A functional behaviour analysis provides a wealth of helpful information for those who are responsible for a student’s behavioural development. An FBA looks beyond the behaviour itself and uncovers the environmental factors that produce the behaviour, such as anxiety caused by large group settings or noise, verbal redirections that cause fear or embarrassment, unstructured times like transitions, length of schedule, etc. They also determine the purpose of the exhibited behaviour, like work avoidance, attention seeking, or peer approval. Through the data collection and interview process, a more nuanced understanding of a student’s behaviour is reached so that a proactive, effective plan can be created that addresses that student’s unique needs.
While functional behaviour assessments can produce valuable information, they are only as useful as the intervention plan they help to create. Many teachers and parents often hope for a fix-all once the process is completed; however, an FBA is just the beginning of the process and to see any meaningful change in student behaviour all stakeholders must have a deep knowledge of the assessment results and implement the subsequent plan with fidelity. Since these plans are used as supports for students who exhibit significant behaviours, they can be expected to be successful most of the time with natural regressions of behaviour or periods of ineffectiveness.