A Functional Communication Training and Chained Schedule Procedure to Treat Challenging Behavior with Multiple Functions

  • Terry S. Falcomata
  • Pamela White
  • Colin S. Muething
  • Christina Fragale


We evaluated a procedure consisting of functional communication training (FCT) and a chained schedule of reinforcement to treat multiply maintained challenging behavior exhibited by an individual diagnosed with autism. First, we conducted a functional analysis that yielded results indicating that challenging behavior served multiple functions. Next, we implemented a chained schedule of reinforcement procedure in which during the initial link, mands for a stimulus were reinforced on a fixed ratio (FR) 1 schedule of reinforcement. The participant’s access to the stimulus signaled the second link of the chained schedule that consisted of a fixed time (FT) 30 s schedule in which all three functional reinforcers were provided. Last, we modified the chained schedule procedure to increase ease of implementation and promote compliance with academic tasks. The results showed that the treatment was successful in the treatment of challenging behavior with multiple functions. Future directions in the development of treatments that simultaneously address multiple functions are discussed.


Autism Chained schedule of reinforcement Challenging behavior Functional communication training Functional analysis Multiple functions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terry S. Falcomata
    • 1
  • Pamela White
    • 1
  • Colin S. Muething
    • 1
  • Christina Fragale
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas at Austin and the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational RiskAustinUSA

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