Functional behavior assessment (FBA) is a process of understanding problematic behavior, the causes how to maintain or do away with them. It answers many questions why a child behaves in a certain manner and the steps to take in changing the behavior as well as determining the purpose or function a certain behavior serves in a child (Cipani & Schock, 2011).
Early psychologists clearly showed that behavior occur in predictable and lawful manner: directly and functionally related to environmental phenomena. Several research bodies have proved the importance of utility of functional analytic approach for persons with attention deficit, behavioral, and emotional disorders as well as developmental disabilities. Functional assessment assumes all behavior is purposeful hence; its major objective is altering the environment the child belongs rather than punishing the child with the misbehavior. It teaches them the most acceptable and adaptive way of getting what they want centrally to diagnostic model that enquires for the cause and its treatment medically. Interpretation of behavior assessment tests’ responses are as samples of behavior that generalize different situations while traditional interprets data as results of internal body processes.
Major components to observe in Functional behavior assessment are; identification of the problem, generating events or antecedents that predict the likeliness of behavior occurrence and maintaining the repercussions that would increase future occurrence of the behavior. It is a preferable method since it includes interviews, record reviews and direct observation of the child’s behavior rather than team preference based approaches, which deals with a group of children instead of an individual. The method of assessment also ranges from precise and systematic to somewhat informal. The way forward in curbing the behavior is because of hypothesis statement acquired through analyzed and summarized information that describe the behavior and the environment (Haynes, O’Brien, & Kaholokula, 2011).
Functional behavior assessment focuses way beyond behavior as it tries to solve the problem and its results are unbiased. It lays a legal basis in development of BIP(behavior intervention program) that identifies environmental, social and biological factors which initiate, maintain or end the targeted behavior in schools. Through Functional behavior assessment, legal personnel are able to execute contextual aspects that contribute to a certain behavior and select appropriate interventions. This is through analysis of past events that affect current behavior and information on environmental and social context (Jackson, 2012).