The reduction of self-injurious behavior in the presence of functional communication training and preference of communication modality for children with autism spectrum disorders.
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The use of functional communication training to reduce challenging behaviors such as self-injury has been demonstrated to be effective for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in a variety of settings. However, the preference of communication modality when offered a choice has been evaluated solely by Danov and colleagues (2010) to identify if some modes are broadly more preferred and therefore may be more effective in reducing challenging behavior. The current study will address children diagnosed with ASD that lack verbal communication skills and exhibit self-injury maintained by access to tangibles. Each a participant will be taught two modes of communication, a picture card and an electronic device, in alternating teaching trials. Following the mastery of manding with both modes, the child will be evaluated on preference of communication mode when both are presented for the same tangible reinforcer. The presence of self-injury will be recorded throughout each session.