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Functional Communication Training

Dedicated to Excellence

Through ABA therapy, the children in our care at Journey Autism & Behavioral Care Centers learn essential skills as they reinforce positive behaviors. Our centers provide a safe, supportive environment for clients to work towards their goals and reach their potential. One of the ways that we promote effective communication for our clients is through functional communication training (FCT). This assessment and intervention program can help reduce challenging behaviors by giving children with ASD new ways to communicate.

Through behavior assessments, our clinicians create customized treatment plans designed to help your child grow. When appropriate, we incorporate functional communication training as one of the tools that can promote positive behaviors.

Contact Journey Autism & Behavioral Care Centers at 844.222.4513 or reach out to our team online today to learn more.

What Is Functional Communication Training?

Functional communication training is an important communication assessment and intervention program. The goal of this program is to find effective replacement behaviors for those who exhibit potentially harmful or dangerous behaviors. FCT is closely linked to applied behavior analysis, which uses positive reinforcement to promote these behaviors. However, FCT is used to teach communication skills as a way to reduce unwanted behaviors.

One of the guiding principles of FCT is that all behaviors are forms of communication. For example, a child who wants a specific type of food, but can’t communicate what they want, might have a meltdown when they’re served something different.

Through FCT, those with autism spectrum disorder can learn how to use different forms of communication, both verbal and nonverbal. Some of the forms of communication that can be taught through FCT include:

  • Gestures
  • Sign language
  • Speech
  • Symbols

These forms of communication can be effective as both the client and their caregiver will understand what they’re trying to say. They are also more appropriate than behaviors such as meltdowns or self-injury.

Functional communication training works in tandem with other programs and services at Journey. That’s because functional communication training doesn’t exist to take the place of speech therapy and ABA therapy—instead, it’s part of a comprehensive approach to increasing speech as well as positive behaviors.

Functional Communication Training Activities

Functional communication training follows a number of steps to help clients develop positive behaviors. First, our team will perform an assessment to determine the root causes of problematic behaviors like self-injury or aggression. Then, we’ll identify a more appropriate way for them to communicate, like through gestures or speech. During functional communication training sessions, clinicians might model the behavior with a parent or other team member. Then, they’ll help the child learn the new communication skill. During subsequent sessions and at home, clinicians, as well as parents or caregivers, can reinforce the new communication skill. They can do this with positive reinforcement, by ignoring the unwanted behavior, and by reminding the client to use their new skill.

Contact Journey Autism & Behavioral Care Centers Today

At Journey Autism & Behavioral Care Centers, we’re committed to providing support to both our clients and their families or caregivers. From diagnosis to adulthood, we offer adaptable treatment plans that address challenging behavior before it escalates. And for the loved ones of those with ASD, we provide trainings as well as ongoing support.

In addition to functional communication training, we offer social skills training for both children and adults. Our goal is to help all of those with ASD communicate effectively and participate as fully as possible in daily activities they find valuable, whether that involves going to school or making connections with others.

Learn more about the autism treatment programs we offer by connecting with our Family Support Team today at 844.222.4513.