Understanding all the different aspects of a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) can be overwhelming without a good understanding of the vocabulary that often appears in an IEP. Even reading a website about special education or news articles can contain many acronyms that are not part of every day speech. Here are a couple more acronyms that you might find when learning about special education services.
FBA – Functional Behavioral Assessment
Sometimes a student may engage in problematic behavior that disrupts the student’s education. There are varieties of behaviors that may affect one’s ability to learn or take part in a classroom environment. Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is the problem solving process for addressing these behaviors. Do not let the name foul you, it is not just assessments; it usually involves many different types of techniques and strategies too. An FBA helps to identify the purpose behind specific problem behaviors. An FBA helps identify the best intervention strategy to use to address the problem behavior.
BIP – Behavior Intervention Plan
The actual plan that makes its way into a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) that addresses problematic behavior is the Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). The BIP is only part of the student’s much larger IEP. Within the BIP, one finds the services identified to help prevent problematic behavior and encourage desired behavior. The results of the Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) often become the framework of the student’s Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP).
However, it is important to note that implementing a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) does not mean that a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is inevitable. The techniques and strategies identified by a FBA may not result in the creation of a BIP. Instead, the information obtained by the completion of a FBA might just modify part of the student’s IEP or may even be just a matter of discussion for addressing other learning needs.