Page 2 of 3
By John W. Maag, Ph.D.
The greatest good functional assessment can serve for a child with LD is to teach the child appropriate ways to get what he wants. Functional assessment should be conducted with any child with a disability who receives special education services and whose behavior impedes his or her own learning, impedes the learning of others, or may lead to disciplinary action. Only in this way can school staff generate a meaningful behavior intervention plan to help a child who is struggling with inappropriate behavior. A behavior intervention plan lays out the specific activities adults will undertake to:
The goal of functional assessment in dealing with inappropriate behavior is threefold. We want to:
Here is an example: Andrew is making animal noises in class. Some of the kids are laughing at him. Others are telling him to "shut up" and "act more mature." Both of these reactions (consequences) result in him getting attention from peers. His teacher can punish him for the rest of the school year, and it will have little or no effect on Andrew's behavior, other than perhaps inspiring Andrew to switch to other types of noises. This is because attention is a powerful reinforcer that all humans strive to obtain. So, when Andrew weighs staying after school (punishment) against making animal noises (to get attention from peers), he's likely to choose to make animal noises. Attention from peers feels good more than staying after school feels bad, and Andrew's scenario repeats itself daily in classrooms around the country.
Functional assessment will not yield relevant information unless there is cooperation among school, parents, and children. All three have important roles and responsibilities.
A variety of information should be collected from several sources during the first phase of functional assessment:
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.