communicative function of behavior essay

Read the following scenarios to inform the following assignment.

Scenario 1: Michael

Michael is an active 4-year-old boy who is constantly on the move. He will grab food from his parents, siblings, and even strangers when he is out at restaurants. When his parents try to stop him, he throws a tantrum. He flops to the ground, kicks, screams, and bites his hand. He is provided meals and frequent snacks throughout the day so hunger and thirst do not seem to be the purpose of this behavior. He also puts anything he comes across into his mouth. His parents are afraid to take him anywhere. Michael has just started early intervention services at a preschool located in their local elementary school. His teacher reports that Michael will run across the classroom to grab items from peers. He attempts to steal others’ food during snack time. When access to a peer’s food or toy is blocked, Michael will flop to the ground, kick, scream, and bite his hand. Data from the evaluation done by the speech language pathologist and school psychologist included the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-4), which indicated a raw score of 67 (standard score of 58). Additionally, the Preschool Language Scale-5 (PLS-5) indicated a raw score of 30 (standard score 64). On the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), Michael earned a T-score of 76.

Scenario 2: Cathy

Cathy is a 17-year-old student with autism. She is nonverbal and uses pictures to communicate. Cathy has transitioned into a functional life skills program at the local high school. Staff report that Cathy has not transitioned well to the new program. She has difficultly transitioning off the bus and navigating her way to the classroom, often getting lost, and is fearful of asking for help. Once in the classroom, she becomes easily upset by any changes in routine. She will slap the desk or table and refuse to move from her seat. This can be a problem when staff want to transition to a community activity or campus activity, including lunch, or leaving to take the bus home. She requires prompts and mild physical assistance to use her communication device unless a staff member navigates to the correct page and asks her a direct question. The staff would like to see Cathy independently use her device to make requests or comments. They also want her to be able to handle any changes in routines by using a daily schedule and picture cues to transition. On the Test of Problem Solving (TOPS-2), Cathy scored in the 1st percentile. Her last WAIS-IV full scale score was 56. On the TOLD-I-4, Cathy scored a composite standard score of 45. On the Autism Social Skills Profile (ASSP), Cathy scored very low. Areas that were lowest included asking questions and interacting with peers.

Analyze the scenarios and identify behavior issues that may be a result of communications issues. Address the following in an essay of 1,000-1,250-words:

  1. Describe the problematic behaviors of the student, including why the behaviors may be problematic in specific social settings (e.g., home or school).
  2. Describe interventions and communications devices/tools that could help alleviate and modify some of these behaviors, rationalizing your choices.
  3. Explain how an ASD Specialist could provide consultation to the student’s teachers, related service providers, and parents on the recommended interventions.

Support your essay with a minimum of three scholarly resources.

Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.


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