Functional Assessment Screening Tool (FAST)

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.

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.

Read Also: Hydronephrosis Essay: Understanding a Renal Condition

Overall areas assessed using the FAST

The functional assessment screening tool (FAST) is a valuable instrument used to assess various aspects of behavior. In the context of this paper, it assesses behavior based on its function, recognizing that all human behaviors have a purpose rather than being random. Here are the missing details about the overall areas assessed using the FAST:

Functional Assessment Screening Tool (FAST)

  1. Function of Behavior: FAST evaluates the function of the behavior, aiming to understand why individuals exhibit specific behaviors. It helps in identifying the underlying purpose or motivation behind behaviors, which can range from seeking attention to escaping from a situation.
  2. Behavioral Description: The tool emphasizes precise and descriptive terminology to define undesirable behavior. This ensures that behaviors are clearly and objectively defined, helping professionals and caregivers understand the behavior’s nature.
  3. Determinants of Behavior: FAST assists in identifying the factors or determinants that contribute to the occurrence of undesirable behavior. This includes examining the environment, social influences, and specific triggers that may lead to the behavior in question.
  4. Frequency and Repetition: The assessment collects data on the frequency and repetition of the undesirable behavior. This information helps in quantifying the behavior’s occurrence, which is essential for understanding its severity and impact.
  5. Social Influences: FAST investigates how social influences contribute to the undesirable behavior. It assesses whether the behavior occurs in the presence of others and examines the impact of instructions, reprimands, being ignored, or items being confiscated on the behavior. Emotional responses in social situations are also considered.
  6. Social Reinforcement: The tool evaluates whether the individual engages in undesirable behavior to gain attention from others. It also looks at the individual’s responses to social interventions such as reprimands or verbal corrections. Initiating social interactions through problematic behavior is also explored.
  7. Nonsocial Reinforcement: FAST addresses whether the undesirable behavior occurs when the individual is alone and assesses how the immediate environment may influence their behavior. It looks at the individual’s responsiveness to sensory stimulation and whether the behavior is linked to pain attenuation.
  8. Scoring Summary: The assessment provides a scoring summary that helps categorize the behavior based on its reinforcement type, including attention, access to services, escape, sensory stimulation, and pain attenuation. This categorization aids in understanding the potential drivers of the behavior.

Overall, the FAST tool offers a comprehensive analysis of behavior, considering both social and nonsocial factors, in order to determine the underlying causes and functions of undesirable behavior.


  • Accurate Assessment: FAST facilitates accurate data assessment to gain insights into an individual’s functional behavior, enabling professionals to make informed decisions.
  • Cause-Effect Model: It analyzes undesirable behavior within a cause-effect model, allowing for the immediate interpretation of collected data.
  • Experimentation: The tool enables the manipulation of conditions (e.g., demand, alone, attention) to determine the predominant cause of problematic behavior, enhancing its effectiveness.
  • Comparative Analysis: Data collected using FAST can be effectively compared with data from other tools, aiding in identifying problematic behavior trends, especially in young individuals.


  • Indirect Tool: FAST relies on data provided by individuals who interact with the person regularly, making it an indirect assessment. This can lead to potential biases or inaccuracies based on the informants’ perspectives.
  • Influence of Informant: The accuracy of the assessment can be influenced by the temperament and biases of the informants, impacting the reliability of the collected data.
  • Limited Occurrence: The tool’s effectiveness may be limited when the problematic behavior occurs infrequently, as it relies on the behavior being observed and documented.
  • Difficulty in Identifying Behavior: Establishing specific conditions for behavior analysis, such as control, demand, tangible, and attention, may not always make it easy to identify the severity of problematic behavior.
  • Ethical Concerns: The limitations of FAST have raised ethical concerns regarding its use in clinical settings, particularly in identifying and treating problematic behavior.

These strengths and weaknesses should be considered when utilizing the FAST tool in behavioral assessments and treatment planning.
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.

Read Also: Research Critique: Unveiling the Art of Evaluation