Functional Behavioral Assessment Lawyers
What Is a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)?
A functional behavioral assessment is an evaluation mandated by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that assesses the behavioral problems of students with disabilities. The functional behavioral assessment attempts to determine the cause of the behavior before taking disciplinary action against the student. So, it addresses when the student's behavior problems are most likely to occur, what environment the behavior is likely to occur in, and why the behavior occurs.
How Is the Functional Behavioral Assessment Conducted?
There are three main methods used to determine the cause of behavior problems in a functional behavioral assessment:
- Interviews and rating scales - teachers, parents, and others who have experience with the child's behavior can offer insights to the cause of the behavioral problems. However, the functional behavioral assessment cannot rely solely on interviews and rating scales. This is probably the weakest method used in functional behavioral assessments.
- Direct and systematic observation of the student's behavior
- Manipulation of the environment to see how behavior changes - By changing aspects of the student's environment, it may be possible to see what triggers the negative behavior
Who Conducts the Functional Behavioral Assessment?
The FBA is generally conducted by the same or similar team of people as those who developed the student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP). It is important that much of the assessment be done by people who know the student best - namely, his parents and teachers. However, the systematic observation and the environmental manipulation should be conducted by someone who is properly trained in using these methods to gather and evaluate information in order to get the most accurate and useful results.
What Happens Once I Have a Functional Behavioral Assessment for My Child?
Once your child has had a FBA, it is up to you and the rest of the IEP team to come up with a workable intervention strategy. The point of a FBA is to determine the cause of a student's misbehavior in order to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Once you have determined the cause, you and the school must create an intervention plan that addresses the behavior problems and implements ways of dealing with them, either by controlling the environment, or by using specific disciplinary measures to address the problem.
Should I Contact a Lawyer?
If you have questions about your child's functional behavioral assessment, or if you believe that the school has not respected your child's rights, you may want to speak with a lawyer experienced in education and schools. An experienced lawyer can inform you of the rules and laws of your school district, and can ensure that your rights and the rights of your child are protected.
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Last Modified: 11-30-2011 04:18 PM PST
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