Functional Behaviour Assessment

Functional Behaviour Assessment

Client Information

Skye Holley is a four-year-old child attending a preschool class at Patrol Preschool. Her parents are Stuart Holley and Kallan Holley. Skye has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and developmental delay. She exhibits regular problematic behaviors in school such as disruption, noncompliance, and physical aggression towards her teachers. Before attending her current preschool, Skye was enrolled in a preschool program facilitated by the Department of Defense (DoD) because her parents were working in the military outside the country. From the DoD accounts, Skye exhibited behavioral concerns such as tantrums, higher aggression level and frustration, and distractibility. Currently, she is receiving occupational and speech therapy within her school to help in her behaviors. Even though Skye is non-vocal and has a limited understanding of language, she can follow specific general commands through gestural cues.

Target Behaviors


Noncompliance involves behaving in ways that do not follow or conform to regulations, rules, and advice from other people. In children with ASD, noncompliance behavior can be of great challenge to caregivers, teachers, and parents. Noncompliance behavior in children with ASD is when they fail to complete or start a task or refuse to follow specific instructions (O’Nions et al., 2018). It is caused by factors such as lack of motivation to comply. This is a target behavior exhibited by Skye in different contexts and circumstances. The first non-compliance behavior exhibited by Sye is when she refused to color the hammer after being directed by her aide. Her aide resolved this using hand over hand physical prompting. Skye also demonstrated noncompliance when she ran back to class while screaming after all students were instructed to transition into circle time. Her aide used an animal crackers container making Skye follow her to the cycle area. Another noncompliance behavior is when she refused to place four shamrocks in a container. Her parents also reported noncompliance behavior especially when she is in the middle of another activity, when given a specific task and when she is asked to stop any activity that she prefers. Noncompliance behavior can be reduced through positive reinforcement, clear instructions, and gestural prompts, and offering rewards.


Tantrums are behaviors such as stiffening up, crying, kicking things around, running away, falling, and screaming due to frustration and being angry. For children with ASD, tantrums can be triggered by different reasons. Since many children with autism have communication problems, they may act out when afraid, confused, stressed, or anxious about something (Kurzius-Spencer et al., 2018). Skye exhibited several tantrum behaviors in school. When children were directed to change into circle time, she began to a tantrum by running back to class and screaming. Her aide continued restating the direction while blocking Skye from running around the class. She also cried when other students were provided a goldfish cracker. To calm down an autistic child who is experiencing tantrums, individuals should be empathetic, make them feel loved, break out their sensory toolkit, eliminate punishments and teach them effective coping strategies.

Physical Aggression

Physical aggression is engaging in injurious behaviors that may be directed to oneself or others. Children with ASD in most cases express their emotions through physical aggression towards themselves or others. They may kick, hit, hurt themselves, or through objects. Physical aggression is also associated with clinical problems such as communication problems, sensory problems, social functioning problems, and GI problems (Chen et al., 2017). This is a target behavior demonstrated by Skye in multiple ways. After refusing to place four shamrocks in a container, Skye engaged in physical aggression such as biting attempts and scratching. While multiple times restating the direction to count the shamrocks, her aide blocked the physical aggression. Her parents reported aggression especially when she is denied to engage in her desired activities. Skye reported the highest physical aggression in trying to get adult attention and gaining access.


















Chen, C., Shen, Y. D., Xun, G. L., Cai, W. X., Shi, L. J., Xiao, L., … & Ou, J. J. (2017). Aggressive behaviors and treatable risk factors of preschool children with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research10(6), 1155-1162.

Kurzius-Spencer, M., Pettygrove, S., Christensen, D., Pedersen, A. L., Cunniff, C., Meaney, F. J., … & Rice, S. (2018). Behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorder with and without co-occurring intellectual disability. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders56(1), 61-71.

O’Nions, E., Happé, F., Evers, K., Boonen, H., & Noens, I. (2018). How do parents manage irritability, challenging behavior, non-compliance, and anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders? A meta-synthesis. Journal of autism and developmental disorders48(4), 1272-1286.

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