- Assignment 2
From the Technical Assistance Center on Social and Emotional Development. They define FBA as:
“Functional Behavioral Assessment involves the collection of data, observations, and information to develop a clear understanding of the relationship of events and circumstances that trigger and maintain problem behavior.”
Three components of a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA):
• Descriptive Assessment (Indirect and Direct Assessment collects data)
• Data Analysis
• Hypothesis Development (based on analysis of data what you believe is the function of the behavior)
In this exercise evaluate the FBA and write up your assessment of the analysis looking at the three components. Provide suggestions/recommendations as you see it if you were the behavior analyst supervisor. Finally your rational for why you think this is a good or not good functional behavioral assessment. There is no page limit BUT your evaluation must be thorough.
Use the JM FBA attachment
FUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOR ASSESSMENT
Student: Jeff Jones Date of Report: February 21, 2017
Date of Birth: Chronological Age: 12
School Name: Gold School Home Address: Jack and Molly Jones
Reporter: Joanna Mackin
Reason for Referral
Joanna Mackin initiated this Functional Behavior Assessment as a part of the
requirements for a graduate class in Behavior Analysis. There were two reasons for
selecting Jeff Jones. His, teachers Ms. Mackin and Ms. Hannah Akiyama, as well as his
parents were concerned about the lack of growth over the 2015-2016 school year. The
second reason involves the behaviors that are impeding that academic growth. Over the
course of the 2015-2016 school year Ms. Mackin & Ms. Akiyama worked with a
counselor at Gold School to create a plan that would address the behaviors that were
affecting Jeff’s learning. While this plan helped some in the 2015-2016 school year, we
continued to see the same behaviors at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. The
behaviors identified for investigation include noncompliance, exaggerated response to
physical discomfort, negative statements about himself or others, and difficulty beginning
Jeff is a 12-year old boy who lives at home with his family in Honolulu. Jeff resides with
his parents, Jack and Molly Jones and his younger sister, Melissa, who is 9 years old. Jeff
lives with his parents and younger sister on the lower level of a two level house. His
grandparents, an aunt, and cousins live upstairs. Jeff is currently enrolled in Gold School.
which serves students’ with learning differences, primarily language based. This means
that Jeff is in a class of students his age and grade level with similar learning challenges.
Assets Student Profile 2015-2016
Assets School Intake Folder: Psychologist’s Educational Diagnostic Report
Jack Jones, Father, February 11, 2017
Hannah Akiyama, Classroom Teacher, January 16,17,18, 23 2017
Catherine Sharp, Music Teacher, February 3, 2017
Lilly Plat, Performing Arts Teacher, January 18, 2017
Jeff Jones, Student, February 11, 2017
Classroom, From November 7th, 2016 to January 8th, 2017
Art class, Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Music Class, Friday, February 10, 2017
Assets School Student Profile 2015-2014
Jeff’s Academic Goals:
Jeff’s Decoding Goal is to show improvement in decoding skills (p.4) which
would move his functional grade level from Ending 2nd to Middle to Ending 3rd
Jeff’s Reading Comprehension Goal is to develop critical thinking and problem
solving skills relative to reading. The second Reading Comprehension Goal is to
demonstrate growth in study skills relative to reading. (p. 4)
Jeff’s Spelling Goals are: to achieve growth in spelling skills; effectively utilize
technology tools; demonstrate competency in critical thinking and problem
solving skills relative to writing; showing growth in expressing himself in writing
assignments; and demonstrating growth in study skills relative to expository and
narrative writing such as note taking and outlining. To show growth in these areas
Jeff’s functional grade level would move from Middle 2nd to Beginning to Middle
3rd. (p. 5)
Jeff’s Mathematics Goals are: showing growth in math computation;
demonstrating critical thinking and problem solving skills relative to
mathematical concepts and applications; and demonstrating the ability to
effectively utilize technological tools like calculators. To show growth in these
areas Jeff’s functional grade level would move from Middle 3rd to Beginning to
Middle 4th in computation and from beginning to middle 2nd to beginning to
middle 3rd in Concepts and Applications. (p. 6)
Jeff’s Social Adaptation Goals:
Jeff’s Social Adaptation Goals are: demonstrating growth in becoming a confident
and responsible lifelong learner; effectively participating and contributing in a
multicultural community; showing growth in advocating for self in academic and
social situations; developing appropriate organizational, time management and
self-monitoring skills; and demonstrating growth in coping and problem solving
skills. (p. 8)
Diagnostic information taken from Jeff’s intake folder at Assets School as reported
in the Assets Student Profile (p. 7)
• Jeff’s “Exceptionalities”: Dyslexia (Assets, 05/14)
• Learning Disorder; Not Otherwise Specified
• Rule Out Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Primarily Inattentive Type
(Pamela Merez, Psy.D., 04/12)
Jack Jones, Father, (Because of time constraints and scheduling difficulties Jack Jones
filled out a FAIT Parent/Guardian form and returned it to me) on February 11, 2017
One of the reasons for this Functional Behavioral Assessment is Jack and Molly Jones’
concern about Jeff’s slow academic growth and the behaviors that are slowing down this
growth. Mr. Jones shared these positive things about Jeff; he is friendly, helpful, sociable,
liked by peers, honest, easygoing, kind to adults, and kind to other students. Jeff’s
suspected preferential interests are Legos, iPad/Youtube, singing, acting, and drama. Mr.
Jones feels that Jeff learns best when involved in building or constructing something; or
experimenting or testing things. Mr. Jones shared that the problem behaviors he is
concerned about are: Jeff going into “Imaginary Worlds” and mimicking the characters in
the world; and making an excuse to go do something else, when told to do something.
These behaviors occur when Jeff is told to do something non preferred or when
working/playing/entertaining independently. When problem behaviors occur, Jeff
responds to: verbal prompts and corrections; help getting back on task; reminders about
what is and isn’t appropriate; and using the code word “Donuts” to get Jeff back on task.
Mr. Jones’ best guess as to why the problem behaviors occur is that Jeff is trying to
escape from doing exactly what he’s told and imagining or thinking of fictional
Hannah Akiyama, Lead teacher, January 2017
Ms. Akiyma and Ms. Mackin work together and both work with Jeff. Ms. Mackin
interviewed Ms. Akiyama using the Functional Assessment Interview Form. Because of
time constraints, the interview took place over the course of two weeks in mid January.
Ms. Akiyama identified four main behaviors of concern. The first behavior is
noncompliance. Jeff doesn’t answer when spoken to, refuses to join the class or a small
group, he wanders around the classroom, or won’t work with a partner. This behavior
occurs one to four times a day for between five and ten minutes. The second behavior is
exaggerated responses to injury, headache, or eczema. When injured, Jeff falls to the
ground and is unresponsive or he gives an exaggerated account of how his head feels, or
he is visibly scratching all over. This behavior happens at least once a day for one to two
minutes and requires a teacher to stop what she’s doing to write him a pass to the Nurse.
The third behavior is negative statements to others, or about himself, or threats of
violence to himself or others. When Jeff makes these statements he raises his voice and
gestures with his hands. This behavior occurs about once a day and lasts for a minute.
The raised voice and negative statements about other students produces a reaction from
the person he’s talking about, which disrupts the lesson. The fourth behavior is difficulty
beginning some tasks or activities. Jeff will remove himself from the class circle during
Morning Meeting, or ask to go to the bathroom or nurse, or he may wander around
without responding to questions. These behaviors occur two to four times a week. They
are low key as if Jeff were trying to fly under the teacher’s radar.
Behaviors that occur together: noncompliance and difficulty beginning tasks often
happen together in the same type of situation (typically at the beginning of a new task or
unfamiliar activity); exaggerated response and negative statements sometimes happen
together and usually in response to the same type of situation (when other members of his
group aren’t following directions or are noisy while a teacher is working with him or
comment on something he’s done or make random noises).
Setting events that Ms. Akiyama has identified are: a rash that looks like eczema on Jeff’s
ears, neck, upper torso, arms, backs of his knees, and scalp. Occasionally (not as often
since the weather has cooled off) at the beginning of Language Arts or Read Naturally,
Jeff will appear to be uncomfortably itchy and ask to go to Nurse. Jeff sometimes
complains of difficulty sleeping on days when he exhibits more problem behaviors. The
class schedule is posted and explained if it changes. Although Jeff sometimes choose not
to make a choice, students have choices through out the day. The ratio of staff to students
is six or seven students to one teacher so Jeff receives one to one attention sometimes. He
also receives help with his homework from his grandmother.
One setting event that hasn’t been reported previously is that Jeff’s difficulty beginning a
given task, may be a result of his Attention Deficits. In January of the 2017, Jeff began to
take medication for ADHD. Jeff’s teachers have noticed a change in his behavior. He is
less fidgety, better able to focus, and he participates in class discussions more often. Jeff
mutters less and speaks up more. After beginning to take medication, Jeff’s teachers also
noticed that he wasn’t eating as much at snack. Jeff reported that he can “hear” his
Antecedents that predict when a behavior more likely to occur are when Jeff is at
Language Arts in the back of the classroom, Computer Lab during Read Naturally,
Performing Arts, Music, Art; interacting with four of the seven boys in the class;
activities that involve reading, are new or novel or transitions into activities Jeff hasn’t
Antecedents that predict when a behavior is less likely to occur are when Jeff is on the
field, in the courtyard, library, or at enrichments; interacting with any of the six girls in
the class; free time activities.
5 = High Efficiency, 1 = Low Efficiency
This chart indicates that when Jeff is noncompliant because he has difficulty beginning a
task that he is both able to avoid beginning the task and he quickly gets teacher attention.
The chart also shows that when Jeff makes negative statements about himself or others,
he is able to quickly gain reassurance from his teacher. Exaggerated responses are much
less efficient at gaining attention or avoiding embarrassment.
Ms. Akiyama shared that Jeff has many ways of communicating his need for attention
both verbal and through gestures or facial expressions but he does not use words to
communicate his confusion or unhappiness. He also does not use words to communicate
that he doesn’t want to do an activity or be in a certain situation. His nonverbal means of
communication are shaking his head when confused or unhappy; moving away or
leaving; a fixed gaze; or head on his desk. When he is protesting a situation or activity he
might use words or shake his head or throw up his hands.
Ability to Understand Other People
Jeff can follow a single direction but if there is more than one step to the directions he
Responds to signed or gestural requests or instructions: Jeff responds to gestures
indicating time to stop an activity, signs for class to be silent, and gesture to leave room
Imitates physical models for tasks or activities: Jeff is able to perform tasks that have
been modeled by the teacher like putting papers in a certain place. Recently he learned
the motions that accompanied a song that the class performed for their Grandparents. The
music teacher demonstrated the motions and the students imitated her.
Methods typically used to indicate yes or no: Jeff uses words to indicate yes or no unless
the teachers ask for a thumbs up indicating a yes answer to a question or a thumbs down
for no. Jeff will then use a thumbs up or down.
Ms. Akiyama who is in touch with Jeff’s fourth grade teacher reported that this teacher
saw the same problem behaviors that are reported in this assessment.
Lilly Plat, Performing Arts (PA) teacher, January 18, 2017
I interviewed Ms. Plat using Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS). The MAS is a
questionnaire that is designed to help identify the function of a problem behavior. Before
we started the questionnaire, Ms. Plat and I talked about the problem behaviors that Jeff
exhibits in PA. He shuts down when there is too much noise. He gets frustrated when it is
too loud. He tries to get the class to quiet down and when the others ignore him he shuts
down. When he works with an improvisation group (usually 1 or 2 other students), he
will give up quickly if he has difficulty expressing his ideas. When he gives up, he will
wander around the periphery of the group and be unresponsive to their attempts to get
information from him. The results of the MAS checklist suggest that Jeff’s behaviors in
PA are motivated by three things escape, attention, and tangibles. Jeff wants to escape
from new tasks or difficulties expressing himself. When Jeff is unable to express himself
or he is presented with a new task he withdraws from the group. Attention of his peers,
when Ms. Plat is talking to the class and they are talking over her, Jeff tries to get the
whole group to quiet down. The tangible function is reflected in Jeff’s wanting to do only
what he wants.
Catherine Sharp, Music Teacher, February 3, 2017
I interviewed Ms. Sharp using the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS). I started the
interview with some general questions about the problem behaviors Ms. Sharp saw in the
Music Class. Ms. Sharp shared that Jeff would avoid participating in Music activities by
saying he had a headache or going to point out and staying there. Ms. Sharp said that
when the noise level bothered Jeff, she gave him the option of going to class 41, but he
didn’t want to use this option. Ms. Sharp observed that Jeff likes to see how others
experience things before he tries the activity. The results of the MAS checklist suggest
that Jeff’s problem behaviors in Music are motivated primarily by escape and sensory
needs. Jeff’s problem behaviors occur when he is asked to perform a difficult task or any
request is made of him and the behavior stops after the demand is withdrawn. Ms. Sharp
said that would stay withdrawn from the activities for a long period of time if left alone.
When Jeff has withdrawn he seems calm but aware of what is going on
around him, this indicates some sort of sensory need.
Jeff Jones, Student, February 13, 2017
I interviewed Jeff using the Student-Directed Functional Assessment Interview Form.
Based on the information I got from Jeff’s thoughts about his daily school activities, the
least difficult times of the day are Morning & Lunch Recess, Snack, Science and Social
Studies, P.E. with both coach and Ms. Akiyama. The most difficult times of the day were
Music followed by Art and Performing Arts. When asked why he thought these were the
most difficult times of the day, Jeff said that he doesn’t like to sing in public and is not
comfortable with Ms. Sharp. He wasn’t really sure what made Art and Performing Arts
difficult. He did share that he comes from a family that dances specifically his cousins (I
have heard him compare his ability to do things with his cousins). He has some difficulty
with Language Arts with Ms. Mackin. Again, he wasn’t sure what made it difficult. We
do know from his Student Profile that he has a difficult time with both reading and
spelling words. Jeff shared that he doesn’t know what makes him happy. He did think
that he likes going to the pool where he takes lessons on Saturdays.
Jeff Jones, Student, February 21,2017
While the class was engaged in a cooking activity in the kitchen, I was able to have a
casual interview with Jeff. The class had been divided into three groups. His group was
made up of himself and three other people he’s worked successfully with before. This
school year Jeff has had to go to Class 41, the quiet room, when we did a cooking
activity. Jeff was reluctant to sit with his group and was hanging around the stove when I
approached him. He shared that he felt more comfortable by the stove. I asked him why
he thought that was and he said that from there he could see everyone and it wasn’t as
“noisy”. Both Ms. Akiyama and I encouraged him to join his group. He continued to be
reluctant to do so. I then asked Ms. Akiyama if Jeff could be her helper and she said yes.
As Ms. A. got the other students started on the vegetable chopping, I asked Jeff if he
liked to cook and he said that he did and that he came from a family who cooks. Ms.
Akiyama asked Brenden to sauté the vegetables, and he did an excellent job. When asked
what he liked to cook, he couldn’t think of anything, but later I commented that I liked
fried rice and wondered if he could make some for our class party. He said he could cook
fried rice, but he didn’t know if he’d be able to do it for the class party.
List of Preferences Based on Teacher, Parent, and Student Interviews
1. Building with Legos
3. Singing, Acting, Drama
8. Playing with his cousins
9. Diamond Head Theater Classes
10. Earning Class Money
11. Going to Swim Lessons on The Weekend
I did not do a preference assessment that asked specifically if Jeff liked certain things,
activities or people. During the Student Functional Assessment, Jeff was unable to
talk about what he enjoys doing. The only thing he could think of was swim lessons
on the weekend.
Art Classroom, Wednesday, January 25, 2017
This observation was conducted from 12:05-12:24 pm on January 25, 2017, during a
special craft activity.
12:05 pm: Jeff wanders around the room as the Art Teacher gives directions. The rest of
the class is seated
12:10 pm: Jeff still wandering from table to table talking to people and looking into the
containers holding the materials for the craft project. He winds yarn around
his fingers as he wanders. (One craft project is making a pompom out of
12:11 pm: Jeff goes over to another male student, who is sitting by himself with a box of
beads. Jeff looks into the box and rakes through the beads when the other
student does. Jeff tells a “story with the yarn on his fingers.
12:13 pm: Jeff offers the yarn to the male student he is sitting with.
12:14 pm: Jeff moves to another table and then goes to the front table and picks out a
purple pompom from a box on the front table. He also picks up a blank
12:15 pm: Jeff moves to the table I am sitting close to and announces his intention to
decorate the bookmark for his sister, which he does with a simple line
drawing. He attaches the pompom.
12:17 pm: The Art Teacher offers to make Jeff a keychain if he’ll make a pompom for
12:18 pm: Jeff does a bit of wandering and then brings the Art Teacher the box of
12:24 pm: Jeff asks the Art Teacher to tie something for him (at this point I get distracted
by a request from another student in the class.)
Music Class, Friday, February 3, 2017
This observation was conducted from 12:05-12:42 pm on February 3, 2017, during a
regular music lesson.
12:05 pm: Jeff comes into Music at a snails pace after everyone else has entered and joins
the circle of other students.
12:10 pm: Participating in the rhythm activity and interacting with the same male student
he interacted with in Art on January 25th
12:12 pm: Teacher announces a transition to the next activity. Jeff turns to the same male
student and begins to talk to him.
12:13 pm: Jeff eyes are closed as he beats out the xylophone rhythm, that Ms. Sharp has
demonstrated. He opens his eyes and looks at Ms. Sharp.
12:15 pm: Jeff raises his hand to be the person to give an answer and teases another
student as he picks a girl per Ms. Sharps request. (The lesson distracted me.)
12:25 pm: Transition from playing the xylophone. Jeff wanders around and looks at the
male students he talked to at the beginning of the lesson. He makes a circuit
of the class and asks me if I’m taking notes. I give him a noncommittal
12:28 pm: Jeff returns to his designated seat on the floor.
12:32 pm: (There has been a transition in here that I didn’t put into my notes. The
students are now playing ukulele.) Jeff is playing his ukulele with full
12:40 pm: In the instant that I began to record this Jeff was focused on playing the
ukulele. When he stops playing, he is talking and pointing behind himself.
(This was an unclear note.)
12:42 pm: Ms. Akiyama came into the class, joining me at the back of the room. Ms.
Sharp told the students to put away their ukulele. Jeff put his
ukulele away and then walked over to where I was sitting and Ms. Akiyama
was standing and lay down on his back on the floor. I left the class to Ms.
Summary of Antecedent Behavior Consequence (ABC) Data
ABC data was collected from November 11th – December 16th, 2016 and then from
January 6th – 18th, 2017. During the time frame November 11th – December 16th, 2016
there is a missing recording sheet that covered the period between November 9th and
November 23rd. The recording sheets I have data from cover approximately sixteen
days. During those sixteen days there was a single incident of a problem behavior on
seven of the sixteen days and one day with five incidents of problem behaviors. This
means that on average one problem behavior occurred per day.
Sometime, either right before or right after the winter break, Jeff reported to Ms.
Akiyama that he was taking medication to help him focus. Between January 3rd and
January 18th there were nine school days of ABC data collected. Problem behaviors
were recorded on one day at the beginning of the period and one day at the end of the
period. What this evidence suggests to me is that Jeff’s problem behaviors are
happening less frequently. Ms. Akiyama and I have noticed a significant decline in
problem behaviors since the beginning of the calendar year, when Jeff began taking
medication to address the issue of attention. Jeff commented to us that he can now
“hear” the teachers.
Patterns seen in the ABC data:
Setting events that occasion problem behaviors are: changes in routine, tired
(reported sleeping badly), or not feeling well (novel task was not one of the
setting events that was recorded but it could have been)
Places where behaviors are more likely to occur: in the back of Class 52 (a small
confined space); in the Art, Music, and Performing Arts classrooms (all fairly
open spaces); the Computer Lab; and the Kitchen (another open space)
Places where behaviors are less likely to occur: Hallways, lunch/gathering place,
and play areas
Times behaviors are more likely to occur: from the beginning of the school day up
until 11:10, which is the beginning of lunch recess and then between 12:05 and
Times behaviors are less likely to occur: after 12:50 pm. to occur during breaks,
Antecedents that are more likely to occasion problem behaviors: small or large
group work; Language Arts; Morning Meeting; and Art, Music, and Performing
Antecedents that are less likely to occasion problem behaviors: student selected
activities (breaks or silent time); & independent work
Behaviors seen more often: when Jeff is upset he stops working and or puts his
head down on desk or refuses to respond to any questions; making negative
statements about himself or others refusing to leave the classroom for counseling
Behaviors seen less often: leaving class without permission (during the 2015-2016
school year this occurred fairly often)
Consequences occurring more often: repeated direction/provided choice, one on
one work with teacher, cued to Cl 41 or counseling
Consequences occurring less often: sent to Point Out, met with a counselor, peer
attention, peers ignored
Behavior/Outcome: when given a choice Jeff often returned to the activity
without disruption, occasionally, when given a choice or cued to 41 Jeff attempted
to return to the activity
Target Behaviors to reduce
• Noncompliance: After Jeff has had an interaction with a student or teacher that upsets
him, Jeff will stop working and won’t respond to questions. Often, he withdraws
from a group and may wander around or try to leave the classroom.
• Exaggerating physical discomforts: During outdoor organized game times, if Jeff is
tagged by another student or accidentally hit by a ball, he might fall to the ground
and act dead, not responding to students or teacher queries about how he is. There
have also been times when he falls to the ground for no apparent reason.
• Negative Statements about Self and Others: While trying to listen to directions,
corrections, or collect his thoughts in a noisy classroom, Jeff will make negative
statements about the noise of the other students and then he will make negative
statements about himself and ultimately withdraw from an activity.
• Difficulty Beginning Challenging or Novel Tasks : At the beginning of Language Arts,
Art, Music, Performing Arts, or any novel activity like cooking, instead of
preparing to begin the lesson, Jeff will ask to go to the nurse for either a headache
or extreme itchiness.
Replacement Behaviors to increase
• Asking for help when feeling confused about how to proceed with at task.
• Asking for a break
• Asking for permission to see how the other students do something before trying it.
• Appropriately seeking attention from peers
Jeff’s good memory for background information supports his ability to understand what
he reads or hears. When feeling comfortable, he is willing to take risks in Performing
Arts class, demonstrating an ability to act, or in Music singing while accompanying
himself with gestures illustrating the song. He has a good memory of the details of
movies he’s seen, which I think reflects his general interest in the Performing Arts. Jeff’s
ability to remember what he hears supports his reading comprehension. Jeff is an auditory
The setting events for Jeff’s noncompliant behaviors/difficulty beginning tasks or
activities are: the subjects Language Arts, Art, Music, and Performing Arts; lack of sleep,
and, noise/distractions. The things that set off the behaviors are class demands that may
be too hard (unfamiliar multistep activities), and unheard directions. When Jeff is
noncompliant, he will be unresponsive to teacher or peers questions or he will wander
around the class. Essentially he has shut down. When Jeff is being noncompliant, his
teachers give him attention in the form of offering him choices. Gaining teacher attention
while avoiding teacher demands and peer contact seem to be what is maintaining these
The setting events for Jeff’s negative statements about others and or himself appear to be
when he is in a noisy/distracting group, as well as a lack of sleep. The thing that appears
to set of this behavior is working in a smaller group on a task that is difficult for him or
requires careful thought and the class is noisy. When Jeff makes negative statements he
raises his voice a bit, gestures with his hands and then he wanders away mentally or
physically. When Jeff makes negative statements he is reassured by a teacher so receiving
attention from a teacher appears to be what is maintaining this behavior.
The setting events for Jeff’s exaggerated response to physical discomfort appears to be
the anticipated difficulty of a lesson in LA or subject like Art or Music, a need for peer
attention, and sometimes a lack of sleep. The things that appear to set off this behavior
are the anticipated difficulty of the coming lesson along with a lack of sleep. Before
Language Arts begins, Jeff may be scratching himself all over or tell his teachers that he
has for instance a really bad headache so needs to go see the nurse. When the class is
playing a game together with his classroom teachers present, he will sometimes just fall
to the ground for no apparent reason. Other students will report that …