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Posts Tagged ‘legal issues’

Each week we try to review a research article related to a topic of interest. Since our posts this week have all focused on Functional Behavioral Assessment or FBA, we thought it would be interesting to readers to share an article about FBA.

This article was authored by Eric Drasgow and Mitchell Yell and it appeared in 2001 in the School Psychology Review. Sure, you are thinking, “here they go again with another article over 10 years old!” And, well, yes, here we go again.

Just like last week’s research article, this article is so cool and interesting that we just HAD to share it with you. If you would like a copy of the article for your own reading pleasure, we found one here.

Dr. Yell publishes a great deal of work on legal analyses related to special education research. He always manages to be 2 or 3 steps ahead of everyone else on important topics like this. His research in this paper is no different. The paper was published in 2001. Functional Behavioral Assessment did not appear in special education law until 1997.

Study Purpose

The authors set out to learn what case-law revealed regarding requirements for FBAs in schools.

Study Procedures

The authors searched case law for all hearing results related to FBA in school settings. At the time of publication, the authors found only 14 cases for review. The authors read each case, summarized the findings, and then presented them for readers in an organized table.

Study Results

Of the 14 cases, hearing officers sided with the family, in full, in 10 cases. The hearing officers sided with the family, in part, in another 3 cases. Finally, hearing officers sided with school districts, in full, in only 1 case.

The authors went further to analyze why families were prevailing in these due process hearings. In 10 cases, the school district failed to conduct an FBA. In 3 cases, the FBA that was conducted was not completed appropriately.

Study Implications

As a result, the authors made recommendations for readers. First the authors suggested that IEP teams take care to complete appropriate assessments (we suggest that you get parent/guardian consent first), develop an appropriate behavior intervention plan (BIP), and collect data to determine if the plan is working. The authors provide a wonderful checklist for schools to use to ensure that they complete a proper FBA.

The authors also suggest that faculty at universities and colleges be trained in the requirements of FBA as well as how to conduct a proper FBA. This would help ensure that all new teachers, school psychologists, and behavior specialists are current in their practices as they enter the workforce.

Reader Participation and Feedback

So, 10 years later, have things changed? Did your child receive an FBA when it was needed? Students, are you learning about how to do a proper FBA in your coursework? Finally, teachers, psychologists, and behavior specialists, did you learn how and when to do a proper FBA?

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