Functional Assessment and Positive Behaviour Support Plan


To develop the knowledge and skills to design and implement functional behaviour assessments and multicomponent positive behaviour support plans that are technically sound and contextually appropriate across home and school settings; to provide families with a tailored behaviour support plan that is contextually-fitting to their family's needs; to use positive behaviour support plans that result in meaningful improvement of the child and their family/community member’s quality of life; to train parents and school staff in implementing the positive behaviour support plan with fidelity.


I selected functional behaviour assessment as one of my areas of focus, because I believe that every person is capable of changing and thereby improving their overall quality of life. The idea that behaviour serves a purpose underlies change and is the key to finding ways to create that change. Functional behaviour assessment is the process that identifies the factors that support challenging behaviour, and once you know what causes the behaviour, you can find ways to change it. This idea brings with it great optimism to the lives of many, including my own, and I am happy to be able to use it.

Here comes the sun

Here Comes the Sun, one of the most beautiful songs ever written, symbolizes for me the sunlight that illuminates reality as it is. Observing reality is the key to change and correction, because only when you see things clearly without judgment, can you create change for the better. The image of the sun relates to my area of focus of functional behaviour assessment, since the functional assessment is the sun that sheds light and illuminates the behaviour and what it serves, thus enabling correction and transformation.

How functional behaviour assessment impacts my practice

Through the process of developing my skills in functional assessments and positive behaviour support plans, as the key to behaviour change and success, I was able to look at my clients' problem behaviour through a new professional lens. I gained experience in conducting varied types of functional analyses to understand why my clients were engaging in challenging behaviours, and learned to effectively create a function-based PBS plan. I learned that there are strategies and solutions for different behaviours, and had the opportunity to engage in a hands-on and practical application of the process. I am now confident and happy to be the person providing that service to families.


EPSE 576 | Assessment and Positive Behaviour Support in School and Community Settings

FAs and Two-Routine Specific PBS Plans

These functional assessments and PBS plans of play time and dinner routines at home were conducted on a client of mine and their family, to support them during these routines. I selected these FAs and PBS plans as an artifact, as they directly relate to my area of focus 'Functional Behaviour Assessment'. The assignment provided me with the opportunity to perform a functional behaviour assessment, implement it in practice by creating a tailored positive behavior support plan, and go step by step through the entire required process, while seeing its effectiveness.

EPSE EPSE 577 | Seminar in Assessment and Positive Behaviour Support in School and Community Settings

Comprehensive FA and PBS Plan

Family Ecology Assessment

Implementation Checklist

Implementation Plan

These assignments provided me with a deeper exploration and an advanced understanding of functional assessments and positive behaviour support plans. They all gave me the opportunity to tailor a contextually-fitting comprehensive positive behaviour support plan to a family that I worked with, that included all of the steps I would do as a future BCBA. I selected it as an artifact, as it directly relates to my area of focus 'Functional Behaviour Assessment', and covers all the necessary steps throughout the required process. Through these assignments, I learned to include an ecological assessment to help ensure that the PBS plan was contextually fitting for the family. I also learned how effective positive behaviour support plans can be in overcoming challenging behaviour, and how significant they can be in improving the quality of life of the child and family.

Visual supports

First-Then Visual

Contingency Map

Wait Sign

Whole Body Listing Visual

Visual Schedule

Visual Task Sequence

Reinforcer Choice Board

Coping strategies Visual

Visual supports provide structure and routine, encourage independence, build confidence, improve understanding of what is happening and about to happen next, decrease/eliminate frustration and problem behaviour, and provide opportunities to interact with others.