ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 35-48

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

  • David P. WackerAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa Children’s HospitalCenter for Disabilities and Development, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital Email author 
  • , John F. LeeAffiliated withCenter for Disabilities and Development, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
  • , Yaniz C. Padilla DalmauAffiliated withCenter for Disabilities and Development, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
  • , Todd G. KopelmanAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
  • , Scott D. LindgrenAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
  • , Jennifer KuhleAffiliated withCenter for Disabilities and Development, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
  • , Kelly E. PelzelAffiliated withCenter for Disabilities and Development, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
  • , Shannon DysonAffiliated withCenter for Disabilities and Development, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
  • , Kelly M. SchieltzAffiliated withCenter for Disabilities and Development, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
    • , Debra B. WaldronAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital

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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.

Keywords

Functional communication training Telehealth Autism spectrum disorders Problem behavior