Using Positive Behavior Supports to Promote the Functional Behavior Assessment Process

Using PBS to Promote the Functional Behavior Assessment Process

Upcoming offerings:

Dates   Registration
October 7 - November 18, 2024


This course is estimated to require 30 contact hours to complete.

Course facilitator: Teresa Cogar
Office phone: 804-828-5628

Course Overview

This course will include the process of conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment, developing and implementing a Behavior Intervention Plan, and strategies for intervening when interfering behavior occurs. Students with ASD often present behaviors that interfere with learning in the educational setting. It is necessary to understand how and why interfering behaviors develop and to have knowledge of evidence based interventions designed to support positive behavior change. This course is designed to provide educators and family members with skills and knowledge needed to support students with ASD in the educational setting. Participants will learn information regarding the impact core deficits of ASD have on the person and how they may lead to interfering behavior. The information provided in this course will help the participant understand behavior and identify how behavior develops over time and the purpose it serves for the student. Participants will also gain knowledge of how to address interfering behavior using a positive approach. This positive approach focuses on ensuring student dignity and enhancing quality of life through the development of new skills and reduction of problem behaviors.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Discuss what it means to promote the dignity and respect for students with ASD.
  2. Describe the ethical and legal requirements of the educator regarding addressing interfering behavior.
  3. Describe the behavior chain.
  4. Understand the importance of antecedent based interventions and how they proactively address positive behavior.
  5. Describe a systematic approach to intervention.
  6. Describe behavioral supports that can be applied in a proactive manner in the environment.
  7. Describe how to determine the function of behavior.
  8. Describe types of data collection critical for measuring interfering behavior and determining the function of behavior.
  9. Identify the functions of interfering behavior.
  10. Describe the components of a Behavior Intervention Plan and the relationship it has to the Functional Behavior Assessment.
  11. Describe universal strategies designed to prevent interfering behaviors by providing an appropriate environment, instruction and social setting.
  12. Define and describe antecedent based interventions.
  13. Define and describe consequences including reinforcement of behavior.
  14. Describe how to determine and teach replacement/alternative behaviors.
  15. Describe how to respond when interfering behavior occurs.


Module One: Understanding Interfering Behavior
Module Two: Using the DASH Process (Define, Ask and Hypothesize)
Module Three: Using PBS as Part of an Effective Intervention Plan

Pace of the Course

This course is an online offering through the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence. Please note that this is NOT a self-pacing course. You will have assignments and due dates that must be adhered to. The course consists of 3 modules. You will work your way through 1 module at a time completing course activities which include:

  • Recorded presentations
  • Readings
  • Video examples
  • Learning activities designed to assist participants in applying content
  • Group discussion board facilitated by a professional in ASD
  • Quiz

Course Requirements

Participants are to complete all course activities which include narrated lectures, video examples, readings, and learning activities. Participants will then complete a quiz on course content. A score of 80% or better is needed on each quiz to move to the next section. In addition to completing quizzes, the participant is also required to post on the Group Discussion Board throughout each module. The Discussion Board is an interactive class activity where the course instructor provides a guiding comment or question and participants respond.

Certificate of Completion from Virginia Commonwealth University
Autism Center for Excellence

Upon completion of the course in its entirety, you will be eligible for a Certificate of Completion. This requires you to complete each module by viewing each presentation and reading any associated documents, articles, and web pages. Once you have completed the course content, please fill out the course evaluation. Once the evaluation is completed, you will be provided with a link for a printable Certificate of Completion. The course will document 30 hours of contact hours.

Accessing the Course

To participate, you need a computer with (preferably high-speed) internet access, Adobe Flash Player software within your browser, and a sound card with speakers in order to listen to the lectures (full text transcripts are provided for all lectures and multimedia).

Participants will be able to access course materials on VCU's "Blackboard" website. Each participant is provided the course URL, a unique username and a password on the first day of class. Please note that each participant should have his or her own email address that is not shared with other individuals.