A New Jersey and nationally certified school psychologist, Shari Lovenheim provides her services to Anthony Wayne Middle School in Wayne, New Jersey. Among Lovenheim’s responsibilities include performing functional behavioral assessments.
Utilized by schools, functional behavioral assessments evaluate student problem behavior. Through various methods, practitioners discover the catalysts for curious actions and devise intervention strategies. When analyzing a pupil, assessors consider multiple factors, including the youth’s personal, social, cognitive, and environmental issues that may underlie specific behavior.
Functional behavioral assessments require teams to take multiple steps before reaching a conclusion. The initial two parts involves identifying the curious behavior generally and then specifically. Subsequently, they acquire data through interviews, questionnaires, and observations to better inform their understanding of the youth. ABC charts, which list Antecedents (or triggers), Behaviors, and Consequences, have also gained popularity. All of this information can aid professionals in determining how to react in the short term and the long term. Initially, they can see if a particular action causes the student to act out. However, more complex situations may require additional research before forming a behavior intervention plan.