Reducing Food Stealing Behaviors in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities Within a CILA Setting: Using Functional Communication Training (FCT) as a Replacement Behavior

In this study, I investigated reducing food stealing behaviors in adults with intellectual disabilities. The purpose of this study was to teach participants that have none to low communication skills and engage in food stealing and teach them a form of communication that would help reduce food stealing behaviors. This study included three participants from ages 37 to 53 diagnosed with either a severe or profound intellectual disability. The study's objective was to determine whether using functional communication training with the addition of extinction would reduce food-stealing behaviors in adults with intellectual disabilities. The method involved a multiple baseline design across subjects to show control. In the baseline phase, a piece of food would be placed on my plate and the participant’s plate, when eaten the food would be replaced. I measured the frequency of how many times food was taken from my plate throughout the trial. During the intervention phase, a piece of food was placed on my plate, while their plate was empty. The participant would have to request using the functional response, if the correct response was used then they would be given food. I measured the frequency of how many times they used the functional response and how many times they took food from my plate. Food stealing attempts were ignored. The results of this study showed that two of the participants had significant results, while one of the participants did not. This implies the functional response used was not effective for all three participants, the participants that had significant results had other skills that were learned which may have also contributed to the results.
Food-stealing, Adults, Intellectual disabilities, Functional communication training