Article

Reducing behavior problems through functional communication training.

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (Impact Factor: 1.19). 02/1985; 18(2):111-26. DOI: 10.1901/jaba.1985.18-111
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is generally agreed that serious misbehavior in children should be replaced with socially appropriate behaviors, but few guidelines exist with respect to choosing replacement behaviors. We address this issue in two experiments. In Experiment 1, we developed an assessment method for identifying situations in which behavior problems, including aggression, tantrums, and self-injury, were most likely to occur. Results demonstrated that both low level of adult attention and high level of task difficulty were discriminative for misbehavior. In Experiment 2, the assessment data were used to select replacements for misbehavior. Specifically, children were taught to solicit attention or assistance or both verbally from adults. This treatment, which involved the differential reinforcement of functional communication, produced replicable suppression of behavior problems across four developmentally disabled children. The results were consistent with an hypothesis stating that some child behavior problems may be viewed as a nonverbal means of communication. According to this hypothesis, behavior problems and verbal communicative acts, though differing in form, may be equivalent in function. Therefore, strengthening the latter should weaken the former.

1 Bookmark
 · 
577 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the effects of implementing therapeutic horseback riding procedures with three young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Three boys between the ages of two and a half and four years of age were evaluated using an ABAB single case design. Baseline data were collected prior to and after an initial treatment phase. An equine was present during baseline phases at the opposite end of an arena. During the baseline phase, the therapist engaged the participant play activities, which would later be applied when they were riding on a horse. During the treatment phase, the horse was introduced and the horse was prompted to move contingent on child behavior. The intervention contingencies resulted in a reduction of aberrant behaviors displayed by these children over time and an increase in social behavior was observed. For one child the presentation of the equine was introduced using desensitization procedures. The desensitization procedure allowed us to decreased avoidant behaviors displayed by this child and similar therapeutic effects to the other participants was obtained.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Everyone, including children with developmental disabilities, encounters stimuli they find aversive every day (e.g., the sound of a classmate tapping their pencil). These aversive stimuli may not be problematic for typically developing individuals, because they learn to behave in ways that allow them to escape or avoid this aversive stimulation. They could, for example, mand (i.e., request) for something to be changed in the environment (e.g., ask their classmates to stop tapping their pencils). A child with developmental disabilities, however, may not have the communication skills necessary to request the termination of aversive stimuli, which may result in frequent exposure to aversive situations. For these children, it may be useful to acquire a general mand (e.g., saying, “No, thank you”) whichcould be used to avoid or terminate a variety of aversive stimuli. Previous researchers teaching mands for negative reinforcement have focused on replacing problem behavior maintained by escape from task demands. The current study extended the literature on teaching mands for negative reinforcement by teaching children with developmental disabilities to mand for escape from a variety of nonpreferred stimuli, while assessing generalization to untrained stimuli and settings. Participants were two school-aged boys with autism who engaged in problem behavior when they encountered nonpreferred stimuli, and did not use an appropriate mand for negative reinforcement. First, we employed a non-preferred stimulus assessment to identify stimuli for subsequent use in mand training. Next, we conducted mand training sequentially across nonpreferred stimuli until sufficient exemplars were trained for generalization to untrained stimuli tooccur. Finally, we conducted probes to assess generalization of the mand response to nontraining contexts outside of the experimental setting. For both participants, training was required across two stimuli before cross-stimulus generalization was observed. Because generalization did not bring the mand to criterion levelswith the third stimulus, for either participant, training was introduced to facilitate acquisition.The mand response was acquired with a fourth stimulus in the absence of training. Through the inclusion of appropriate control conditions, we showed that the stimulus control of the mand response was appropriate, occurring almost exclusively in the presence of nonpreferred stimuli. In addition, we showed decreases in problem behavior, for both participants, which correspondedto acquisition of the mand response. We also provided evidence of generalization to nontraining contexts. We discuss limitations of the current study and present suggestions for future research.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the effects of two daily activity schedules on 2 participants' rates of aberrant behavior and their compliance. Functional analysis identified the operant function of the participants' aberrant behaviors to be escape from tasks. Participants were taught to use stimuli contained in daily schedules, and were tested based on a modified stimulus-equivalence model that consisted of flash cards and activity schedules comprised of words or photographs that corresponded to the participants' daily activities. On pretests, the participants demonstrated simple and conditional discriminations with the photographs but not with the printed stimuli. A time-delay procedure was used to teach the participants to name the flash cards. Following training, the printed activity schedules corresponded to lower rates of problem behavior and higher rates of compliance than the photographic activity schedules. Performance on posttests indicated the establishment of functional classes of stimuli involving the flash cards and activity schedules even though this type of correspondence was not directly trained.
    Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 12/1994; 27(4). · 1.19 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
74 Downloads
Available from
May 19, 2014