Functional Behavioral Assessment Summary
Reasons for the Functional Assessment
From October to February Kevin received 10 office discipline referrals for behaviors that included classroom disruption and fighting. As result, Kevin received 7 of out of school suspensions (total of 8 days) and 7 office assigned detentions. In addition to administrative responses to violations of the school code of conduct, Kevin’s teachers’ employed strategies that included: calling Kevin’s parents, student teacher conference, parent teacher conference, teacher assigned detention,
changing his seat, and work adaptations. Teachers reported that interventions were ineffective or when they worked effects only lasted for a short period of time. As a result, the IEP team decided that a Functional Behavioral Assessment was needed in order to develop an effective set of behavior intervention strategies. The Functional Assessment occurred in three phases: Informant data collection and records review, recording of direct occurrence data, and interpretation and hypothesis development.
Summary of Informant Data and Records Review
The FBA began with a review of Kevin’s records to glean information pertinent to developing a behavioral hypothesis. Records indicated that teachers and parents have been reporting occurrences of behavior problem since the third grade. Over the course of the last four academic years, reports of behavior problems have been increasing. Consistent across reports is that Kevin has a tendency to display disruptive behaviors that include talking back to teachers, making noises, getting out of his seat, playing with objects, and being disorganized. Reports of fighting and/or scuffles with other thstudents began to surface during the 6 grade. Educational reports indicate that Kevin has substantial deficits in the areas of math and literacy, and that he has great difficulty maintaining attention for periods of time greater than 10 minutes (see the 2006 education evaluation for more complete information).
To gather information from people who know Kevin well and who are familiar with problem situations, Kevin’s parents and five teachers (Mrs. Patrick, Mrs. Bachman, Mrs. Pierro, Ms. Snyder, and Mr. Kinney) completed the Functional Assessment Interview Tool (FAIT). In addition, Kevin was interviewed by Mrs. Patrick using the student version of the FAIT.
Operational Definition of Behavior
On February 17 a team meeting was held which included Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Patrick, Mrs. McCarthy, Ms. Pierro, Mr. Kinney, Mrs. Rodriguez, and Mrs. Thompson. Information gathered from the FAIT and the records review was reviewed and clarified. The group reached consensus on two groups of problematic behaviors and defined them as the following:
Classroom Disruption: Unprepared for class, not following directions, making noises with objects, talking to other students, debates over assignment or activity choices with teacher, not initiating work, getting out of his seat, engaging in activities other than what he is suppose to be doing, yelling out.
Fighting: Repeatedly pushing, shoving, throwing closed fist punches repeatedly that is usually accompanied by yelling, cursing, and verbal threats while Kevin is angry.
Physical Aggression: Single push, shove, hit with hands, kicking, or hitting with objects that does not occur out of anger.
Summary of Direct Occurrence Data
The definitions for classroom disruption and fighting/physical aggression developed by the team during the February 17 meeting were used to guide the selection of direct occurrence recording methods. The ABC recording form was selected to record the occurrences of classroom disruption because the behavior group occurs often and can be recorded using a frequency recording method. In addition the team decided to supplement collection of the ABC recording form with duration data to establish a baseline length for behavioral occurrences. Because fighting occurs less frequently, but is of serious concern, the team decided to use a narrative report format recording descriptions of the setting events, antecedents, behaviors, and consequences present during each incident. Finally, the team decided to summarize the office discipline referrals Kevin incurred from October to February using the anecdotal ABC format. The following provides a summary of each of the direct occurrence data recorded during the FBA.
Occurrences of Classroom Disruption
Data Summary. Using a frequency and duration measure, occurrences and length of behavior were recorded during five 45 minute class periods (math, language arts, science, social studies, and gym). On average behavior
occurred 2-3 times per class with the greatest number of occurrences happening during social studies (4) and math (3). Predominantly, occurrences of behavior were preceded by demands to comply, academic work tasks, independent work, teacher instruction, and note taking. Verbal redirection was the most often used adult response followed by verbal reprimands. Most often, engagement in problem behavior delayed work engagement. On average behavior lasted 13.5 minutes with the longest occurrences happening in math (18 minutes), language arts (15 minutes) and social studies (15 minutes) and the shortest occurrence happening in science (6 minutes).
Discipline Referral Summary. From October to February, Kevin received seven office referrals from teachers for classroom disruption (reported as insubordination on the discipline form). On four occasions the incident began with Kevin not being prepared for class (e.g., not having homework or class materials). On three occasions the incident began when Kevin was given a teacher direction. Office referrals typically resulted in Saturday or Friday detentions.
Date Location Time/ Antecedent Behavior/Offense Consequence
th10/26 Class 7 In class, asked to do work Classroom Disruption Saturday detention
th11/16 Class 5 Without necessary materials Classroom Disruption Saturday detention
th11/22 Class 7 Without necessary materials Classroom Disruption Friday detention
nd1/12 Class 2 Asked for home work he didn’t have Classroom Disruption Friday detention
st1/21 Class 1 Without materials for class Classroom Disruption Friday detention
st2/21 Class 1 Told to write down HW assignment in Classroom Disruption Saturday detention
his agenda book (Insubordination)
rd2/25 Class 3 Given a direction to begin work Classroom Disruption Friday detention
No acts of fighting or physical aggression occurred during the functional assessment. Therefore, information reported is from office discipline referrals and staff report.
Discipline referral summary. From October to February Kevin was reported to the office twice for fighting and twice for acts of physical aggression. Fighting typically involved an exchange of punches between Kevin and another student, which Kevin initiates. Acts of physical aggression tended to involve a single exchange where Kevin either hit a student with an object (e.g., notebook) or pushed a student. Physical aggression tended to be an act of horseplay while fighting was in response to Kevin becoming agitated. Both fighting and physical aggression almost always occurred during transition times.
Date Location Time/Period Antecedent Behavior/Offense Consequence
ndrd10/11 Hallway 2 to 3 Transition to next class, Fighting 2 days OSS
student made a comment
about his mother
12/13 Arrival Area Arrival Walking to the bus, said Fighting 2 days OSS
the student had been
bugging him all day
th2/11 Hallway 5 to 6th Transition back to class Classroom Disruption 3 days OSS
after an assembly (Physical aggression)
th2/16 Class 4 In class, independent work Classroom Disruption 1 day ISS
Interpretation and Hypothesis of Behavioral Function
Hypothesis 1: Classroom Disruption
Data collected from the FBA revealed that Kevin has a history of academic difficulty and strained relationships with teachers that decreases his tolerance for frustrating or conflictual situations. The assessment revealed that certain environmental conditions function as setting events and set the stage for Kevin to engage in problem behavior including: math and social studies classes, substitute teachers, unstructured environments, and quizzes/tests. Additionally, characteristics of the ADHD (hyperactivity and inattention), skill deficits in reading and math, and a disorganized nature serve as setting events. In general, Kevin has a decreased tolerance for academic conditions that are challenging or ambiguous. These setting events predispose Kevin to respond to certain academic conditions such as multi-step directions or tasks, note taking, lots of materials to keep tack of, unstructured environments, transitions into class, and independent work by not following directions, making noises, talking out, not initiating work, getting out of his seat, engaging in activities other than what he should be doing, making fun of other students to escape difficult and/or ambiguous demands. Kevin’s behaviors serve a protective function in that he often does not understand the expectations and directions and thus the behaviors prevent him from being embarrassed and feeling a sense of failure from not being able to complete academic work. In addition to escape or at least delaying nonpreferred academic tasks, Kevin also receives attention from adults in the form of either help or reprimands and validation from peers in that they provide him with social recognition for classroom behaviors.
Hypothesis 2: Fighting
Data collected from the FBA suggests that Kevin engages in fighting/physical aggression in an effort to save face in front of peers. Fighting typically occurs with students he has a history of conflict with and in unstructured settings (e.g., hallway,
cafeteria, dismissal area) as a response to antecedent triggers such as peer teasing or physical contact that Kevin interprets as “intentional to make him look stupid.” Fighting always occurs when there are other students in the area to
witness the event. Assessment data suggests that Kevin gets into fights as a way to preserve his reputation because he believes that other students will think he is weak or a pushover if he does not respond aggressively.