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Special Education Law

Helping You Obtain A Proactive Behavior Intervention Plan For Your Child

When a child exhibits behaviors that impede their ability to learn and has been found eligible for special education services, their Individualized Education Program (IEP) team will meet to discuss various behavior interventions. Parents are typically included in this process, but it can often be difficult to hear some of the things that may be discussed by the teachers and staff.

We at the office of Augustin Egelsee, LLP, understand how you are feeling. We have worked with numerous parents and children, helping them to understand IEPs and behavior intervention aspects of these educational plans. It is important to know that a behavior intervention plan is designed to reward your child’s good behavior, not punish them for misbehavior. The goal is to support your child and build them up to a place where their behavior is respectful, controlled and within the bounds of the expectations placed on them.

Behavior Goals For A Student

As a first step toward behavior intervention, the IEP team may begin by implementing a behavior goal in the student’s IEP. Behavior goals will most often be written positively and should include how success is to be measured, an expected time for when the goal should be completed and how teachers and staff will help the child to achieve them.

If behaviors present themselves to be more serious, a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) may be done and a Behavior Support Plan (BSP) may be created.

What Is A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)?

A functional behavior assessment (FBA) identifies why certain behaviors are occurring or rather the “function” of a behavior. For example, a child may want attention, so they may throw books every time they want attention. The FBA will identify that when the child is throwing their book, it is to seek attention. It will also identify what the antecedents are and any subsequent behaviors that occur. Then, this information is used to establish positive ways of serving the child’s needs so that they don’t resort to negative behaviors to achieve the desired result. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA), these behaviors do not have to be a manifestation of the student’s disability in order for an FBA to be done.

About A Behavior Support Plan (BSP)

As a result of a soundly completed FBA, a behavioral support plan (BSP) or behavior intervention plan (BIP) will list the identified behaviors impeding the child’s learning or the learning of their peers. It will list the predictors of the behaviors, why the IEP team thinks these behaviors occur and what strategies need to be introduced to stop them from materializing. The plan also establishes behavior goals for the child to meet consisting of positive behaviors designed to replace the negative ones. A BSP/BIP should be included with the child’s IEP.

When Emergency Interventions Are Needed

Emergency interventions may be used only for immediate, unforeseen dangerous behaviors and may not be used in lieu of a BIP. Once an emergency intervention is used, the parent must be notified within one school day and a “Behavioral Emergency Report” must be completed. If the child does not have a BIP, the IEP team should convene an IEP meeting to review the report and determine if an FBA should be done and/or if an interim BIP/BSP is needed. If the child does have a BIP or BSP, the IEP team will convene to determine if the behavior exhibited in the BER needs to be included within the BIP/BSP.

The attorneys at our firm are very experienced with behavioral issues in the school setting and the safeguards mandated by the IDEA. We see innumerable cases involving behavioral problems, where districts fail to appropriately or timely complete FBAs and develop appropriate BIPs, BSPs, and behavioral goals, and instead subject the students to discipline for undesired behaviors at school. Our firm is dedicated to helping children. We can discuss your circumstances, explain your rights and help get your child’s education moving in the right direction.

Contact the Orange County special education attorneys at Augustin Egelsee, LLP, through our intake form or by calling 714-602-1498 or 866-781-7723. We are available to discuss your circumstances, explain your rights and set you and your family in the right direction.

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Our law office is located in Anaheim Hills, near the 91 and 55 freeways.