The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) literature is consistent with regard to the value of thorough and precise assessment of the functions of dangerous/disruptive behaviors. Such assessment (whether experimental functional analysis or descriptive functional behavioral assessment) can help to form the development of a behavior intervention plan that is better tailored to the individual’s clinical needs.
At JRC, assessment of the functions of student problem behaviors is ongoing throughout the student’s JRC enrollment. When the student is first admitted to JRC, a reinforcer preference assessment occurs over the course of the student’s first week. Data are taken regarding which stimuli/events may serve as motivating rewards in the student’s BIP.
Simultaneously, the student’s JRC Clinician begins to collect data, across all environments, on the student’s positive and negative behaviors, as well as related triggers and consequences. Assessment methods include interviews and questionnaires administered to the student, family, and staff; collection and graphing of a broad range of behavioral frequency data 24 hours per day; and direct observation of the student across all natural environments.Direct observation, a cornerstone of good ABA, is particularly easy to do at JRC because of JRC’s Digital Video Recording (DVR) system. Most environments (e.g., classrooms, group homes) are equipped with DVR cameras so that JRC Clinicians are able to observe their students’ behavior and related environmental antecedent and consequent events.
JRC’s specialized standard celeration behavior charting system, when combined with the direct observation capability provided by JRC’s DVR system, means that JRC’s Clinical staff are able to conduct ongoing and comprehensive functional assessment throughout the student’s enrollment at JRC. Such ongoing and comprehensive functional assessment is an improvement upon the once-per-year static and narrowly focused functional assessment that sometimes occurs at other settings. For more information regarding JRC’s functional assessment methods, please feel free to reply to this post.