, Behavior Specialist, offers the following insights:
Families should seek the help of a behavior specialist when there is a behavior that impacts a child’s ability to access their education, their ability to behave appropriately in the environment, or that affects others in the home or school.
When working with me, parents can expect to first have a conversation so I can learn as much as I can about the child, their family dynamic, and what the presenting problem is. From there, we would look at school records, any past behavioral records, IEPs, and psychologist’s reports (if any). We would talk to school professionals if possible. All of this helps me to understand the whole child. That will be followed up with an observation. In all of this information-gathering, we are really trying to understand what the function of the behavior is. If we don’t know what the function is, then we can’t appropriately treat it. All of this information goes into determining the next best step.
Before doing an FBA and BIP, there are many other behavioral strategies and interventions we can try such as cognitive reinforcement plans and social stories to address the needs of the child and to determine the next best step. In addition, an FBA is a process that can take a few months, so in the meantime, we can try other strategies.