The process starts with an evaluation conducted by an MD or licensed psychologist. This is typically done through a referral made by your primary care physician. Once a diagnosis of (ASD) autism spectrum disorder is made, a BCBA or BCBA-D (Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctorate) will conduct the Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)
The FBA includes an indirect and direct assessment. This is further broken down into the following:
Indirect Assessment: includes review of records, questionnaires such as FAST (functional assessment screening tool), MAS (motivation assessment scale) and/or QABF (questions about behavioral function) and the functional behavioral interview with parents and other family members.
Direct Assessment: includes passive direct observations without systematic manipulations. A narrative recording, ABC recording (antecedent, behavior, consequence) and scatterplot may be used individually or in combination to determine the functional relationship between behavior and environment. In other words, Why is this behavior occurring?
A large component of the assessment includes testing your child using the VB-MAPP/AFLS/ABLLS/ADOS and/or another assessment tool appropriate for your child. This is a criterion referenced assessment tool used to assess your child’s skills across all verbal operants. Specifically, this includes the following: mand, tact, echoic, intraverbal, listener, motor imitation, independent play, social and social play, visual perceptual and matching-to-sample, linguistic structure, group and classroom skills, and early academics. Barriers to learning are also assessed which can greatly impede learning and need to be addressed first before skill acquisition programs can be implemented. Once all assessments have been conducted, the BCBA or BCBA-D will in turn use this information to plan, design, and implement curriculum.