Date of Award

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Jeffrey Tiger

Committee Members

Tiffany Kodak, Karen Toussaint


cultural competency, functional communication training, problem behavior


Functional communication training (FCT) is a well-established treatment for problem behavior that involves arranging extinction for undesirable responses and providing reinforcement for an appropriate communicative response. However, language barriers between the therapist and the client’s caregivers may inhibit the efficacy of this intervention and solutions to these language barriers have not been discussed in the research literature. The current study replicated functional analysis and FCT procedures with a child with autism and Down syndrome presenting with severe aggressive behavior whose parents were native Spanish speakers with limited English proficiency. We detail our process and procedural modifications made to address these challenges and discuss our results in the context of developing cultural competency for behavior analysts.