Using Functional Communication Training to Reduce Self-Injurious Behavior for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Maryam Alakhzami, Special Education-Autism Spectrum Disorder At Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Morgan Chitiyo, School of Education, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have a high risk of developing self-injurious behavior (SIB), which is often a result of deficits in communication skills. The use of functional communication training (FCT) to address SIB maintained by negative reinforcement among children with ASD is supported by an emerging trend of behavioral research. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of FCT on the SIB of children with ASD and to find out if the results would be maintained during periods of nonreinforcement. The results indicated significant reduction in SIB for all three participants and maintained for over two weeks following the withdrawal of the intervention. However, resurgence of SIB occurred when extinction was implemented for all participants.