Sometimes when parents are requesting a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and/or behavior intervention plan (BIP), the school may respond with the comment, “We are addressing your child’s behavior through their IEP. An FBA and BIP are not needed.”
If a child’s behavior “impedes” their learning or that of other students, the ARD committee (referred to as the IEP team in IDEA) must consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address that behavior. The IEP must detail the child’s functional performance level and develop goals to meet their unique needs.
Research and best practice indicates that an FBA and BIP assist in identifying and addressing “inappropriate” behaviors.
When a student is placed in a disciplinary placement for more than 10 school days for behavior that is not a manifestation of their disability, an FBA and BIP must be provided “as appropriate”. The key question is “why is an FBA and BIP not appropriate for my child?”
If the student’s behavior is a manifestation of their disability, an FBA and BIP is required. These tools should be appropriate for students with a disability, especially if they have had multiple disciplinary incidents/episodes.
What does IDEA say?
Sec. 300.39 (a) (1)
(1) Special education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including—
(i) Instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and
(ii) Instruction in physical education.
Sec. 300.304 (c) (6)
(c) Other evaluation procedures. Each public agency must ensure that—
(6) In evaluating each child with a disability under §§300.304 through 300.306, the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child’s special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.
Sec. 300.320 (a) (1) and (2)
(a) General. As used in this part, the term individualized education program or IEP means a written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a meeting in accordance with §§300.320 through 300.324, and that must include—
(1) A statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including—
(i) How the child’s disability affects the child’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum (i.e., the same curriculum as for nondisabled children); or
(ii) For preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate activities;
(i) A statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals designed to—
(A) Meet the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum; and
(B) Meet each of the child’s other educational needs that result from the child’s disability;
Sec. 300.324 (a)(1) and (2)(i)
(a) Development of IEP—
(1) General. In developing each child’s IEP, the IEP Team must consider—
(i) The strengths of the child;
(ii) The concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child;
(iii) The results of the initial or most recent evaluation of the child; and
(iv) The academic, developmental, and functional needs of the child.
(2) Consideration of special factors. The IEP Team must—
(i) In the case of a child whose behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others, consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address that behavior;
Sec. 300.530 (d)(1)(ii)
(1) A child with a disability who is removed from the child’s current placement pursuant to paragraphs (c), or (g) of this section must—
(ii) Receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, and behavioral intervention services and modifications, that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not recur.
Possible parent responses
- I am requesting that an FBA and BIP be done for my child.
- Why is an FBA and BIP not appropriate for my child?
- Because of my child’s continuing behavioral issues, I am requesting that their current FBA or BIP be updated.
- I am requesting prior written notice on why an FBA and/or BIP will not be done for my child.
- I am requesting that a consultant come to the school to work with my child and the staff to assist in (developing positive behavioral interventions, an FBA, BIP, etc.)
- I am requesting that a consultant come to the school to work with the staff to develop appropriate strategies, techniques, and goals, and train staff as appropriate.