PS 365 Purdue University Global Unit 7 Applied Behavior Analysis Discussion


  • Pick one of the two scenarios below and develop a plan for initial functional communication training with this client.
    • Describe functional communication training and its purpose.
    • Identify what the reinforcer will be for the communicative response.
    • Identify an appropriate communicative response for the client.
    • Describe how you will teach the communicative response (include the use of contrived or natural establishing operations, use of prompts and prompt fading, and reinforcement schedule).

Scenario #1: Josie is a 49-year-old woman with a diagnosis of severe intellectual disability. She has limited language skills, but is capable of an occasional, one-word vocal response. Her target behavior is self-injurious behavior in the form of slapping the sides of her face with both hands using a light amount of force. At most, there is a slight redness following the slapping behavior. You conducted a functional assessment and found that the function of self-injurious behavior was attention from staff in her group home. When she slaps her face, staff usually come over to her, console her, and say things like, “Josie, why are your hurting yourself? Please don’t hurt yourself.” The staff member then usually sits with her for a few minutes and talks with her.

Scenario #2: Andrew is a 12-year-old boy with a diagnosis of severe intellectual disability. He has limited language skills and does not use vocal responses to communicate. He is capable of using picture cards to communicate. He already has an extensive repertoire of using a picture exchange system to request preferred items. His target behavior is property destruction defined as using his arms to push all items off the table and onto the floor, ripping worksheets in half, and snapping pencils in half. You conducted a functional assessment and found the function of property destruction was escape from demands. When he engages in property destruction, his teacher removes the demand and moves on to another student. If Andrew rips up a worksheet, it is not replaced with another and he is not required to complete the task. Andrew is not required to pick up items pushed to the floor. His teacher’s response has been to remove any request and ignore Andrew when he engages in property destruction.

Peer Responses:

Review two of your classmates’ posts to assess the following:

  • Critique your peer’s FCT plan. Did your peer identify an appropriate communicative response and the correct reinforcer? Why or why not?
  • Describe how your peer could add an extinction procedure to increase the efficacy of the FCT procedure. Include a description of how extinction would be implemented in this case.

Reading and Resources

Read Chapter 19 pp. 452-467 in Applied Behavior Analysis: “Equivalence-based Instruction”

Read Chapter 26 in Applied Behavior Analysis: “Antecedent Interventions” pp. 621-623 on Functional Communication Training”

Read the following articles located in the university library:

Tiger, J. H., Hanley, G. P., & Bruzek, J. (2008). Functional communication training: A review

and practical guide. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 1(1), 16-23.

Lipschultz, J., & Wilder, D. A. (2017). Recent research on the high-probability instructional

sequence: A brief review. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 50(2), 424-428.



Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., Heward, W. L. (2020). Applied Behavior Analysis

Miltenberger, R. G. (2016). Behavior Modification: Principles and Procedures.

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