Functional Analysis?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by SchoolRocks, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. SchoolRocks

    SchoolRocks Companion

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    Oct 30, 2007

    Hi. I just began my special ed master program this fall! Yeah! I am already confussed though! What exactly is functional analysis? functional assessment? Thanks for your help
     
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  3. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    Oct 30, 2007

    I am familiar with the term "functional behavioral assessment" (FBA). A functional analysis considers a student's behavior to identify the reason (or "function") of the behavior: does the student do what he or she does to avoid work, or to gain attention, or to escape contact, or to gain a tangible, etc.?

    Once the function of a behavior is identified, a replacement behavior can be identified, which serves the same function but is more behaviorally appropriate.

    Does that help at all? I recently completed a course on Applied Behavioral Analysis, but have not worked extensively on applying ABA and FBA in official paperwork and practice.
     
  4. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Oct 31, 2007

    "functional analysis" I'd probably think of the FBA, like ChangeAgent says.

    "functional assessment" might also be used to look at skills within the school environment--we have one we use with lower functioning students that assesses how the student functions in school--sections include: travel w/in school environment (ability to walk etc, walk in line, find next destination), safety awareness, use of materials needed to do schoolwork (fine motor), self-help skills (feeding, toileting, dressing), social skills, communication skills, computer use, stairs use, etc.
     
  5. SchoolRocks

    SchoolRocks Companion

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    Oct 31, 2007

    THanks for your reply! It is very helpful. So basically it looks at behaviors and the reasons for behaviors, which allows options for replacement behaviors to "change" that behavior? Aghhh! SO many terms that just are so new! THanks again
     
  6. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    Nov 1, 2007

    Not necessarily change the behavior, so much as replace it. The behavior does not change from one thing to another, it is scrapped and a new behavior takes it's place. A linguistic nuance, but there it is.

    Here is an extreme example one of my professors performed once:

    She worked with some individuals who cut their wrists (not suicidal ideations, just cutting). So, as a replacement behavior, she gave them butter knives as opposed to serrated blades. They still held an object and performed the same movement, most likely relieving stress--just no actually cuts.

    Then, she "weaned" them onto markers, etc.

    If they used a butter knife or a marker, they weren't using a serrated blade.

    Functional analysis ideally looks to replace an unwanted/inappropriate behavior with an acceptable behavior that achieves the same function. The cutting example is extreme, but proves the point. They could still have that movement and that thought process, but they were not harming themselves.
     
  7. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Nov 6, 2007

    Well, an FBA also does things within reason... only what is possible... and takes each aspect of the child's behavior step-by-step in the positive direction (hopefully). An FBA is often used with children who are SED or EMH (I know the terms are different now, but you know what I mean).
     
  8. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    Nov 9, 2007

    In California there are 2 different terms: Functional Analysis Assesment (FAA) and Functional Behavior Assesment (FBA). The first one comes from California Code of Education (and was created after the Hughes Bill), the second one is from IDEA (so it's nationwide).
    Here are the differences between two of them:

    FAA was written to address serious behavior problems (self-injurous, assaultive, causing serious property damage, and when instructional/behavioral approaches specified in the IEP have been ineffective). Behaviors must be ovserved over time and in a variety of settings. Once again, behaviors MUST BE serious. Assesment is done by a Behavior Intervention Case Manager (BICM), a person specifically trained to do that.

    FBA was written to address ANY behavior that impedes learning or results in certain disciplinary actions.
    IEP team determines appropriate assesment procedures.
    Behaviors may be seen only once or infrequently.

    That's what we have in California. Hope this helps.
     

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