Incorporating discriminative stimuli into functional communication training with augmentative and alternative communication devices: a tutorial

Daniel R. Mitteer, Kayla R. Randall, Leslie J. Van Winkle, Brian D. Greer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Functional communication training (FCT) is a commonly used and effective treatment for problem behavior maintained by social reinforcement (e.g., an individual engages in self-injurious behavior to gain access to adult attention). FCT involves teaching an individual to emit an appropriate communication response to access the reinforcer maintaining problem behavior (e.g., pressing a “Play, please” symbol on a device to gain the communication partner’s attention) and withholding that reinforcer following problem behavior (e.g., the communication partner minimizes attention-following problem behavior and waits for a communication response). Techniques such as incorporating discriminative stimuli (e.g., differently colored cards) can make FCT more practical for caregivers by teaching individuals when reinforcement is and is not available for communication responses while simultaneously mitigating treatment relapse. Despite the effectiveness of FCT with discriminative stimuli, no studies have leveraged the capabilities of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices by embedding discriminative stimuli within AAC software (e.g., by coloring communication symbols or grids). Our tutorial provides a comprehensive overview of how practitioners can incorporate FCT with discriminative stimuli into practice and includes video models of how to design these treatments on two common AAC apps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

Keywords

  • Behavior analysis
  • devices
  • functional communication training
  • multiple schedule
  • problem behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing

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