Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

  • AUT: Autism

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSS: Community, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PCH: Philosophical, Conceptual, and Historical Issues

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

13th Annual Autism Conference; San Francisco, CA; 2019

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #8

Variables That Influence the Effectiveness of Functional Communication Training

Saturday, January 19, 2019
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Grand Ballroom A-C
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Terry Falcomata, Ph.D.
Chair: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
TERRY FALCOMATA (The University of Texas at Austin)
Terry S. Falcomata is an Associate Professor of Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his master’s degree in Behavior Analysis and Therapy from Southern Illinois University and his Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Iowa. Dr. Falcomata conducts translational and applied research that focuses primarily on the assessment and treatment of problem behavior. This research includes particular emphases on functional communication training as well as the translation and application of basic learning principles pertaining to persistence and relapse. In addition to pursuing these lines of research in his human operant lab, he conducts his research in home, school, and clinical environments with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Behavioral Education, Associate Editor of the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, former Associate Editor of Behavior Analysis in Practice, and he serves on several editorial boards including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Modification, Behavioral Development Bulletin, Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities Quarterly.

Functional communication training (FCT) is among the most commonly cited reinforcerbased treatments for problem behavior in the applied behavior analysis literature. Following the publication of the seminal article by Carr and Durand (1985) numerous second-generation studies have evaluated FCT and the components that impact its effectiveness in the treatment of severe problem behavior. Elements that have been studied in terms of their effects on FCT outcomes include antecedent-based variables, aspects relating to target alternative communicative responses consequence-based variables, and factors that impact generalization of treatment effects. Recent studies have also begun to evaluate treatment relapse (e.g., resurgence) pertaining to FCT both in terms of conditions under which it occurs and ways to modify FCT to prevent or mitigate relapse. The current presenter will review the conceptual basis for FCT as well as research pertaining to variables shown to influence FCT outcomes including treatment relapse. He will also present relevant applied and translational findings (including studies in progress and published works) from his applied-based and human operant laboratories.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the conceptual foundation of FCT; (2) discuss variables that can impact the effectiveness of FCT; (3) identify variables that can produce treatment relapse pertaining to FCT; and (4) describe possible strategies for preventing or mitigating treatment relapse



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