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The Process of Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Step Three: Functional Behavioral Assessment

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The functional assessment interview offers an efficient method for getting information on the circumstances that relate to the child’s problem behavior. An interview is used to ask a family member or caregiver specific questions about the child’s challenging behavior, such as what the behavior looks like, when it occurs, and what happens before and after the behavior occurs. As with behavioral observations, as much interview information should be collected as possible—with the child’s parents, siblings, teachers, etc. Once collected, interview data is a useful tool for a team when attempting to identify patterns that may predict the function of the child’s challenging behavior.

The most popular and well-developed interview tool is the Functional Assessment Interview (FAI; O’Neill et al., 1997). The FAI is a comprehensive, semi-structured interview tool used to help carefully define the many variables that could potentially predict a child’s challenging behavior. The FAI begins with descriptions of the child’s behavior; helps define antecedents, consequences, and other important information; and concludes with hypotheses or summary statements (O’Neill et al., 1997).

Blank FAI form

Completed FAI form

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