Step 1. Identifying the Interfering Behavior
Identify an interfering behavior or a subtle communicative form that may be an interfering behavior.
Step 2. Completing a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)
- A. Complete a high-quality FBA that includes:
- indirect assessment (e.g., interviews, record reviews, questionnaires) and
- direct assessment (e.g., Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence observation).
- Identify the function of the interfering behavior.
Step 3. Identifying a Replacement Behavior as a Substitute for Interfering Behavior
- Select a form of communication that is appropriate to the learner (e.g., signing, verbalizations, pictures).
- Choose a replacement behavior that:
- can be taught in a short amount of time and
- allows the learner to quickly learn the behavior and gain access to the reinforcement.
- Identify a replacement behavior that is acceptable and appropriate for the environment and the learner.
- Choose a replacement behavior that is recognized by multiple communicative partners.
- Incorporate attention-getting into the replacement behavior if necessary (e.g., when using sign language).
Step 4. Designing Implementation Data Collection Procedures
- Implement data collection procedures that are functional, meaningful, and available to team members responsible for data collection.
- Data are collected:
- before FCT is implemented (typically during the FBA process) and
- during the implementation of FCT (e.g., weekly).
- Data collection focuses on:
- prompts required by the learner to produce the replacement behavior,
- frequency of the replacement behavior,
- frequency of the interfering behavior, and
- consequences of the replacement/interfering behavior (i.e., what happens right after the replacement/interfering behavior).
- Use data to monitor FCT effectiveness and whether aspects of FCT need adjustment.
Step 5. Manipulating the Environment to Elicit the Interfering Behavior
- Teach the replacement behavior in the environments where the interfering behavior occurs.
- Manipulate materials or activities to provide opportunities for repeated practice of the replacement behavior.
Step 6. Planning Opportunities for Generalization
- Teach the replacement behavior(s) with multiple communication partners.
- Teach the replacement behavior(s) across multiple environments.
- Train communicative partners to respond to the learner’s use of the replacement behavior.
- Introduce varied vocabulary for requesting, if appropriate for the learner’s developmental level.
Step 7. Prompting Learners to Use Replacement Behavior(s)
Prompt the learner to use the replacement behavior, beginning with a prompt that ensures errorless learning.
Step 8. Not Reinforcing the Interfering Behavior
- Do not reinforce any instance of the interfering behavior, if possible.
- Intervene as minimally as possible if the interfering behavior is potentially dangerous.
- For subtle communicative acts, make the interfering behavior less efficient than the replacement behavior by:
- pausing after the learner uses the subtle communicative act,
- asking, “What do you want?”
- prompting the learner to use the replacement behavior, and
- providing reinforcement for using the replacement behavior.
Step 9. Providing Reinforcement
All communicative partners consistently provide immediate reinforcement in response to the replacement behavior.
Step 10. Shaping the Response
- Initially accept any approximation of the replacement behavior.
- Begin to require more conformance to the desired replacement behavior as training continues.
Step 11. Fading the Use of Prompts
Teachers/practitioners slowly fade the use of prompts, using data and time delay.
Step 12. Increasing the Time Between the Replacement Behavior and Reinforcement
- Teachers/practitioners talk with team members to determine a reasonable amount of time for learners to wait between production of the replacement behavior and delivery of reinforcement.
- Teachers/practitioners slowly increase the length of time between the production of the replacement behavior and the delivery of reinforcement.
Step 13. Monitoring Learner Progress
- Collect progress-monitoring data for individual learners to determine:
- Learners’ use of communicative acts in different settings
- The type and intensity of prompts needed by learners to use communicative acts correctly
- Use progress monitoring data to determine next steps.