Using Videoconferencing to Conduct Functional Analysis of Challenging Behavior and Develop Classroom Behavioral Support Plans for Students With Autism


This article describes functional analyses of challenging behavior for two students with autism, using widely available videoconferencing equipment (laptop computers equipped with web cameras). Observers used the videoconferencing facilities to collect data on challenging behavior and to instruct the therapist conducting the assessment. Results suggested that challenging behavior was associated with escape from academic demands and access to attention for both students. Educators implemented an intervention, derived from the results of the functional analyses, in the classroom for both students. Researchers compared this intervention to typical classroom instruction, using a multielement treatment design. Results indicated that the intervention derived from the functional analysis produced substantial reductions in challenging behavior, with concomitant increases in academic engagement over typical classroom instruction for both students. These findings provide preliminary support for the use of videoconferencing equipment when conducting functional analyses and developing behavioral support plans for students with autism.


Machalicek, W., O’Reilly, M., Chan, J., Lang, R., Rispoli, M., Davis, T., . . . Didden, R. (2009). Using videoconferencing to conduct functional analysis of challenging behavior and develop classroom behavioral support plans for students with autism. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 44(2), 207–217.