Academic journal article Education

Training a General Educator to Use Function-Based Support for Students at Risk for Behavior Disorders

Academic journal article Education

Training a General Educator to Use Function-Based Support for Students at Risk for Behavior Disorders

Article excerpt

Function-based support (FBS) is an intervention strategy for decreasing problem behaviors and increasing replacement behaviors through three consecutive processes: (a) conducting functional behavioral assessment (FBA), (b) using FBA results to develop a behavior support plan (BSP), and (c) implementing and monitoring the BSP (Tobin, 2005). The utility of FBS as an intervention for problem behaviors has been well documented for individuals ranging from preschool-age to adulthood, for persons without disabilities as well as for persons with mild to severe disabilities, and for clientele in school, community, and clinical settings (e.g., Nahgahgwon, Umbreit, Liaupsin, & Turton, 2010; Wood, Ferro, Umbreit, & Liaupsin, 2011). FBS procedures have been empirically evaluated in school settings for more than 20 years, resulting in a large base of studies demonstrating positive student outcomes (Fox & Gable, 2004; Wood, Cho Blair, & Ferro, 2009). As a result, FBS has been recommended as a best practice for school psychologists and other school-based behavioral specialists who intervene with student problem behavior (e.g., Daly, Martens, Skinner, & Noell, 2009; Steege & Watson, 2008).

Despite such encouraging findings, implementations of FBS in educational settings continue to be hampered by practical barriers and frustrations. For example, although many school psychologists and other school-based behavioral specialists are trained to implement FBS, the need for effective assessment and intervention far outweighs the availability of trained providers (Scott, Bucalos, Liaupsin, Nelson, Jolivette, & DeShea, 2004). The unmet need for behavioral services from qualified school-based personnel is unlikely to be resolved in the near future. For this reason, several scholars have recommended that school personnel, such as general educators, be trained to implement FBS for at-risk students exhibiting problem behavior (Renshaw, Christensen, Marchant, & Anderson, 2008). To accommodate for such challenges, most studies investigating the utility of FBS in schools have involved researchers as significant participants in the implementation process (e.g., Filter & Horner, 2009), leaving unanswered questions regarding educators' ability to conduct FBS with fidelity. Thus there is currently a dearth of research investigating methods for training school personnel to independently implement FBS (Renshaw et al., 2008).

Several scholars have cautioned that training educational professionals to implement FBS in schools is a complex endeavor that requires careful consideration. For example, Sasso and colleagues (2001) noted that the success of FBS in educational settings depends as much on contextual and social validity factors (e.g., teacher perceptions of intervention feasibility) as on actual student responsiveness to intervention (i.e., positive behavioral change). Quinn and colleagues (2001) noted that there is a lack of both evidence and guiding principles for determining which training and implementation models are likely to be most effective and advised that FBS training must include "hands on" experience as well as ongoing guidance and support. Newcomer and Lewis (2004) recommended that FBS procedures resulting in precise, practical, valid information that can be gathered within minimal time, with minimal effort, and with minimal skill would be optimal when training school personnel--yet they did not propose any specific models or methods. Given the history of the field, it is plausible that such tentative dialogue surrounding FBS training may be the result of two deeper, debatable issues: (1) the lack of consensus regarding the particular procedures comprising FBA (Weber, Killu, Derby, & Baretto, 2005; Watson, Steege, & Watson, 2011) and (2) the contention that FBS's roots in Applied Behavior Analysis (Baer, Wolfe, & Risely, 1968, 1987) make it too sophisticated for school personnel to master without intensive training in behavior analytic principles (Wallace, Doney, Mintz-Resudek, & Tarbox, 2004). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.