What We Do

Functional Developmental Assessment

Many people have heard of a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA), but we see important value in surpassing a "behavioral" assessment, with a focus on a "developmental" assessment. We rely heavily on assessments drawn from an array of disciplines, methodologies and philosophies to fit a person’s unique way of being. That’s why we emphasize an analysis of many factors that surround a person’s behavior or way of being in the world, beyond their "behavior." Yes, it is important to know the immediate conditions surrounding how a person is behaving, routinely captured in an FBA,  but it is equally important to understand how other forces — a person’s health, sensory drives and sensitivities, how they communicate, the nature of relationships that a person has, even how they change from one time of year to the next, and more — influence how a person may be acting at any given moment of time, or at a particular point in their development.

A "Functional Developmental Assessment" (FDA) is a means of evaluating a persons developmental status relying on formalized testing (e.g., Neuropsychological Assessments), developmental questionnaires, interviews of individuals close to the person being assessed, observations in different settings (e.g., home, community, school), and time spent getting to know the child as we form an ongoing relationship. Indeed, a central part of our assessment is the ongoing engagement – "hanging out" and playing together – in the child’s natural settings (e.g., at home) engaged in fun and functional activities with him or her. Topics and perspectives asked through this evaluation process relies on questions generated from divergent therapeutic points of view, including:

  • Developmental histories
  • Medical histories and circumstances
  • Formal cognitive and developmental testing
  • School records
  • Sensory profiles
  • Movement inventories
  • Communication inventories
  • Interest inventories (time distribution on favorite activities)
  • Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA) such as "antecedents" and "consequences" surrounding behavior
  • Ecological evaluations (descriptions of all relevant environments)
  • Relationship "inventory" (i.e., who do the child like? who does she or he work well with? Who do they dislike? Why?, etc.)
  • Responses to augmentative and alternative technologies (i.e., electronics; expressive arts; differing modalities of information, etc.)
  • Experimental analysis of behavioral styles and response to a range of interventions (i.e., how did they do with other therapies? How does the person perform when we present them with differing approaches and methods?)
  • Evaluation of attention span, focus and style to understand an individual person’s ways of paying attention across settings and situations
  • Responses to individual, small & larger group social and instructional situations
  • Changes that occur across settings
  • Changes that have occurred across the seasons of the year, and over a period of years