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Function Communication Training

Description of the Strategy

Children and adults with developmental disorders often engage in behaviors that are extremely disruptive and occasionally dangerous to themselves and others. Aggression, self-injurious behavior, and other disruptive behaviors pose a serious threat to efforts to help these individuals lead more independent lives. Traditional behavioral approaches to treatment typically include a wide range of punishing consequences, including time-out from positive reinforcement, contingent restraint, overcorrection, and, in extreme cases, contingent electric shock. Although many of these interventions demonstrate effectiveness in the initial reduction of challenging behaviors, sustained and clinically relevant improvements are elusive.

Over the past several decades, researchers have studied the functions or reasons why these behaviors occur among persons with developmental disabilities. Several functions seem important, including attention from ...

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