Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is widely cited as the most common function-based intervention for treating socially reinforced destructive behavior, capable of demonstrating significant reductions in the destructive response while also promoting adaptive communication skills. Recent research has revealed a number of refinements to FCT that can help guide best practice. These empirically supported modifications to FCT include (a) minimizing exposure to the establishing operation(s) that occasion destructive behavior, (b) programming discriminative stimuli to facilitate the rapid thinning of reinforcement schedules and to promote generalization of treatment effects, (c) introducing alternative sources of reinforcement when needed, and (d) utilizing strategies that mitigate the recurrence of destructive behavior (i.e., treatment relapse) when caregivers fail to implement the treatment as designed. This presentation will cover some of the research supporting these modifications to FCT, as well as provide behavior analysts with suggestions for their implementation.
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