Abbreviations, part 2: FBA & BIP

More abbreviations, they never end! Today we are going to focus on two very important parts of the ABA field: Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). These are two parts of a child’s plan that come at the beginning of the therapy process. Let’s dive in!

The FBA is the initial assessment of the child. The FBA includes formal and informal assessments. Formal assessments are known as standardized tests. Some of the standardized tests we use are the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS, pronounced ‘ables’), and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. These assessments all test parts of a client’s language, behavior, and developmental milestones. They can determine where children are developmentally compared to typically developing children their age. Informal assessments are any other types of data-collecting measures that aren’t standardized. The biggest informal assessment we do in the FBA process is observation across different settings. We observe in clients’ homes, schools, and communities. We take data on problem behaviors as they occur to help us determine the function, or the why, of the behavior.

The BIP is the actual therapy plan that will be implemented by professionals. The BCBA writes up the BIP after the FBA is done. It details the results of the FBA and how they determine the therapy plan. The BIP also outlines specific therapy goals that the BCBA, RBT, and the rest of the therapy team will implement. Some examples of goals include matching objects, cooperating with ending preferred activities, and doing academic work for increasing amounts of time. These are very general goals, and there are more specialized goals depending on the client. Some children may have goals for doing puzzles, while others may have more goals for washing their hands independently.

We hope that this post helps you distinguish between the two abbreviations, as they can be confusing or accidentally used interchangeably. It’s important to know the difference between these two because they come at different parts in the therapy process. Thank you for reading, everyone!