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Registry of Systematic Reviews - Search Results

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1. Citation: Walker, Vi. L., Lyon, K. J., Loman, S. L., & Sennott, S. (2018). A systematic review of functional communication training (FCT) interventions involving augmentative and alternative communication is school settings. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 34(2),? 118-129.
Keywords: Augmentative and alternative communication, behavior modification, behavior problems, disabilities, intervention, literature reviews, outcomes, schools, students, training programs
Abstract: This meta-analysis summarized single-case intervention studies in which Functional Communication Training (FCT) involving aided and unaided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) was implemented in school settings. FCT was developed to address challenging behavior, whereby the function of the behavior is identified and a functionally equivalent communicative response is taught as an alternative to the behavior. Overall, findings suggest that FCT involving AAC was effective in reducing challenging behavior and promoting aided or unaided AAC use among participants with disability. FCT was more effective for the participants who engaged in less severe forms of challenging behavior prior to intervention. Additionally, FCT was more effective when informed by a descriptive functional behavior assessment and delivered within inclusive school settings. Implications for practice and directions for future research related to FCT for students who use AAC are addressed.
Plain Language Summary:

Plain Language Title

Changes in student behavior after functional communication training using augmentative and alternative option, another choice, other, different way, another option, different, another way communication: A systematic planned out, orderly, regular review

Review go over, check Question

This review go over, check is about interventions that use functional communication training (FCT) to address challenging behavior in school settings, specifically by using augmentative and alternative option, another choice, other, different way, another option, different, another way communication. The review go over, check describes the participants, settings, and types of interventions that have been studied and attempts to answer three questions: (1) What is the overall quality of these studies? (2) What are the effects of FCT on behavior? (3) Do these effects vary change, shift based on the characteristics of the participants, the setting, or the type of intervention?


FCT is an approach to addressing challenging behavior in individuals with complex communication needs. FCT identifies the reason an individual person, you, man, woman, one is behaving a certain way and then teaches them to communicate tell, say, call, write, talk to that message more appropriately. For instance, a child might learn how to ask to play with a toy, instead of hitting other children who are playing with the toy.

FCT sometimes involves ?augmentative and alternative option, another choice, other, different way, another option, different, another way communication? (AAC). Examples of AAC include sign language, books of symbols, and computer-based speech-generating devices. This review go over, check examines interventions that used AAC as part of FCT to address challenging behavior in school settings.

Search Date

The search was conducted in January 2016.

Study Characteristics

The literature search included FCT interventions that used some form of AAC to replace a challenging behavior. Studies were excluded if they did not use AAC. Studies had to take place in a school environment, including early childhood through high school. Studies also had to use a single-case experimental design, a common method for studying disabilities that occur happen, take place, result in low numbers. Seventeen studies met the inclusion criteria.

NIDILRR Affiliation


Key Results

Most studies took place between early childhood and the fifth grade. A majority of participants were boys. The most common types of disabilities were intellectual disability and autism. brain disorder, illness that makes it hard for someone to talk to other people Few studies described a participant?s level of expressive communication or their use of AAC before the start of the intervention. care Two thirds of studies focused on aided AAC (such as computer-based devices), while the rest looked at unaided AAC (such as sign language) or a combination mix, mixture of the two. The most common types of challenging behavior addressed in the studies were destructive, disruptive, or distracting behavior.

FCT interventions resulted in large decreases in challenging behavior and increases in AAC use. The results suggest that FCT is effective works well, good, strong among students with disabilities who have varying support needs and under a wide range of intervention care conditions.

A few factors were related to larger changes in behavior. Girls had bigger improvements in behavior than boys. Also, behavioral effects were greater for students who engaged in less severe strong, serious, harmful, dangerous, very bad forms of challenging behavior. Interventions that took place in inclusive school settings (alongside peers without a disability) saw larger reductions in challenging behavior compared to non-inclusive school settings.

Use of Statistics

The review go over, check calculates Tau-U scores to measure intervention care effects for each participant. Tau-U effect result, cause sizes can be interpreted as small, moderate, large, or very large. The authors note that experts disagree about the best effect result, cause metric to use in this kind of research.

Quality of Evidence

One limitation of the review go over, check is that it is limited to single-case studies, so studies with group designs were excluded. In addition, findings on the factors that may lead to larger effects (such as gender or more inclusive school environments) are based on a small number of studies, so these results should be interpreted with caution. The review go over, check included some cases without confirming their quality, so it is possible that lower quality evidence has influenced the results.

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Record Updated:2022-01-06

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