Functional communication training using assistive devices: effects on challenging behavior and affect

  • Durand M
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Functional communication training involves teaching students who display severe challeng-
ing behavior to appropriately request the stimuli previously obtained by their behavior prob-
lems. In the present study, we evaluated the effectiveness of functional communication training
as an intervention for the aggression, self-injury, and tantrums exhibited by three students.
Assistive devices were used to augment their communicative skills. Following an assessment
of the function of their challenging behavior, the students were taught to use their devices to
request the objects and activities maintaining their behavior (e.g., social attention, breaks from
work). Multiple baseline data collected across the three students indicated that not only did the
students use their devices successfully, but the intervention also reduced their challenging
behavior. In addition, data on how the students were affected showed that they displayed
increased positive facial expression following the communication intervention compared with
before training. These results are discussed in the context of recent efforts to develop effective
interventions for severely challenging behavior for persons with limited communication skills.

Author-supplied keywords

  • aac
  • aggression
  • aided approaches
  • and alternative communication
  • and se-
  • assistive communication devices
  • augmentative
  • behaviors such as aggression
  • challeng-
  • functional analysis
  • functional communication
  • ing behavior
  • self-injurious behavior
  • self-injury

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  • Mark Durand

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