The use of function communication training in the classroom to decrease maladaptive behaviors and increase communicative responses in children with autism
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Maladaptive behaviors present in children with ASD can be linked to many environmental functions such as tangible, escape, attention, or sensory related situations. A growing theme across both the classroom and in research presents a connection between communication deficits and the increased likelihood of maladaptive behaviors. For this reason, addressing communication deficits has the potential to decrease maladaptive behaviors and increase functional communicative abilities. This research project is designed to assess the efficiency of combining discrete trial training and functional communication training to decrease maladaptive behaviors and increase communication in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The communication barrier exhibited in many children with ASD restricts their ability to progress through everyday situations. A multiple baseline across participants design was used to determine the effectiveness of the treatment package on increasing functional communication and decreasing maladaptive behaviors. The results of the study indicated that functional communication can be obtained and used a replacement behavior for the targeted maladaptive behaviors. All three participants acquired a communication modality and were able to use the modality in FCT. Of the three participants, two decreased the frequency of their maladaptive behavior. The third participant did not display any maladaptive behaviors during the course of the research.