Functional Assessment Screening Tool (FAST)

Overall Areas that are Assessed Using Functional Assessment Screening Tool

The behavior-analytic assessment tool in use for this paper is the functional assessment screening tool (FAST). One aspect of this indirect is the function, which is based on the function of the behavior, with the aspect that all human behaviors have a purpose rather than being random. Therefore, human beings are perceived to have inherent needs which impact their behavior. The behavior aspect of this tool defines the way individuals act especially concerning other human beings. The assessment uses data to identify the type of behavior and its frequency (Bell & Fahmie, 2018). Furthermore, the tool facilitates the definition of undesirable behavior in precise, descriptive terminology.

The functional analysis screening tool facilitates identifying the determinants that facilitate the occurrence of undesirable behavior. Therefore, it is a complex behavioral analysis valuable tool at the beginning of the behavioral screening. The tool is thus administered to the people who interact with the patient frequently. Therefore, it is critical to use observation to clarify the ambiguous behavioral function and the inclusion of the determinants (Bell & Fahmie, 2018). In using this tool, the informant is required to read the items thoroughly and circle the individual’s behavior “Yes” or “No.”

Functional Assessment Screening Tool


This depends on whether the behavior in question is repetitive stereotyped or self-injurious, which is provided in the first part of the tool. On the other hand, Part II has socially disruptive or aggression, for example, in the form of tantrums. The informant must provide information on their relationship with the individual whose behavior is being analyzed, for instance, whether a teacher, parent, or residential staff.

They are also required to provide information on how long they know the individual, provided in years and months (Edwards et al., 2019). This is very critical in the contextualization of the behavior, especially with the information on the frequency of the interaction (Bell & Fahmie, 2018). They are also asked to provide information on the situations where they normally observe the person, such as self-care routines, leisure, academic, vocational, or meal-related activities.

Impact of Social Influences

In part one of the tools, the individual is asked to provide details on the impact of the social influences on the undesirable behavior. They are asked about whether the behavior occurs in the presence of other people. Furthermore, the informant is asked to provide details on whether the undesirable behavior is caused by instructions, reprimands, being ignored, and confiscating an item, they usually prefer (Edwards et al., 2019). Furthermore, they are asked whether the individual shows emotional responses.

In terms of social reinforcement, in Part two of the tool, the informant assesses whether the subject’s undesirable behavior is shown when they get attention from other people. They are also asked to provide information on the response to the undesirable behavior, such as a reprimand or verbal correction (Edwards et al., 2019). They are also asked whether the individual uses the undesirable behavior in order attention and whether they tend to initiate social interactions with other people.

Functional Assessment Screening Tool (FAST)

Nonsocial Reinforcement

Part three of the tool addresses the nonsocial reinforcement and whether the undesirable behavior occurs when alone. The influence of the immediate environment on the individual is also analyzed, along with their responsiveness to social stimulation. Finally, the scoring summary is the social reinforcement variable between attentions, access to particular services, escape, sensory stimulation, and pain attenuation.

Analysis of the Strengths of Functional Assessment Screening Tool

One of the Functional Assessment Screening Tool strengths is that it facilitates the accurate assessment of data to draw insights into the individuals’ functional information. Furthermore, it analyses undesirable behavior in a cause-effect model, thus providing an instantaneous interpretation of the data collected from the informant. The application of experimentation facilitates the manipulation of conditions to determine the predominant cause of the problematic behavior, from the informant’s perspective.

The conditions established in this case are demand, alone, and attention conditions, something that is done with the play conditions being held constant (Bell & Fahmie, 2018). Furthermore, the information collected using the Functional Assessment Screening Tool tool can be effectively compared to other tools, which is very effective in identifying problematic behavior in young males. The tool can collect data from the teacher on their interaction with the individual in question, as the classroom tends to be a verified function of the undesirable behavior.

Analysis of the Weaknesses of Functional Assessment Screening Tool

One of the most notable limitations of Functional Assessment Screening Tool as a behavioral analysis tool is that it is an indirect tool, as the information on the individual in question is collected from the people they interact with regularly. Therefore, the data provided by this tool is heavily influenced by the informant’s temperament. The accuracy of the tool is limited by the minimal rate of occurrence of the problematic behavior.

Furthermore, while using the functional analysis problem, undesirable behavior is not easily identifiable (Edwards et al., 2019). Establishing conditions like control, demand, tangible, and attention facilitates analysis of the severity of the problematic behavior. These limitations have led to the raising ethical concerns on its use in identifying and treating problematic behavior in the clinical setting.

Functional Assessment Screening Tool (FAST)


  • Bell, M. C., & Fahmie, T. A. (2018). Functional analysis screening for multiple topographies of problem behavior. Journal of applied behavior analysis51(3), 528-537.
  • Edwards, D. F., Wolf, T. J., Marks, T., Alter, S., Larkin, V., Padesky, B. L., … & Giles, G. M. (2019). Reliability and validity of a functional cognition screening tool to identify the need for occupational therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy73(2), 7302205050p1-7302205050p10.

Calculate Price

Price (USD)

Calculate Price

Price (USD)