Functional Behavioral Assessments

General information

Functional Behavioral Assessments

Functional behavior assessments are critical in the development of effective programs. By determining the factors that contribute to disruptive and interfering behaviors we can develop plans that will effectively teach child alternative behaviors. Behavior assessments also serve as means to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention identify needed refinements in the program and determining readiness for reduction in services or need for increased services.

An Autism Partnership clinician who specializes in evaluating the needs of children with autism spectrum disorder will interview parents and teachers as well as make observations in a variety of critical settings (home, school, social settings) to develop a comprehensive behavioral treatment plan.

A completed behavioral assessment will include:

Baseline Information

  • Descriptions of disruptive/interfering behaviors: behavior rates, antecedents that appear to trigger behaviors and consequences of those behaviors
  • Functional Analysis of behaviors: the factors that are contributing to disruptive behaviors
  • Identification of the child’s abilities and skill deficits

Program Plan

  • Detailed plan to address identified target behaviors
  • Individualized curriculum to assist the child in mastery of critical skills


  • Behavior intervention services
  • Training plan for teachers and parents
  • Upon request, recommendations for related educational placement and services may also be provided

Andrea Waks, J.D., M.A.

Andrea Waks is the Site Director and Director of Client Services at Autism Partnership. She began working with children with autism in the late 1970s at UCLA on the Young Autism Project, where she served as a Senior Therapist, Research Assistant, and Teaching Assistant. Andi has worked with Drs. Leaf and McEachin on the Young Autism Project, the Behavior Therapy and Learning Center, Straight Talk, and Autism Partnership. She earned her Masters Degree in General Psychology at Pepperdine University in 1983 and returned to school in 1993 to pursue a law degree. She practiced special education law, representing families of children with autism, before returning to Autism Partnership full-time. Her current duties include conducting behavioral assessments, IEP preparation, policy review, and classroom consultation. She consults with families and school districts both locally and nationally.

For more information contact: Andi Waks at or (800) 816-9293 and press “0″.