Purpose of a Functional Behavior Assessment in the Educational Setting

An FBA or  Functional Behavior Assessment is an assessment that is conducted by a qualified BCBA or School Psychologist to determine the function of a student’s problematic behaviors. This is  an essential component to understanding why a student’s behavior is impeding their learning or the learning of others in the classroom. 

A FBA can provide essential information and insight into why a student is engaging in problematic behaviors. It allows for teachers and staff to understand what is triggering a student’s problematic behavior and what function that behavior serves. It answers the “WHY” for a student’s behavior and is the foundation for determining an appropriate intervention. 

An FBA is the foundation for developing an appropriate Behavior Intervention Plan for a student to learn a replacement behavior that serves the same function as the problematic one. It is the job of the assessor to develop a plan that can be implemented by all who work with a student to teach them a “Socially Acceptable” replacement behavior. 

Behavior is COMMUNICATION. It is essential for educators to understand what it is that a  student is communicating to us with their behavior. It is with that understanding that a student will be available to learn as well as thrive.


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Gina Ramshaw M.A.M.S., BCBA Behavioral Consulting

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