Behavioral Assessment?

child taking functional behavioral assessment

A functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is often recommended if your child is struggling at school or facing difficulties with social interactions. What happens during a functional behavioral assessment is relatively simple. The test identifies what is causing a child to behave in a certain way and suggests steps to rectify it. If you or your child’s teachers are worried that they may have behavioral concerns, reach out to Journey ABA for a comprehensive FBA and treatment programs.

Every child is unique, and often, they aren’t able to adequately communicate their needs to the adults around them. As a result, they may become withdrawn, disrupt their class, or act aggressively or inappropriately.

Understanding why a child acts in a certain way and how they can be helped is one of the primary goals of an FBA.
To learn more about what happens during an FBA and book an appointment, call us at 844.222.4513.

What Happens During a Functional Behavioral Assessment?

The science behind an FBA is that every behavior serves a specific purpose. A child might behave in a certain way either because they benefit from it, or they are trying to escape/avoid something. An FBA can help uncover the root cause of certain behaviors and point towards the right kind of support that the child may need.

A few of the steps involved in a functional behavioral assessment include:

Defining the Behavior

The first step in an FBA is to identify and define the challenging behavior. An FBA typically addresses one behavior at a time, and it should be as specific as possible.

Gathering Data

The next step is to look for the “Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence” (ABC). How a child behaves directly before (antecedent) and immediately after (consequence) the specific behavior is taken into account. Instead of making any judgments, an objective and rational approach is encouraged.

Analyzing the Evidence

After collecting the ABC data over a period of time, the behavior specialists begin to look for patterns. They usually try to answer questions like, “Why did the child react in this way?” or “What prompted the child’s aggressive behavior” and so on.

Forming a Hypothesis

After sufficient evidence has been collected and analyzed, the experts will form a hypothesis to explain the child’s behavior. By carefully watching and analyzing the child’s behavior over time, one can find out their hidden issues and the needs they cannot communicate.

The hypothesis also includes why the child may choose to continue with a certain challenging behavior despite being told to stop.

Making a Plan for Change

By understanding the antecedents and consequences of the behavior and testing the hypothesis, the experts can recommend a plan of action. These may include suggestions on how to change the circumstances or strategies to motivate the child to modify their behavior.

With better knowledge about what motivates a child, parents and therapists can use different positive reinforcement techniques to modify a child’s behavior and teach them vital life skills.

Find Help and Guidance at Journey ABA

At Journey ABA, we are committed to helping children and adults alike manage their symptoms effectively and live better and happier lives.

We offer evidence-based ABA therapy to children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), with a special focus on family support and individualized care. Our programs are led by experts in the field of ABA, and we ensure ongoing professional development and training for our staff. ABA therapy can make a difference for your family—reach out to us today to learn how.

Contact us at 844.222.4513 to know more about our personalized programs.