Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

The term “Functional Behavioral Assessment” comes from what is called a “Functional Assessment” or “Functional Analysis” in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This is the process of determining the cause (or “function”) of behavior before developing an intervention. FBAs are required under certain provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) when behavior becomes a factor interfering with access to educational services for a child with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). There are other circumstances where an FBA is either required or necessary to adequately serve a child in the schools.

Failure to base the intervention on the specific cause (function) very often results in ineffective and unnecessarily restrictive procedures. A properly conducted FBA should naturally lead to the development of a clear and specific Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) that is driven by an understanding of the function (or purpose) of the behaviors of concern and that has clear and concrete interventions that are measureable.

Once the targeted behaviors have been clearly identified through the Functional Behavioral Assessment process, as well as the precursors to the behavior, our consultants will formulate a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). The BIP is the actual plan created to not only decrease inappropriate or interfering behaviors, but also increase appropriate alternative behaviors.

It is also a formal way to document interventions. The plan should specify the target behaviors, measurable goals, the intervention description and method, the start and frequency of the intervention, the method for evaluation, persons responsible for each part of the intervention and evaluation, and the data collection methodology.

Our interventions are designed to focus on teaching alternative positive replacement behaviors whenever possible.  The overall goal of our consultation is the reduction of the targeted behaviors of concern. All our interventions are based on your needs and our analysis of the function of the behavior (FBA).

Problem behaviors are widely acknowledged as the most challenging and stressful issues faced by parents and schools related to special needs children. Research is clear that interventions that do not focus on positive replacement behaviors for problem behavior will be unsuccessful in the long-term elimination of such problem behaviors.