This section includes resources associated with formative or summative information gathering tools that may be used to develop an understanding of patterns affecting behavior, inform intervention, or evaluate practices and outcomes.  The tools are focused at the individual, group, and systems levels.

Effective functional and ecological assessment involves creatively, comprehensively, and accurately answering questions that allow us to better understand people's behavioral characteristics, circumstances, and contexts in which support will be provided.  For example, essential questions might include:

    • What broader features of the social and physical ecology might be affecting behavior and responsiveness to intervention?
    • What skills does the person have/need that might affect their current functioning?
    • What are the persons strengths, needs, and preferences related to support?
    • What environmental events are precipitating and maintaining behavior (e.g., when are positive and problematic behavior most and least likely, what events reliably follow behavior)?

Click on the name of each resource below to be redirected to it.

Contextual Fit

The Importance of Contextual Fit when Implementing Evidenced-based Interventions - Horner, Blitz, & Ross (2014).  ASPE issue brief focused on contextual fit.

Challenging Behaviour and Learning Disabilities: Prevention and Intervention for people with Learning Disabilities Whose Behavior Challenges - National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK) (2015).  A resource for providing PBS guidance to support staff and families including creating environments supportive to changing behavior (free).

Functional Behavior Assessment

Compendium of Resources for Positive Behavior Support: A guide for behavior support practitioners (2019).  Comprehensive guide published by NDIS Quality Safeguards Commission in Australia.  This guide contains assessment forms and checklists (free).

Functional Assessment and Program Development for Problem Behavior O'Neill, Albin, Storey, Horner, & Sprague (2015).  Practical handbook to guide practitioners through comprehensive functional assessment to design relevant interventions (for purchase).

Individual Positive Behavior Support: Functional Behavioral Assessment Review -Minnesota Department of Human Services (2018).  Overview of FBA and strategies to enhance use in community with embedded examples (free).

PBS Practice - Methods of Functional Behavior Assessment - Rehabilitative Research and Training Center on Positive Behavior Support.  Two-page overview of FBA and data collection methods (free).

Multimodal Functional Behavioral Assessment MFBA Website.  Blank forms, examples of assessment and intervention summaries, and training resources (free).

Process of PBS (Step 3): Functional Behavioral Assessment Technical Assistance Center on Social and Emotional Intervention.  Blank forms and examples of setting event, ABC, context, FAI, and preference assessment tools (free).

Practical Functional Assessment Website with tutorial on functional behavioral assessment with presentation slides (free).

Functional Assessment Interview Form: Young Child Center on Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (2010).  Questionnaire for assessing patterns affecting behavior adapted from O'Neill et al (1997) FAI (free).

Motivation Assessment Scale Durand & Crimmins, Amazon.  Rating tools for preliminary identification of behavioral functions (for purchase).

Understanding Behavior Webinar - Dillon, Champion & Dixon, Positive Connections.  Recorded presentation for families and practitioners by Australian autism program.

Other Assessments

PBS Self-Assessment - Hieneman et al. (2014).  Tool for evaluating whether features of PBS are evident for individuals and within systems.

Positive Environment Checklist - Specialized Training Project, University of Oregon.  Assessment tool for evaluating physical environment, social setting, activities and instruction, scheduling and predictability, and communication supports (free).

Community Program Management Inventory Hieneman, Yeagley, Agganis, Postma, & Crider (2014).  Checklist for assessing features of PBS within a community-based agency or program (free).

Community Self-Assessment and Action Planning Tool Freeman, Hearst, & Anderson, Kansas Institute on Positive Behavior Support (2008).  Guide for engaging leadership team, assessing community resources and strengthening support related to PBS (free).

Preschool Behavior Support Self-Assessment - Hancock & Carter (2016).  Summary, example, and implications for practice of a tool that can be used in preschools on the NAEYC website.

Antecedent Analysis - LaVigna & Willis (1997).  Article in the Positive Practices newsletter describing methods to assess antecedent conditions affecting behavior that includes examples and tools (free).

Reinforcement Inventory - IABA (1993).  Preference assessments for children and adults developed as part of a Behavior Assessment guide.

Data Collection Tools

Observing Behavior Using ABC Data - Indiana Resource Center for Autism.  A brief explanation and examples of ABC data collection in parent-child interactions.

Guided Context-ABC Data Gathering Data tool for recording patterns surrounding behavior.

Scatter Plot - Data tool for recording behavior across activities/times of day and days.

Duration Datasheet Data collection tool for recording length of behavior.

Interval Datasheet Data collection tool for recording whether behavior occurs within specified periods of time.

Frequency Datasheet Data collection tool for recording how often behavior occurs.

Intensity Datasheet Data collection tool for recording magnitude or severity of behavior.

Time Sampling Datasheet - Template for whole, partial, or momentary time sampling.

Behavior Rating Scale - Tool for rating the intensity of different behaviors per day.

Frequency Record/Graph - Data tool for recording frequency data to display as a graph.

Daily Activity and Goal Record - Tool for recording functional communication targets and problem behavior across activities.

Percentage of Successful Mands Record - Tool for recording percentage of successful mands for attention, tangibles, escape, or sensory input across activities.

Skill Training Data Collection - Complex datasheet for recording prompt levels for steps on a task analysis, fidelity of instructional protocol, and problem behavior.

Community Participation Record - Tool for recording length, level of participation, and problem behavior across community environments.

Fidelity Assessments

Goal Planning Matrix - Tool for planning implementation on goals within various routines across the day.

Behavior Support Plan Fidelity Checklist - Tool for evaluating consistency in implementation of components of comprehensive support plan.

Skill Training Data Collection - Complex datasheet for recording prompt levels for steps on a task analysis, fidelity of instructional protocol, and problem behavior.

Parent Plan Monitoring - Simple yes/no tool for parents to assess whether they are using different components of a behavior plan for their child.

Implementation Form for Staff - One-page tool for assessing whether proactive, instructional and reinforcement-based strategies are being used as designed by staff.

Implementation Fidelity Observation Tool - Excel spreadsheet for assessing fidelity of PBS plan implementation and instructional strategy use.

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