Generalization and Sustainability in Positive Behavior Support

Function-Based Decision Making

A functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is used to make sure we understand the challenges occurring in each routine a person chooses to work on improving.

The best way to conduct a FBA is to start by asking the child or adult and team members to make a list of the most challenging routines that are having a negative impact on quality of life.

Module 2 provides an overview of the FBA process. If you are not familiar with this problem-solving approach, it may be helpful to review Module 2 before proceeding. The module 2 video is provided on this page for review purposes.

Video Describing Positive Behavior Support

Once we understand how to identify a new routine for PBS planning, we can use the concept of generalization to help us adapt what is already working for a child or adult into new situations and settings.

Summary of FBA: Creating a Meaningful Plan for Family and Staff

Functional Behavioral Assessment results in a hypothesis statement that is confirmed using direct observation and includes....

  • A number of specific problematic routines
  • Events that precede (or co-occur with challenging behavior) that set the stage for challenges
  • A list of the triggers occurring right before challenging behavior
  • Clearly defined challenging behavior
  • Confirmation of what happens immediately after challenging behavior

For more information, tools and resources related to FBA, visit the Module 2 Resource Page .

Figure titled multiple functions, how to create a meaninful plan for family and staff. Table set up with top row reading from left to right: setting events, antecedents, behavior, and consequences, reactions, or results. Definitions and examples of these are below.