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Episode 091: What is Functional Communication Training in ABA?

Shira once had a student who had a ton of language. He talked in complete sentences and could communicate what he wanted to do, but he didn’t request for things. He also engaged in negative attention-seeking behavior because he didn’t know how to appropriately get attention. She taught him how to mand for attention by using text cues and he stopped engaging in aggression. This is a form of functional communication training (FCT). It’s a way to decrease problem behavior through teaching effective communication skills.

How Does Functional Communication Training Address Problem Behavior?

We say all the time that all behavior is communication. Kids don’t want to misbehave, they’re just trying to get attention and get their needs met. With FCT, we are looking to teach new skills and then give the child a replacement for negative or unwanted behavior. The replacement needs to be faster, easier, and better than the negative behavior so that they’ll want to do it more than the negative behavior. We discuss where to start when teaching mands, how to collect data, and how to avoid developing chains of responses by using transfer trials. So make sure you download our free transfer trial visual below!

What’s Inside:

  • What FCT is and how it helps correct unwanted behavior.
  • Where to start when teaching mands.
  • How to collect data.
  • The importance of transfer trials.

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The Purpose of Transfer Trials