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Fordham University Functional Behavioral Assessment Discussion Paper

Part 3. Functional Behavioral Assessment

After identifying your target student, you will conduct a functional behavioral assessment by collecting multiple forms of data to help you construct an intervention plan.

In approximately 7 pages summarize and address the required information in the following sections:

  • ● Target/Interfering Behavior: Describe what is happening (the behavior challenge or need that warranted this behavior assessment), the context in which it is happening, and the “Expected” behavior that is desired but is not happening.Then, provide a clear, specific, measurable and observable “Operational Definition” of the target/interfering behavior with examples & non-examples.
  • ● Assessment/Data Collection Methods: Describe the data collection period, 3+ methods used for this assessment, the purpose of those methods, and the length of the data collection/observation period. (e.g. Explain what you used, why you choose an Event Recording, ABC… and how long they were used.)Note: Data must be collected across a minimum of 7+ days (at least 1 class per day) for a total of 210+ minutes or more. 7 periods in 1 day is not an acceptable replacement. You need sufficient data for 5+ data points to measure the baseline, and multiple ABC observations to determine the function of the behavior.
  • ● Baseline Data & Analysis: Present the Data you gathered in appropriate graphs/charts/figures and explain how you analyzed the patterns and trends you noticed in the data. Explain what it those patterns and trends means.

1. State which method you are presenting. (e.g., Frequency observations showed how often the behavior occurs in Table 1)

  1. Present the data in an appropriate graph. (Insert Table 1)
  2. Explain the data in the figure and provide your analysis by stating patterns & trends noticed.

(This table shows…which suggests…)

4. Repeat to present and analyze the data (graph or chart) from each data collection method conducted.

Note: Present ABC data last with As, Bs & Cs & a summary of the patterns and trends noticed among A’s & C’s. This leads you to the function of the behavior.

  • ● Key Findings: Summarize the Key Findings (patterns & trends noticed) that you revealed above from your explanation and analysis of the data. (Restate the “Findings” of your analysis: Frequency increases on Wednesdays. Duration also increases on Wednesdays. ABC shows that X happens on Wednesdays, which is a triggering antecedent. The consequence of the behavior is receiving attention/leaving the room or task…)
  • ● Function of the Behavior: State clearly the Function of the Behavior revealed in your analysis of the ABC. (e.g., Based on the antecedents of challenging tasks and the consequences of removal of demands, the behavior functions to allow the student to avoid demands placed on him.)
  • ● Hypothesis: Provide a clear, specific Hypothesis statement, based on your analysis, key findings, and resulting function of the behavior as you explained above. EXAMPLE HYPOTHESIS STATEMENT: John talks loudly (behavior) when the teacher is conducting a lesson (setting/context/antecedent)because he cannot complete his work (reason), and he is then sent to the resource room where he plays with a squishy ball (consequence) and avoids demands placed on him (function).
  • ● Planning for Support: Explain how you plan to support development of an appropriate BIP. Specifyhow you intend to engage collaboration with other members of the CSE team (parents/family, teachers…) (Do not include any possible interventions!)
  • ● Appendices: Attach all data collection forms (complete, raw data) after the end of the document. These should be summarized in the graphs and charts you presented within the text. (These will be moved to the end of the compiled project, when submitted as a cumulative final draft)


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