When would my child need a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)?
FBAs can be conducted when the IEP team determines it would be appropriate for the child, or when a change in placement is being sought due to behaviors. According to the CDE, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are required to conduct an FBA “when a change in placement is being sought because of a behavior that has violated the school’s code of conduct, and the IEP team has found that the behavior relates to the child’s disability, and the LEA had not conducted an FBA prior to such determination before the behavior that resulted in the change of placement.” According to attorney Meira Amster, the code of conduct violation is the kicker needed for the district to be legally responsible for funding an FBA. However, the good news is that FBAs and subsequent BIPs happen much more frequently in practice than required by law — and in practice, a school district will often want to conduct an FBA when a behavior gets in the way of learning. An FBA is also needed when seeking a 1:1 aide for your child. Once an FBA is requested, the district has fifteen days to provide you with an assessment plan. Once that is signed and returned, the district then has sixty days to conduct the FBA and hold an IEP meeting to discuss it.
For more about FBAs, see our article Functional Behavioral Assessments 101.