Faculty Publications


Functional communication training using assistive devices: Recruiting natural communities of reinforcement.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

V. Mark Durand

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 1999

Date Available

April 2013




We evaluated the effectiveness of functional communication training (FCT) as an intervention for the problem behavior exhibited by 5 students with severe disabilities both in school and in the community. Following an assessment of the function of their problem behavior, the students were taught to use assistive communication devices in school to request the objects and activities that presumably were maintaining their behavior. Multiple baseline data collected across the students indicated that not only did the students use their devices successfully, but the intervention also reduced their problem behavior. In addition, data from community settings showed generalization to untrained community members. These results replicate other successful efforts to use FCT with individuals having limited communication skills, and demonstrate the value of teaching skills to recruit natural communities of reinforcement in order to generalize intervention effects to meaningful nontraining environments.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in . Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 32, 247-267. doi: 10.1901/jaba.1999.32-247 Portions reprinted in: Wicks-Nelson, R., & Israel (2002). Behavior disorders of childhood (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson Education. Portions reprinted in: Miltenberger, R.G. (2007). Behavior Modification (4th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks Cole Publishing Co. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.