Functional Communication Training

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Functional Communication Training (FCT)

Functional communication training can be used to replace interfering behaviors with more appropriate and effective communicative behavior.

What Will I Learn?

The AFIRM model guides the learner through four lessons to facilitate:

  • Learning basic knowledge about functional communication training (FCT).
  • Applying FCT in activity based scenarios that promote real-world application.

The FCT module will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. However, the module is broken into individual lessons to help guide your learning:

Lesson Time to Complete
A Case for FCT 10 minutes
Lesson 1: Basics of FCT 20 minutes
Lesson 2: Planning for FCT 25 minutes
Lesson 3: Using FCT 45 minutes
Lesson 4: Monitoring FCT 25 minutes
Applying FCT 10 minutes
Suggested citation:
Griffin, W., & AFIRM Team. (2017). Functional communication training. Chapel Hill, NC: National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder, FPG Child Development Center, University of North Carolina. Retrieved from

Professional Standards

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards that apply to all 27 evidence-based practices (PDF document, 2 pages)

CEC standards that apply specifically to the functional communcation training (FCT) module (PDF document, 1 page)


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