Basic Methods Involving in Functional Assessment and Their Types

Functional assessment involves various techniques to understand the way a child behaves. It basically identifies the cause behind the behaviors, the predecessor, then understanding the behavior and finally finding the result of the behavior. It is used in behavior analysis to find out the cause behind a particular behavior. Functional Behaviour Assessment or FBA is a collection of different procedures that are designed to ensure the reasons behind the behaviors shown by people with certain disabilities. It is believed that the people never show any kind of aggressive behavior without any reason and this assessment is a way to identify the logic behind it.
Functional Behaviour

More on FBA

The Functional Behaviour Assessment is more than just a single term. It has a broad picture that involves different methods and procedures. Several practitioners and many researchers use the methods to identify the cause behind the certain behavior. The various methods used in the functional assessment aim at finding the function of behaviors like aggression, destruction and self-hurting etc. The assessment is done to find right ways of interventions so that such critical behavior can be reduced and person can be more adaptive in nature.

Steps of Functional Assessment

  1. It is important to get information on the behavior of the child to start intervention. But just by expressing the behavior in vague words cannot make any sense to the practitioner. Hence it is significant to describe the critical behavior in the most specific and clear way.
  2. A chart needs to be created on antecedent or what happens before the behavior, behavior itself and consequences or things that happen after it. This involves collection of information from person as well as people living around them. Questionnaires and interviews are made and records from other sources are gathered.
  3. The information collected is compared and analyzed to understand the cause behind the critical behavior. The one way is to create hypothesis based on the gathered information. The aim is to identify the functions of the behavior using the hypothesis.
  4. The team of specialists work together to find out whether the hypothesis made is correct or not after they have got an idea on reasons behind the unusual behavior. This is done by deliberately changing some things in the environment to find out the effects of it.
  5. Intervention plan is designed based on the results of hypothesis to change the wrong behavior. Teaching ways to correct or control the inappropriate behavior is done by motivating them and rewarding them for good actions.

Methods of FBA

There are three basic methods involved in the functional assessment. They are:
  1. Functional Analysis:
    Functional Behaviour Assessment and functional analysis are two separate terms where the later one is a type of the assessment. Here in this method the practitioner intentionally tries to alter the antecedents and consequences of behavior to understand the results. Unlike other methods this actually tests the hypothesis to understand what’s causing the behavior.
  1. Direct Observation:
    Here the observer observes the daily activities of the person suffering from critical behavior. The observer then notes down happenings of before and after the unusual behavior to mark the cause of it. This method is used to create hypothesis on the function.
  1. Informant Methods:
    This method also helps creating hypothesis for the function of behavior. Here questionnaires and interviews are carried out of the person, family members, and teachers etc. to understand what happens before and after the critical behavior.
Many actions are termed inappropriate and changing it requires functional assessment. The most important step involves collection of the information on the kind of critical behavior the child is showing. Identifying the cause behind it can help in developing an intervention plan. The plan must be carefully designed and should involve the family.

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