What is a Functional Behavior Assessment and Why is it Necessary?

There may be times when a functional assessment of behavior is required and the parent may have no idea what is involved in this process. This Parent Teacher Conference Handout simply explain what it is and why it is necessary.
Functional behavioral assessment is an approach that incorporates a variety of techniques and strategies to diagnose the causes and to identify likely interventions intended to address problem behaviors. In other words, functional behavioral assessment looks beyond the overt topography of the behavior, and focuses, instead, upon identifying biological, social, affective, and environmental factors that initiate, sustain, or end the behavior in question. This approach is important because it leads the observer beyond the "symptom" (the behavior) to the student's underlying motivation to escape, "avoid," or "get" something (which is, to the functional analyst, the root of all behavior).
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