INDIVIDUALS ASSESSING BEHAVIOR
Persons responsible for conducting the functional behavioral assessment will vary from state to state and possibly from district to district. Some behavioral assessment procedures, such as standardized tests, may require an individual with specific training (e.g., behavior specialist or school psychologist). With specialized training, experience, and support, however, many components of the assessment can be conducted by other individuals, such as special or general education teachers, counselors, and administrators. Again, it is important to note that interventions should not be based upon one assessment measure, alone, or upon data collected by only one observer.
After collecting data on a students behavior, and after developing a hypothesis of the likely function of that behavior, a team develops (or revises) the students behavior intervention plan or strategies in the IEP. These may include positive strategies, program or curricular modifications, and supplementary aids and supports required to address the disruptive behaviors in question. It is helpful to use the data collected during the functional behavioral assessment to develop the plan and to determine the discrepancy between the childs actual and expected behavior.
The input of the general education teacher, as appropriate (i.e., if the student is, or may be participating in the regular education environment), is especially crucial at this point. He or she will be able to relay to the team not only his or her behavioral expectations, but also valuable information about how the existing classroom environment and/or general education curriculum can be modified to support the student.
Intervention plans and strategies emphasizing skills students need in order to behave in a more appropriate manner, or plans providing motivation to conform to required standards, will be more effective than plans that simply serve to control behavior. Interventions based upon control often fail to generalize (i.e., continue to be used for long periods of time, in many settings, and in a variety of situations) and many times they serve only to suppress behavior resulting in a child manifesting unaddressed needs in alternative, inappropriate ways. Positive plans for behavioral intervention, on the other hand, will address both the source of the problem and the problem itself.
IEP teams may want to consider the following techniques when designing behavior intervention plans, strategies, and supports:
The following section describes some ideas IEP teams may consider when developing behavior intervention plans and strategies.