Step 1. Establishing a Team
- A multidisciplinary team is formed, which should include:
- the learner’s teacher(s),
- any related service personnel (e.g., speech-language therapist, occupational therapist),
- paraprofessional(s) who work directly with the learner with autism,
- the learner’s parents, and
- the learner (if developmentally appropriate).
- Team members identify the FBA coordinator.
Step 2. Identifying the Interfering Behavior
- Identify the interfering behavior that is most problematic for the learner; this will be the focus of the FBA.
- After identifying the interfering behavior, the team members determine:
- How long the behavior has been interfering with the learner’s development and/or learning,
- If the behavior involves aggression or damage to property,
- If the behavior is the result of environmental factors (e.g., lighting, noise level),
- If the interfering is occurring because the learner is being asked to demonstrate a skill that he/she cannot perform,
- When and where the behavior occurs,
- Other behaviors the learner exhibits immediately before the behavior occurs, and
- What happens immediately after the interfering behavior occurs
Step 3. Collecting Baseline Data
- Prior to designing and implementing an intervention, use indirect assessment methods that include:
- reviewing previous and current records and
- conducting formal and informal interviews with school staff, family members, and the learner with autism.
- Clearly describe the interfering behavior and identify data collection measures that will be used to assess the interfering behavior prior to designing and implementing the intervention.
- Determine how long baseline data should be collected and who will collect it.
- Use direct observation methods that generally include:
- Using Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence data charts,
- Using scatterplots,
- Using standardized behavior rating scales,
- Conducting learner motivation assessments, and/or
- Conducting learner reinforcer preference assessments.
- Use indirect and direct assessment results to identify:
- Where the behavior happens,
- With whom the behavior occurs,
- When the behavior happens,
- Activities during which the behavior occurs,
- What other students are doing when the behavior starts,
- What teachers/adults are doing when the behavior starts,
- Proximity of other students, teachers, and/or adults,
- The noise level in the environment,
- The number of individuals in the area,
- Other environmental conditions (e.g., lighting, door open/closed, noise in the hall), and
- The function of the behavior (i.e., get/obtain, escape/avoid).
- Identify other variables that might be influencing the interfering behavior (e.g., medication, family/home variables, health status of learner).
Step 4. Developing a Hypothesis Statement
Develop a hypothesis statement for the interfering behavior that includes:
- the setting events, the immediate antecedents, and immediate consequences that surround the interfering behavior,
- a restatement or refinement of the description of the interfering behavior that is occurring, and
- the function the behavior serves (i.e., attention, escape, tangible/edibles, automatic/sensory).
Step 5. Testing the Hypothesis
Test the hypothesis by modifying the setting/activity to increase the probability that the behavior will occur, if safe to do so for students and staff.”
Step 6. Developing Interventions
- Identify appropriate evidence-based practices that address the function of a learner’s interfering behavior.
- Develop a behavior intervention plan (BIP) that matches the function of the interfering behavior and is agreed upon by all members of the team.
- Include the following in the BIP:
- A definition of the interfering behavior
- Evidence-based practices used to decrease the interfering behavior
- Objectives that can be used to indicate progress
- Additional materials that may be needed (e.g., data sheet, timer, quiet space, additional staff)
- Environmental modifications (e.g., changing class/activity setting, physical attributes of instructional location, change in instructional strategies/practices)
- Response(s) from staff and others to the interfering behavior (e.g., consequences)
- Strategies for improving skill deficit areas
- Strategies for enhancing learner motivation
- The data collection plan
Step 7. Monitoring Intervention Effectiveness
- Develop a system to monitor the effectiveness of the intervention that outlines when, where, by whom, and how data are collected.
- Collect data that focus on:
- the frequency of the interfering behavior,
- the frequency of use of replacement behavior(s), and
- how long the interfering behavior lasts when it occurs.
- Collect data in the setting where the behavior occurs and in other settings as well.
- Collect data in the setting in which the behavior occurs at least once a week to monitor the frequency of the interfering behavior(s) and the replacement behavior(s).
- Compare intervention data to baseline data to determine the effectiveness of the intervention.
- Summarize the data to make decisions about program planning.