Functional Assessment – Practical Q&A

What is the best way to navigate the website to learn how to do a practical functional assessment? What are tips for increasing the odds of a successful interview (i.e., one that allows for the design of an effective analysis)? Why should I do a brief observation prior to the analysis, and what should I do…

In Their Own Words

Laura Hanratty, M.A., BCBA, has been applying the practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment process in an outpatient clinic and homes since 2012. In this vignette, Laura describes the process in the context of helping a family with twin boys newly diagnosed with autism.

Experiences of BCBAs in assessment course

This post contains presentations that describe applications of practical functional assessments and reflections by the BCBAs who conducted the functional assessments. These BCBAs were all doctoral candidates enrolled in a Behavioral Assessment course at Western New England University (WNEU) when they applied these procedures and developed presentations describing their experiences.

In Their Own Words

Mahshid Ghaemmaghami, M.A.D.S., BCBA, has been applying the practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment process in an outpatient clinic, schools, and homes since 2012. In this detailed vignette, which includes videos of functional analysis and treatment sessions, she describes the process when applied with a young boy diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and ADHD.

Experience of Michael Fantetti, M.S., BCBA

Functional analyses have historically involved the direct reinforcement of severe problem behavior. A common concern shared by people when they first learn of functional analysis procedures is that either the child or the person conducting the analysis may be harmed during the analysis because severe problem behavior is evoked and reinforced in an effective analysis. Rather than delay,…

Experience of Laura Wilhelm, M.S., BCBA

Board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) are often called upon when the problem behavior of a particular child occurs more consistently, frequently, and/or intensely than the problem behavior exhibited by their similarly-aged peers. In other words, BCBAs typically work directly with a single child, conducting functional assessments to understand why the child is engaging in problem behavior. The…

Experience of Kara Verseckes, M.S., BCBA

Because the goal of a functional analysis is to understand why problem behavior is occurring, the test condition of the analysis necessarily involves evoking problem behavior or its precursors. If relevant reinforcement is provided immediately following problem behavior, problem behavior ceases immediately in the test condition of the analysis. Therefore, the immediate provision of relevant reinforcement prevents…