Testing & Evaluation
Many children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) are routinely disciplined for symptoms that appear to be purposefully disruptive and/or oppositional. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the school is obligated to provide a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) whenever a student’s behavior interferes with the ability to learn. Information and data provided by an FBA is then used to develop a Positive/proactive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS), so that the behaviors are less likely to reoccur.
Similarly to other assessments, FBAs are assessments that can be requested regardless of whether the student has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or not. Just as speech, reading, sensory, math and other assessments are conducted to determine a student’s strength and struggles in a specific area, the same is true regarding FBAs.
FBAs should examine where, when, and in what context a specific behavior occurs and, equally as important, where and when the behavior does not occur. These specifics are critical for the team to understand the roots of the behavior and develop positive proactive educational supports to manage the symptoms.
The accuracy of the FBA is critical to the appropriateness of the PBIS. For optimal results in developing behavioral supports for a student with TS, it is beneficial to have someone who is knowledgeable about TS and its associated disorders and management strategies. Using information from the Tourette Association website, the Association Education Specialist, local chapters, and the student’s parents, can be helpful in providing accurate information regarding the complexities of TS and related disorders.
Every student and situation is unique and may need unique supports to facilitate success.