Our behaviors (what we do), can communicate a lot about what we think, feel, want or need. Exactly what a behavior is communicating is often not clear, and can be misinterpreted.
We might safely assume that a student clapping and smiling is communicating approval, and that a student shaking their head side to side is communicating “no.”
- What about a student crying? Is that communicating sadness? Frustration?
- What about a student looking away and shaking their head in response to questions? Is that communicating confusion? Defiance? Exhaustion?
If we misinterpret the meaning of a behavior, our responses can be ineffective.
An FBA can help uncover the meaning(s) of a behavior that is getting in the way of learning, and effective ways to address it.