Function-Based Thinking

A systematic way of thinking about function and its role in changing student behavior.

Research suggests selecting an intervention that addresses the function of behavior yields higher success in changing the problem behavior (Scott, et. al., 2005).

Function of Behvaior Throughout the Support Pyramid

Function based strategies can be implemented across all tiers.  With effective strategies at Tier 1, a solid foundation is in place for additional interventions (if needed).

Applying Function Based Strategies

Function

Function Based Solutions

Escape or Avoid Tasks/Work

  • Address task difficulty
  • Offer instructional choice
  • Sequence tasks
  • Offer additional assistance

Seeking Attention

  • Increase positive acknowledgement
  • Increase opportunities to respond/engagement
  • Increase active supervision-schedule more frequent interactions
  • Increase opportunities for positive peer interactions

Specific Behavior

Function Based Solutions

Blurting

Gain Adult Attention

  • Praise other students for appropriate behavior
  • Re-teach expectation to raise hand and wait to be called on
  • Increase opportunities to respond/engagement in instruction

Crying/Noises/Saying “no”

Avoid Tasks

  • Address task difficulty (regardless of the student’s academic capability)
  • Offer instructional choice

Noises and Faces at Peers

Gain Peer Attention

  • Increase opportunities for positive peer interactions
  • Peer buddy
  • Incorporate partner activities into instruction

Connecting Problem Behavior, Function and Interventions

Competing Behavior Pathway:  Helps identify the basic behavior pathway, function of behavior and an acceptable alternative to the problem behavior (replacement behavior).

Once the function is identified, function based strategies to prevent problem behavior and teach and reinforce the replacement behavior can be identified and implemented.