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It is assumed that to carry out a consistent functional behavior assessment, one can rely on identifying and describing such aspects as motivating operations, individual variables, and consequence variables (Cooper, Heron & Howard, 2007).
Therefore, assuming that one is determined to carry out a direct descriptive functional behavioral assessment of a client with a low-incidence behavior, it is suggested that the clinical context is represented by the natural environment, for example, at home. First and foremost, it allows applying a wide range of methods; secondly, it is especially useful in the case of assessing low-incidence behaviors (Steege & Watson, 2009).
In the natural environment, it is possible to carry out several assessments. For example, in the particular case under discussion, one can apply scatterplot and descriptive assessments. The former implies recording the exact time at which the behavioral problem occurs as well as the associated activities that might determine its appearance. The natural environment is perfect for this type of assessment as it allows registering all the minor details that might potentially serve to be the clue to the behavioral disorder.
The second type of assessment implies observing the client’s behavior about various variables and indicating the interfering factors that mainly affect the behavioral change.
It is also critical to consider ethical concerns. Thus, one is obliged to ensure that the performed FBA is technically sound and does not switch from its principal aim – understanding the variables that influence the behavioral disorder.
An interview is an essential element of the assessment process as it is one of the most efficient tools for BAs carrying out. First and foremost, this method is cost-effective and can be applied in any clinical context. Secondly, it enables the specialists to observe both verbal and non-verbal behavior. Lastly, contributes to the formation of trust-based relationships between a health care worker and a client. From this perspective, one might employ either a diagnostic or a case history interview by the initial target (Steege & Watson, 2009). It is essential to stick to the ethical standards – thus, the interview needs to be performed with due respect to human rights and should be aimed at improving the medical condition. The relevant confidentiality level should be guaranteed.
Intellectual assessment is an essential part of traditional psychological analysis. Its principal benefit resides in the fact that due to the variety of the relevant intellectual tests (ex. Weehsler Intelligence Scale for children), a specialist is enabled to receive a full idea of the examined variables.
In the meantime, specialists note that the validity of the results in intelligent assessment depends highly on the clinical context. Thus, the wrong choice of the environment might have a negative influence on the data’s accuracy.
Legislation on the processes of achievement and aptitude assessments is critical as it performs the regulation function. Firstly, these tests often employ high-stake assessment; therefore, a consistent regulation tool is required. Moreover, such kind of legislation might serve to be a useful guideline for the specialists (ex. No Child Left Behind Act) (Steege & Watson, 2009). Meanwhile, there is an opinion that legislation is only needed in carrying out the achievement tests, whereas, in the terms of aptitude assessments, specialists should receive complete freedom (Cooper et al., 2007).
Cooper, J.O., Heron, T.E., & Howard, W.L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education.
Steege, M.W. & Watson, T.S. (2009). Conducting school-based functional behavioral assessments: A practitioner’s guide. New York, New York: Guilford Press.