Children and adolescents with moderate and severe disabilities often have communication challenges that lead them to use problem behavior to convey their desires. This is the most comprehensive contemporary volume on functional communication training (FCT)—the individualized instructional approach that teaches a child socially acceptable communicative alternatives to aggression, tantrums, self-injury, and other unconventional behaviors. The expert authors provide accessible, empirically based guidelines for implementing FCT, and tips for overcoming obstacles. Grounded in the principles of applied behavior analysis, the book includes detailed strategies for developing a support plan, together with illustrative case examples.
“From two highly regarded researcher-clinicians, this is a valuable guide to one of the most widely researched treatments for behavior problems in children with moderate and severe disabilities. The authors provide step-by-step information about how to properly assess challenging behaviors, as well as how to tailor FCT for a range of individuals. The authors’ experience using this technique shines throughout the chapters, which are chock-full of useful case examples. Tips for dealing with frequently encountered obstacles are highlighted. This book will serve as an excellent supplemental text for classes on applied behavior analysis.”
—V. Mark Durand, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of South Florida St. Petersburg
“Everything you need to know about planning and delivering FCT for socially reinforced challenging behavior is in this user-friendly book. The volume is remarkably comprehensive, yet focused. The expert authors link FCT procedures to developmental and learning processes and use rich descriptions and case examples to paint a vivid picture of the intervention process. I highly recommend this book as a course text for upper-level undergraduate or graduate students in special education, augmentative communication, and related fields, or as a training resource in residential, vocational, or educational facilities that serve children and adolescents with problem behavior.”
—Jennifer J. McComas, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
“Reichle and Wacker provide an accessible summary of the scientific case for including functional communication as part of behavior support plans. The book details how to assess communicative needs and apply this information to the selection of intervention strategies. Readers will appreciate the authors’ focus on the practical implementation steps that often make the difference between success and failure. Teachers, behavior specialists, and the family members they work with will find clear guidance for improving behavior support.”
—Robert H. Horner, PhD, Alumni–Knight Endowed Professor of Special Education, University of Oregon, Eugene
“Reichle and Wacker bring together their unique and exceptional expertise in language science and behavior analysis to construct an authoritative work on the theory and practice of FCT. This book is an important reference for clinicians and graduate students who serve or study children with severe problem behavior. A primary strength of the book is the clear, cogent way the authors explain the concepts and procedures relevant to effective treatment.”
—Wayne W. Fisher, PhD, BCBA-D, Director, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, and H. B. Munroe Professor of Behavioral Research, Munroe–Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center
About the Authors:
Joe Reichle, PhD, is Professor of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the University of Minnesota, Principal Investigator and Director of the University’s Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Training Program, and a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. His research focuses on augmentative communication, communication intervention for persons with significant developmental disabilities, and positive approaches to meet the needs of persons who engage in challenging problem behavior. Dr. Reichle has published over 130 articles, chapters, and books, and has served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research and Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. He has extensive experience delivering technical assistance to public schools and group homes.
David P. Wacker, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Psychology at the University of Iowa, where he directs biobehavioral outpatient services for children and adults with developmental disabilities who display severe problem behavior, such as self-injury. He has served as Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and the American Psychological Association. Since the 1990s, Dr. Wacker's research has focused on training parents to implement FCT in their homes or community settings, with a current interest in the use of telehealth.