, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 35-48
Date: 11 Nov 2012

Conducting Functional Communication Training via Telehealth to Reduce the Problem Behavior of Young Children with Autism

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Abstract

Functional communication training (FCT) was conducted by parents of 17 young children with autism spectrum disorders who displayed problem behavior. All procedures were conducted at regional clinics located an average of 15 miles from the families’ homes. Parents received coaching via telehealth from behavior consultants who were located an average of 222 miles from the regional clinics. Parents first conducted functional analyses with telehealth consultation (Wacker, Lee et al. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, in press) and then conducted FCT that was matched to the identified function of problem behavior. Parent assistants located at the regional clinics received brief training in the procedures and supported the families during the clinic visits. FCT, conducted within a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design, reduced problem behavior by an average of 93.5 %. Results suggested that FCT can be conducted by parents via telehealth when experienced applied behavior analysts provide consultation.

This investigation was supported by Grant R01-MH089607-01 from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health. The authors express their appreciation to the families who participated in this investigation, to the nurses and family support staff at the Child Health Specialty Clinics, and to Agnes DeRaad for her assistance with manuscript preparation.