. . responses may be weakened and destructive behaviors may reemerge . . .
” when reinforcements of communication are delayed or denied due to impossibility or inconvenience of the caregiver or instructors ability to provide said reinforcement in a timely manner. “. . . procedures are needed to increase the effectiveness of FCT in situations in which it is impractical or impossible to deliver a given reinforcer.
” Research design and design rationale: This study was broken up into 4 phases (the fourth phase “. . . was completed with only 1 participant in only one condition because of time limitations on the participants’ hospital admission. ”) Phase 1: Functional Analyses and Descriptive Assessments.
Alternating treatment with no baseline design. “During this analysis, a test condition . . . and a control condition were compared using a multi-element design.
” Phase 2: Communication and Discrimination Training. Phase 3: Treatment Evaluation of FCT with Discriminative Stimuli. Between series, alternating treatment (ABAB) design was used to compare FCT + EXT vs. ACT + EXT in two conditions for one participant (Amy) and in one condition for one participant (Ned). Phase 4: Independent Effects of FCT and EXT.
Between series, alternating treatment and a final treatment design was used to compare FCT/ACT (w/o EXT) vs. EXT alone with the final series being strictly FCT/ACT (w/o EXT). The order of presentation for Amy’s discrimination training were “. .
. stimulus-present and stimulus-absent periods that were alternated every 30 s for the duration of the 10-min session. For Ned, “. . .
one SD at a time was presented for 1 min. The order of the first three SD presentations in a given session was randomized, without replacement; thereafter, the order remained constant. ” Phase 1 was “conducted to test the hypotheses generated by the results of. .
. descriptive assessments. . .
to determine whether . . . destructive behavior was multiply maintained by both attention and access to tangible items, but under specific stimulus conditions for Amy. .
. and whether destructive behavior was maintained by . . . attention for Ned,” therefore this specific phase of the test did not require a baseline. Once these results were established, and training had incurred, the rationale for design for Phases 3 and 4 were to show contrast between the various interventions.
Overall study limitations: This study covered it’s bases well and the only limitation I can rightly see is one that is prone to single-subject research, that is, the use of only two participants. It would have strengthened this study further too if the researchers had been able to complete the final Phase 4 on both of the participants. .