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MODULE: Functional Communication Training (FCT)


FCT teaches children and youth with ASD how to replace interfering behaviors, such as hitting or running away, with a communicative response, such as using words to request a break or pointing to a picture to request a snack.  In addition, FCT can be used to replace subtle communication, such as a child leading his mother to the refrigerator and placing her hand on the door, with a more conventional communicative form, such as signing for “milk.”

Functional Communication Training is an intervention that is implemented after first completing a Functional Behavior Assessment, or FBA.  An FBA allows a team to identify the function of learner’s behavior. FCT takes this information and teaches the learner a communicative act that serves the same function. The communicative act can be expressed with words (either verbally or using a speech generating device), signs, pictures, or other symbols. Teaching this communicative act, or replacement behavior, requires mindful use of prompting and reinforcement.  In addition, a teacher/practitioner should be aware of how to choose an appropriate replacement behavior, select data collection procedures, and promote generalization of the replacement behavior.  This module will cover all of these topics.

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