Step 2: Identify the functions of the behavior

The four functions of behavior are sensory stimulation, escape, access to attention, and access to tangibles.​

Assess the target behavior to develop a clear understanding of the relationship between events and circumstances that trigger and maintain problem behavior. Identifying the function of behavior helps us to prevent problem behavior, teach our kids better ways to have their needs met, and ensure consistency across all environments.

Determining the function is a critical component in prescribing effective interventions

During an assessment, Educators will answer questions relative to how a student would respond in particular situations to help determine how each of the four functions is represented in a student’s behavior.

Identifying the function helps address the underlying cause of the behavior and better align appropriate evidence-based intervention strategies. Insights to Behavior includes a 16-step Behavior Screener that helps you quickly determine the function of the behavior and complete a Behavior Intervention Plan in less than one-hour.

Completed in minutes with immediate results

Most often districts task teachers to begin the behavior plan for each student.

The Behavior Screener helps make this process much easier for teachers to create effective plans while enabling remote collaboration through a common interface and a single source-of-truth for each student’s behavior. With Insights to Behavior any educator can complete a Behavior Intervention Plan that is legally-defensible and includes research-based strategies, in under one hour.


Sensory stimulation

The activation of one or more of the senses including taste, smell, vision, hearing, and touch.

The child’s movements and actions feel pleasant to that individual. For example, a student taps their pencil on their desk for an extended amount of time. If tapping a pencil on the desk gives that child the sensory input they’re seeking, then pencil tapping will continue.


Any response designed to move away from or eliminate an already present aversive stimulus.

An environmental factor triggers an intense undesirable feeling to flee from a situation. For example, a teacher asks a student to begin a math assignment, and the learner refuses.


Access to attention

Humans are social creatures and we have a deep and innate need for acceptance and belonging.

A learner feels a need for social interaction. For example, the student throws a piece of paper at a class member. If throwing objects helps the child gain access to attention, then throwing paper and disrupting the teaching environment.

Access to tangibles

Anytime behavior is reinforced by an individual engaging in behavior to gain access to something physical.

A learner feels the need to access a specific item or activity. For example, Sally takes a calculator from John’s desk. John pulls Sally’s hair. If pulling hair gets John access to his calculator then, then hair pulling will continue.


Understanding the functions of behavior can help you change behavior

All behavior occurs because it offers the individual some advantage.

The behavior screener provides districts with meaningful operational and process improvements, offers clear and consistent reporting to all stakeholders, and ensures each of your behavior plans are legally-defensible and founded on research-based strategies. Insights to Behavior offers the tools to help educators address the majority of these challenges, including:
  • Create practical, compliant, defensible, and accurate Behavior Intervention plans quickly
  • Establish an environment of consistent data-collection to enable consolidated reporting
  • Offer professional development on implementing research-based strategies so that teachers are better equipped to constructively manage classroom behavior in keeping with modern best practices.

Insights to Behavior is used in over 2,000 schools around the country in districts like Pasco County, Florida, The School District of Philadelphia, and Fresno Unified in California.


A modern behavior management process you can trust

At Insights to Behavior, we understand the need for clinical rigor when it comes to documenting student behavior and the need for a process that is practical in today’s classrooms. Insights to Behavior will help you bridge the gaps in your behavior management process. Insights to Behavior is designed according to Applied Behavior Analysis best practices. Enjoy a friendly and modern user experience and time-saving tools for each step in the process. 

The only research-based way that any educator can create a legally-defensible behavior intervention plan in under 60-minutes

Are you involved in the team that decides which tools your organization uses for behavior management? Are you interested in scheduling an online demo for your team?


“We had a BCBA and we’ve done extensive work on behavior management so our teachers are really good when it comes to classroom behavior, but they aren’t writing plans every day. That’s one reason Insights to Behavior has been so beneficial, because it’s prompting the thought process to create behavior plans.”

“Insights to Behavior helps our teachers easily find replacement behaviors and then gives them options for researched-based strategies that they can choose from. That’s a really good feature because it saves teachers time. And I like being able to see who’s utilizing the program.”

Instructional Specialist for Special Education and 504 at Talladega County Schools

“The district purchased Insights to Behavior, to help reduce suspension and expulsion rates and address disproportionality challenges. Using Insights to Behavior has been a great opportunity because it’s allowed us to look at discipline as a whole, not just for that subgroup, and to examine what are we doing to better support all students with behavioral issues.”

Special Education Interventionist at Rutherford County Schools


Choose which option best fits your needs

To create a positive culture and productive classrooms, students must receive proper behavior coaching, which requires consistent data collection and reporting, effective research-based practices, and analyzing behavioral data. We offer these resources to help you.

Want to learn practical research-based classroom and behavior management strategies?

Join us the third Wednesday of each month for the modernizing behavior management webinar series. There is no cost for these one-hour online sessions. You’ll get a certificate of attendance.

Are you considering Insights to Behavior?

Request a call-back! We’ll reach out to schedule your behavior management team members for a personalized online demo—an Insights to Behavior team member will show you around the application and offer pricing that meets your needs.