Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
The first step in obtaining a Functional Analysis Assessment Report is to request one in writing to the school. My letter dated 4-13-05 stated the following:
I am hereby requesting a Functional Behavior Assessment for my son, Matthew Sayers to address the ineffectiveness of the current Behavior Support Plan and determine the antecedents to the behavior issues. This request is based on the Hughes Bill (A.B. 2586). Please consider this letter my consent for the school district to provide the functional assessment.
I expect to be included in the functional assessment of behavior and as an active participant on the team developing the behavior intervention plan. Please provide me with copies of all FBA data and results as soon as they become available to you.
Should this request be declined, please provide me with a written explanation consistent with the Los Angeles Unified District policy, as well as an explanation of our rights.
Thank you for giving this request your immediate attention. I will work with you to address and achieve Matthew's educational goals using positive behavior support and an effective behavior intervention plan.
I attached a copy of the Hughes Bill with my letter that was addressed to the Assistant Principal. I wrote down the date and time I handed the letter to her on my copy.
I had previously written a letter to the school on March 28, 2005 for an Adaptive PE Assesment since it would be the triennial IEP for Matthew. He had been turned down for Adaptive PE in 2002 at his previous three year review, and I felt it was time to obtain these services.
The next step is to receive the forms stating what assessments are needed for the IEP. This requires the parent signature and returned to the school to start the process for these assessments needed for the IEP, usually just the initial IEP or a triennial. These did include the Behavior and Adaptive PE. I was informed that the School Psychologist would be conducting the Assessment. Although she had attended training for this, it would be her first Functional Analysis Assessment Report.
What I did find confusing was the terminology since I requested an FBA and received an FAA. I learned from Wrightslaw that " The term "Functional Behavioral Assessment" comes from what is called a "Functional Assessment" or "Functional Analysis" in the field of applied behavior analysis."
Someone from the school district's behavior support unit came to the school to observe Matthew and consult with the Psychologist about her report. I happened to run into the Augmentative Communication Accessor one morning in the parking lot as I was leaving the School. She initially did the Assessment for AAC for Matthew back when he was in preschool at another Elementary School.
While we were talking in the parking lot we came across the Behavior Support person who was coming for the observation. I was able to express my concerns with her while the AAC Accessor had the opportunity to give background information on my son.
I later learned from the AAC Accessor that the three of them went over the report and made some changes to the draft copy of the Functional Analysis Assessment Report that the School Psychologist had already given me.
The Functional Analysis Assessment Report covers the following:
Description of the Serious Behavior Problem, History of the Behavior, Interviews with Significant Others (parent and school personnel), Review of Records, Designated Instructional Services (DIS) - which would be speech, OT, Adaptive PE, Previous Interventions.
Factors Potentially Influencine Behavior - Disabling Conditions, Health and Medical Factors, Direct Observation, Appropriate Behavior, Inappropriate Behavior, Analysis of antecedents and consequences, consequences, Functional/Communicative Intent of the Behaviors, Physical setting, activities, impressions: reinforcement analysis and recommendations.
Functional Assessment Report Summary - behavior problem, identified positive replacement behavior and communication log.
I found some Assessment Data Collection Forms that I brought along to the IEP. The Challenging Behavior form is the one used in the communication log.
One year later we are still having issues with Behavior. The other day I gave a copy of A California Education Code I found in my Composite of Laws book. Parents in California are entitled to one free copy of this book each year. The code is on Regulations Pertaining to Behavioral Interventions.
I specifically highlighted:
F) Includes a timeline for the regular and frequent review of the pupil's progress.
3) Specify standards governing the application of restrictive behavioral interventions in the case of emergencies. These emergencies must pose a clear and present danger of serious physical harm to the pupil or others. These standards shall include:
(A) The definition of an emergency.
(B) The types of behavioral interventions that may be utilized in an emergency.
I am concerned about how the classroom personnel would handle an emergency with my son should he lash out at someone or cause harm to others. His aide uses the term "scared" often enough that it makes me uncomfortable.
Another article will specify what the contents are within the Functional Analysis Assessment Report. We recently had a Behavior Assessment for in-home parent training - I will be posting that data in an article as well. The Adaptive PE Assessment will be referenced in a future article, as will the AAC assessment and Consultation Report.
The forms utilized for the Functional Analysis Assessment Report were the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales and the BASC - Behavior Assessment System for Children, Parent Rating Scales. The School Psychologist also gave me and the teacher a copy of the CARS - Childhood Autism Rating Scale, for the triennial PsychoEducational Assessment Report.
Here is a new Yahoo Group for parents and professionals:
Behavior Analysis and Disruptive Disorders
This list is for parents and professionals interested in behavior analytic assessments such as functional behavioral assessment and curriculum based measurement as well as behaviorally based interventions. It is hope that this list will serve as an active point of discussion between parents, teachers, and researchers on the current availability of behavioral technology for treatment of disruptive disorders and the direction that this research needs to go.
Behavior Manuals from the Koegel Autism Research Center. I have Understanding why Problem Behaviors Occur, it comes with some useful forms. Each one costs $7.00 and includes shipping and handling.
What Administrators Can Do to Promote Positive Student Behavior
Video Workshop on Functional Behavior Assessments
Motivation Assessment Scale a free service to psychologists, teachers, parents and others devoted to positive, nonaversive responses to problem behavior
Classroom Modifications for the Autistic Student
Lunch Time Issues for the child on the Autism Spectrum
Classroom Visitation Checklist
Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.