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What is a behavior plan?

A behavior plan, or behavior intervention plan, commonly referred to as a BIP, is used to
document positive behavior, interventions, supports, and strategies to address behaviors that impede a child’s ability to access their education. It also sometimes can be put in place when it impedes other students.

What exactly does “Impede” mean?

Impeding happens when the behavior gets in the way of the child being able to access their education, when it gets in the way of the child being able to even stay in the classroom setting because the behaviors may be so problematic.

How do you create a behavior plan?

You gather a lot of different information on the student from a variety of formal and even informal settings.

You profile the student’s strengths, the positive relationships they may have, their interests, their talents, and just to kind of see what motivates them and what encourages them to behave in a more positive manner to stay in the classroom, to engage with the teacher and the other students.

Once you have all of that data, you create a strategy around that information. There are four categories that then are tracked not only with data, but the strategies are then put in place in these four categories.

  • Category 1: Event Setting – Strategies that are put in place to try and reduce or even prevent the behaviors that are occurring.
  • Category 2: Antecedent – The immediate predictor, or in other words, what’s actually triggered the behavior.
  • Category 3: Behavior Teaching – Offering the student alternative behavior and coping skills.
  • Category 4: Reinforcement – Consequences that make the problem behaviors less effective as time goes on.

The BIP is typically put in place in addition to the IEP. Sometimes it can be tied to an FBA and sometimes it isn’t.

What is an FBA

FBA stands for functional behavior assessment or analysis. If a parent or teacher notices problematic behavior in school, they can request an FBA. The FBA can be done by a teacher, school psychologist, school social worker, or even another person on the team that is going to put constant eyes on the child to collect data. 

When doing an FBA, you are pinpointing behaviors that are problematic. You need to gather data from multiple settings at multiple times of the day to understand why the behavior is happening. You are essentially looking for patterns. If you do not assess from multiple settings and times, the behavior may be a single incident that arose from something as simple as being hungry. 

FBAs are very useful and a lot of data can be collected. We are analyzing the function of the behavior. There are 3 basic functions that come through in these FBAs: attention, escape or avoidance, and physical pleasure. When you discover the function of the behavior, you then come up with a plan to replace that behavior or add supports to change the behavior to a more desirable behavior.

If you have a behavior plan in place that feels like it is not necessarily working, behaviors are not decreasing or you feel the proper reinforcements are not in place for the child, an FBA is highly recommended.

FBA Checklist

What if it’s just not working?

If you feel that nothing seems to be working, you can call an IEP meeting with the whole team. This is highly recommended. You don’t want to wait until the next IEP to address any kind of behavior concerns. Waiting could escalate behaviors putting the child in jeopardy of being suspended. 

If you have an ABA at home, it makes the most sense to invite them to the FBA or behavioral based IEP. They have a lot of insight into the child that a lot of people at school might not have. Sometimes behaviors only happen in school or at home and the collaboration between the school and the ABA can be powerful. They can collaborate with the team to help develop solutions.


Behavior plans can play an integral in an IEP. Contact us today if you have any questions regarding FBAs or IEPs.