Problem behaviors often compound the already difficult task of improving the lives of persons with severe disabilities. This important volume, representing the culmination of more than a decade of clinical research, presents the first complete description of the procedures used in Functional Communication Training--a positive approach for reducing severe behavior problems. The procedures described in this book have been validated by numerous empirical studies for use with children, adolescents, and adults who display behaviors as diverse as aggression, self-injury, tantrums, and bizarre, psychotic speech.Functional Communication Training involves teaching students how to communicate those basic wants and needs that they have previously sought to have fulfilled via their problem behavior. They are taught to replace their challenging behavior with learned communication skills. This book provides the practitioner with step-by-step instructions for implementing this effective approach. A variety of assessment strategies are reviewed and described to assist in determining appropriate interventions. The Motivation Assessment Scale--one device designed to assess the function of problem behavior--is outlined in detail and is accompanied with guidelines for its administration and interpretation. Communication training is then detailed and illustrated using speech, sign language, and augmentative systems as examples. Numerous case examples throughout illuminate both the assessment and intervention strategies.Providing clear direction for ameliorating complex behavior problems, this book will be valued by psychologists, behavior analysts, special educators, and speech and language therapists. It can be used as a text for advanced undergraduate courses on behavior management in psychology and special education, and also serves as supplementary reading for courses on behavior modification or mental retardation/developmental disabilities.