Ed note: Thank you ALL so much for your love and support yesterday. The IEP meeting went very well. Now we await the official proposal and refinement process, but there were no surprises this time (thank God!) and we’ve got a wonderful team of people working together to support our girl. Knowing you were there with us made all the difference in the world.
In preparation for Brooke’s IEP planning meeting, we requested what’s called a Functional Behavior Assessment, or FBA. An FBA is essentially used to determine – or at least to TRY to determine – the purpose of a student’s behavior across various environments. Although it’s true that behavior is a means of communication for all of us, it’s particularly salient for those who have challenges with communicating in other ways (ie verbally).
So, when a kid like mine screams in the middle of the classroom, the question is – or should be – what is she trying to tell us? The next question is – or should be – what tools can we give her to communicate that more effectively and far less disruptively?
But before we can do that, we have to figure out why she is screaming.
So we asked for an FBA, and the team readily agreed that it would be a very useful tool, especially given that we were making a number of pretty serious changes to her service delivery at the time (a story for another day).
The FBA is seventeen pages long. It contains a bunch of necessary jargon and a whole lot of data. It is written somewhat formally and sounds like your typical evaluation report. There’s lots of talk about things like MASs (Motivation Assessment Scales) and ABCs (Antecedents, Behaviors and Consequences.)
Overall, reading the FBA was dry and sort of depressing. Poring over the data about incidences of ‘Non-Compliance, Protests and Self Injurious Behaviors was well, not fun. So the last thing I expected to do while reading it was to laugh so hard that I snorted.
But, well, it turned out to be pretty damned funny. I mean, maybe it’s just me, but I thought the following line from the Classroom Observation section was nothing short of hilarious. Not to mention genius. And I’m thinking I may just employ this strategy next time a meeting is going nowhere good. Just sayin’.
In an attempt to escape the demand to continue writing her paragraph, Brooke complained, then pretended to fall off her chair.
To paraphrase my awesome friend Stimey, if we could help our kids harness the creative power and ingenuity that they so successfully use to avoid tasks and manipulate everyone around them, they could rule the world.
Amen, Stimey, And just imagine a world ruled by that kind of creative genius.
I am honored to be nominated for a Sensory Processing Disorder Bloggers Network (SPDBN) Award! The site is fabulous. If you’re not familiar with them, click on over and check ’em out. And be sure to click -> HERE <- to read some wonderful posts (and then, well, vote for mine! :))