Sometimes children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities can display behaviours that challenge. This can range from non cooperative behaviours, disruptive behaviour in the classroom to self injury and physical aggression etc. When children are displaying behaviour that challenges this may pose a potential risk to the child or others. It can also be a stressful experience for the parents, caregivers and teaching staff.
A Functional Behaviour Assessment (FBA) focuses on assessing the variables that are maintaining the behaviour that challenges. This may take the form of questionnaires, data collection, observations across settings and interviews with parents and caregivers. Sometimes, a Functional Analysis may be needed in order to firm up a hypothesis of why a behaviour is occurring. This would involve setting up different situations to test out when the behaviour of concern is most likely to occur.
Once there is a hypothesised function(s) for the behaviour(s) and triggers are identified, then recommendations can be made to try and remediate the situation. This will often take the format of a Behaviour Support Plan and will involve making both proactive recommendations and how to respond to the behaviours, should they occur. Behaviour should then decrease over a short period of time and replacement behaviours (appropriate alternatives to the behaviours of concern) should increase. If the behaviour does not decrease then consistency checks will be undertaken and the plan may be revised.
At Autism Fledglings we work with children with a range of different behaviours that challenge, these include:
- Mild-moderate aggressive behaviour (pushing, grabbing, pinching, scratching, hitting, slapping, biting etc)
- Mild-moderate self injurious behaviour (biting self without breaking the skin, hitting head and causing mild bruising, scratching self, pinching self etc).
Full training in any recommendations will be given as part of the process. Full parental participation will be expected, in order to make it as successful as possible.