Special Education/Fba


I have an 8 yr old with ADHD and speech delay.  He is very smart doing great in tests. He doesn't sit for long periods.  He's great in 20 minute increments.  The school says to stay in coteacher class he needs fba. He's a good kid but will get up and aide is useless. Teachers have rotten lazy attitudes though I can't say they're mean.  They half take advice though they attest it always helps. Our son is very good at home.  They don't have anyone who knows him well to do fba and they refuse to find someone agreeable to us all.  Do they have right to insist on fba as condition of staying in class.  Our son is not aggressive but I think he needs stimulation he's not getting.  A self contained class was a nightmare as he was quadruple fidgety and had no peer models for speech. It doesn't seem right that nothing they do is under any scrutiny.  I know our son has issues but they are manageable

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Dear KC,

Thank you so much for reaching out to me and asking an important question.  You may know that I have written a book which focuses on social, emotional and behavioral needs of children, School Success for Kids with Emotional Behavioral Disorders.  Chapter 7 is all about the FBA, so here is an Amazon link:


I am not aware of any requirement for the FBA to be completed so that a child can be placed in any classroom including the general education setting with special education support (coteaching).  However, if your son's behaviors are interfering with his learning or others' learning, it is appopriate for the TEAM to consider the need for the FBA and positive behavior intervention and supports.  

This means you should be involved in making the decision what FBA to do and you should be a part of that.  

Here you will find my blog which contains a presentation on the FBA.  


The FBA is a TEAM problem solving process that, with the use of data, figures out why a child's behaviors are occuring and what to do about it.  The FBA should not be used as a threat or a requirement to have a child remain in the general education setting (the whole IEP should be used for placement).  Instead, the FBA should be a tool that is used to determine how to help your child.  One of the important concepts in my book is that the way a teacher perceives behavior will dictate how the teacher intervenes.  

If the teachers view the behavior as 'oppositional' or 'defiant', the teacher will treat the behavior as volitional attempts to disrupt.  Instead, the FBA explores medical, sensory , communication, and other factors that may be contributing to the child's behaviors, and the behavior intervention plan that flows from the FBA should become a part of the IEP.  

Also, the FBA and BIP can help protect the child from overly harsh discipline such as suspension.  

It sounds like you could use further expertise.  If you would like me to review your child's records and make suggestions, or participate in meetings, or any other service, please email me at abc4success@msn.com.

I hope this has helped you as you explore your child's strengths and needs, and I thank you for using this valuable service!  

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Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.


I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.


10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); B.S.in Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

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