It is extremely important for any ABA therapist to understanding the function of a behavior. In the field of applied behavior analysis, we work to build positive developmental skills and replace problematic behaviors with more positive ones. Throughout the ABA therapy treatment program, a therapist will work with the child on many pivotal skills, including communication, speech, play skills, motor skills, social skills, adaptive skills, and more.
If a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other behavioral issues is engaged in ABA therapy, they will likely have a behavior intervention plan, or BIP. In order to create this BIP, it is necessary to create a functional behavior analysis, or FBA.
What exactly is FBA?
During FBA, the ABA therapist will follow “Rule #1” referenced above and get to the bottom of the function of the behavior. There are several different steps that need to be completed to create a FBA. Once you (the ABA therapist) have determined that the child is exhibiting a negative behavior, such as grabbing toys away from their classmates, then you can begin to collect data on this behavior.
In order to gather the best data possible, you should learn what was happening before, during, and after the behavior occurred. The more information, the better! This will help to provide a comprehensive picture of the behavior and better understand why it is occurring. After gathering all of the information, you can begin to examine the data closely and identify patterns and trends. This will help you to get to the root cause of the behavior. Once all of this information has been pieced together, you can begin writing the full FBA report summarizing your findings.
Why is FBA needed for a BIP?
As with any problem in life, you cannot truly solve it unless you get to the root of it. The same rule applies to ABA therapy. In order to truly resolve problem behaviors and build a repertoire of positive behavioral skills, you must understand the function of those problem behaviors. This is made possible by creating a comprehensive FBA. Once the function of the behavior is outlined in the FBA, this information will then be transferred to the BIP. The BIP will then go a step further to identify ways that the team can intervene when the problem behavior occurs. This intervention will not only include stepping in during problematic behaviors, but it will also include rewarding positive behaviors.
Would you like to learn more about FBA and ABA therapy?
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