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Title: Functinal Behavior Assessment for People with Autism
Author: Glasberg, Beth A. Ph.D.
It's not unusual for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) to exhibit challenging behaviors including noncompliance, aggression, and repetitive actions that interfere with daily life. These behaviors, which appear meaningless, unproductive, or even dangerous, can be changed or stopped. This guide describes functional behavior assessment (FBA), a highly regarded strategy that parents and professionals can use to identify the factors contributing to the problem behavior. As the book explains, children and adults with ASDs are susceptible to unwanted behaviors due to difficulties with communication skills, social skills, and narrow interests. For example, a nonverbal adult engages in head-banging to obtain beads reserved for times when he needs calming; a child with social skills deficits inappropriately seeks attention by hitting classmates; or an adolescent hyperfocused on one tv program irritates everyone by constantly talking about it. An FBA helps to determine what purpose the behavior serves for the individual and the specific circumstances that led to learning the behavior in the first place. Later on, the assessment is used to develop an intervention plan to help the individual unlearn the behavior. Anyone can learn the basics of FBA. The book's step-by-step explanations, forms, and case studies make it easy for parents and professionals to decide which challenging behavior to address, select members of an FBA team, measure behavior, gather information from other observers, establish a baseline, observe a problem behavior, test the hypothesis about the function of the behavior, begin to plan for an intervention and troubleshoot. With Functional Behavior Assessment for People with Autism caregivers are well on the way to breaking down the barriers created by challenging behavior.