A functional behavior analysis provides a wealth of helpful information for those who are responsible for a student’s behavioral development. An FBA looks beyond the behavior itself and uncovers the environmental factors that produce the behavior, such as anxiety caused by large group settings or noise, verbal redirections that cause fear or embarrassment, unstructured times like transitions, length of schedule, etc. They also determine the purpose of the exhibited behavior, like work avoidance, attention seeking, or peer approval. Through the data collection and interview process, a more nuanced understanding of a student’s behavior is reached so that a proactive, effective plan can be created that addresses that student’s unique needs.
While functional behavior assessments can produce valuable information, they are only as useful as the intervention plan they help to create. Many teachers and parents often hope for a fix-all once the process is completed; however, an FBA is just the beginning of the process and to see any meaningful change in student behavior all stakeholders must have a deep knowledge of the assessment results and implement the subsequent plan with fidelity. Since these plans are used as supports for students who exhibit significant behaviors, they can be expected to be successful most of the time with natural regressions of behavior or periods of ineffectiveness.