Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Functional Communication Training

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_775-3


Functional communication training (FCT) is a systematic approach to intervention in which a more socially appropriate behavior is taught to replace a challenging behavior (Durand 1990; Durand and Merges 2008, 2009; Prelock et al. 2011). It is presumed that the challenging behavior is an attempt to communicate; therefore, vocalizations, manual signs and gestures, or graphic symbols are used to replace the less desirable behaviors. Notably, FCT is used in combination with other interventions (Durand 1999; Olive et al. 2008).

Historical Background

Challenging behavior is a frequent occurrence for individuals with ASD, particularly when they do not possess the speech and language skills required to communicate their wants and needs. These behaviors may include self-injury, tantrums, aggression, etc. Research suggests that individuals with disabilities, and particularly those with ASD, are more likely to exhibit problem behaviors that are frequent, severe, and sustained over...


Behavior Problem Alternative Response Challenging Behavior Autistic Disorder Pervasive Developmental Disorder 
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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Communication Sciences & Disorders, Dean’s OfficeCollege of Nursing & Health SciencesBurlingtonUSA