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Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)

In the case of a child whose behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others, the IEP team must consider, when appropriate, "strategies, including positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address that behavior." (20 U.S.C. § 1414(d)(3)(B)(i); 34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a)(2)(i); Cal. Educ. Code § 56341.1(b)(1)).

If an FBA is used to evaluate an individual child to assist in determining the nature and extent of special education and related services that the child needs, the FBA is considered an evaluation under federal law. (Letter to Christiansen, 48 IDELR 161 (OSEP 2007)). Consequently, an FBA must meet the IDEA's legal requirements for an assessment, such as the requirement that assessment tools and strategies provide relevant information that directly assists in determining the educational needs of the child. (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c)(7)).

However, with that said, federal law does not impose any specific requirements for a functional behavior assessment or behavior intervention plan. (Alex R. v. Forrestville Valley Community Unit School Dist. #221, 375 F.3d 603, 615 (7th Cir. 2004)). Although the comments to the 1999 federal regulations offer guidance about what may be included, further requirements were not imposed in order to give the school discretion to determine what is appropriate depending upon the needs of the child. (64 Fed. Reg. 12588 (Mar. 12, 1999)). The comments indicate that it may be appropriate for the IEP team to identify the circumstances or behaviors of others that may result in inappropriate behaviors by the child. (Id.) It may also be appropriate to include specific regular or alternative disciplinary measures that may result from infractions of school rules. (Id. at p. 12589).

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Navigating the road of special education law can be difficult and confusing, if you have any questions about your child's special education placement or services, Contact us by email or call us at 714-602-1498 or 866-781-7723 (toll free) for more information.

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Augustin Egelsee L.L.P.
8141 East Kaiser Boulevard
Suite 315
Anaheim Hills, CA 92808

Toll Free: 866-781-7723
Phone: 714-602-1498
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