Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

Practitioner Webinar Series


Treatment of Severe Destructive Behavior in Children With Autism Using Functional Communication Training


Wayne Fisher, Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center

The most important advancement in the treatment of destructive behavior is the development of functional analysis (FA), which behavior analysts use to prescribe effective treatments. One such treatment is functional communication training (FCT), which behavior analysts typically prescribe when an FA implicates social reinforcers (e.g., attention) for destructive behavior.  With FCT, the interventionist delivers the consequence that has historically reinforced destructive behavior, contingent on an appropriate communication response, and places problem behavior on extinction. Although this straightforward approach can be highly effective, many pitfalls and practical challenges arise when caregivers in natural community settings implement this treatment. In this presentation, I will present data and describe a line of research rooted in behavioral momentum theory that is aimed at increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, and practicality of FCT for individuals with ASD who display destructive behavior in typical community settings.


Learning Objectives


Participants will demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of FA and treatment of problem behavior by doing the following:


  • Listing the primary antecedent and consequent events that often reinforce aberrant behavior.
  • Answering questions about how to conduct analogue FA conditions to test the effects of antecedent and consequent stimuli.
  • Identifying potentially critical components of FCT based on the results of a formal FA.
  • Designing initial treatment analyses.
  • Developing procedures to transfer the treatment to home and school.
  • Adding components that will mitigate or prevent treatment relapse.

CE Package

a square graphic representing Webinar CE for Dr. Fisher.
This item is available to current ABAI members only.

Learning Center Video and Quiz

Modifed by Eddie Soh