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Tier 3 Behavior Assessment & Plan

Tier 3 Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) & Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)

Despite our best efforts in Tier 1 and 2 some students require more intensive support and planning. At this level the behavior professionals in the school need to team up with the family and teachers to learn more about the student and create a comprehensive individualized behavior support plan. The first step in this process is to complete a functional behavior assessment (FBA).

The FBA is completed to help the team understand the possible reasons why a student is engaging in chronic misbehavior. Once the FBA is complete is allows the team to focus the intervention plan towards teaching the student replacement behaviors that make the chronic misbehavior ineffective.

Becoming a behavior detective

  • There is logic behind the behaviors of the students we support
  • Our challenge is to understand its context

What is a Functional Behavior Assessment

  • A process for identifying clear, predictive relationships between events in a person’s environment and occurrences of a target behavior
  • Gathering information about the behavior through direct and indirect methods
  • Synthesizing information and developing hypotheses regarding the variables that precipitate and maintain behavior
  • Establishing a foundation for development and implementation of comprehensive behavioral support strategies

A Functional Behavior Assessment Identifies:

  • Consequences maintaining behavior functions
  • Antecedent and setting events of the behavior
  • Replacement behaviors

Goals of a Functional Behavior Assessment:

  • To predict when and where the behavior will occur
  • To identify possible reasons for the behavior of concern
  • To propose interventions that match the reasons about why the behavior is occurring which are typically to escape/avoid a situation, environment/people or to obtain something such as attention, a tangible or a set a chain of events in motion

Data must be used in this process:

  • Interviews
    • Teacher(s)
    • Other Staff
    • Family
    • Community Partners
  • Direct Observation (of the behavior and environmental variables)
    • In situations/settings when the problem behavior is likely to occur
    • In situations/settings when the problem behavior is unlikely to occur
  • Academic Data
    • Grades
    • Assignment completion
    • Test scores
    • Progress monitoring data
  • Office referral data
  • Attendance data

Tools to aid in data collection

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

Once the FBA is complete and the team has a hypothesis about student behavior a plan should be developed.

The Behavior Intervention Plan should include:

  • Description of Student
  • Operational description of problem behavior(s)
  • Summary of Functional Assessment
  • Preventative Strategies
  • Teaching/Education – skills needed to be taught
  • Reinforcement system for desired behavior
  • Intervention Procedure for behavioral errors
  • Define safety/emergency procedures (if needed)
  • Evaluation and Monitoring for Improvement
  • Steps for implementation
  • Evaluation of implementation and impact
  • Dates for Review

Preventative Strategies:

Items in the behavior support plan that are non-negotiable. They are non-contingent of student behavior because they are in place to prevent and teach the student.  These include:

  • Relationship building
  • Routine clarification
  • Rules/Expectations clarification
  • Replacement Behavior - The direct instruction of amore socially appropriate way to allow the student to meet their needs. Based on hypothesis.
  • Setting: Changes in the environment and systems surrounding behavior of concern
  • Sensory Needs (Breaks)

Examples and Tools for developing Behavior Support Plans


  • Behavior support is NOT the redesign of the individual. It is the redesign of environments.
  • Make the environment effective for the student by preventing problem behavior and making appropriate behavior more likely to occur.
  • Behavior intervention plans describe what WE will do differently.