Six year-old Alex uses both immediate and delayed When aske…

Six year-old Alex uses both immediate and delayed When asked, “What do you want?” he replies, “What do you want?” He often sings jingles from TV commercials. Alex bites his wrist to the point of bleeding when he is prevented from getting what he wants. He doesn’t appear to feel any pain. What type of communication intervention will be appropriate for Alex? Explain Refer to chapter 6 At least one full page (APA)


Communication is a fundamental aspect of human interaction, allowing individuals to convey their thoughts, emotions, and desires. However, some individuals face challenges in their ability to communicate effectively, such as children with developmental disorders. In the case of six-year-old Alex, who displays behaviors like echolalia, self-injurious behaviors, and apparent insensitivity to pain, an appropriate communication intervention is crucial. This essay will explore the potential intervention strategies for Alex, drawing from Chapter 6 of the relevant literature.

Communication Intervention Strategies:

1. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC):

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to the use of communication methods other than speech, enabling individuals like Alex to communicate effectively (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2013). Given Alex’s limited speech abilities and echolalic responses, AAC interventions can provide him with alternative means to express himself. These interventions utilize aided systems, such as picture exchange communication systems (PECS), sign language, or digital devices, to enhance communication.

PECS, for example, involves utilizing visual symbols to represent objects, actions, or concepts, allowing individuals to construct sentences and express their desires (Bondy & Frost, 2001). Implementing PECS would enable Alex to move beyond simple echolalic responses and engage in functional communication. By utilizing visual cues, he can learn to associate symbols with desired objects or actions, facilitating effective communication.

2. Functional Communication Training (FCT):

Functional Communication Training (FCT) focuses on teaching alternative, more socially acceptable behaviors to replace problem behaviors like biting or self-injury (Carr & Durand, 1985). In the case of Alex, who bites his wrist when unable to obtain what he wants, FCT can help him acquire appropriate communication skills to express his desires more effectively.

FCT involves identifying the function or purpose of the problem behavior and teaching the individual an alternative behavior that serves the same function (Carr & Durand, 1985). For example, in Alex’s case, biting his wrist may serve as a form of communication to obtain objects or attention. By implementing FCT, his caregivers or therapists can teach him alternative communication methods, such as using gestures, words, or pictures, to express his wants and needs.

3. Sensory Integration Therapy:

Given Alex’s apparent insensitivity to pain, incorporating sensory integration therapy may also be beneficial. Sensory integration therapy aims to address difficulties in processing and responding to sensory information, which can impact communication and behavior.

Individuals with sensory processing difficulties may benefit from activities that provide sensory input, such as swinging, brushing, or deep pressure (Ayres, 1989). These activities can help regulate sensory responses, improve attention, and promote engagement in communication tasks. By addressing Alex’s sensory needs through therapy sessions, his overall communicative abilities may improve.

4. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA):

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a structured approach to intervention that focuses on increasing desirable behaviors while decreasing problematic ones (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2020). ABA techniques, such as discrete trial training (DTT) or naturalistic teaching strategies, can be utilized to improve Alex’s communication skills.

DTT involves breaking down skills into smaller components and providing repeated opportunities for practice and reinforcement (Cooper et al., 2020). In Alex’s case, DTT could be used to teach him basic communication skills, such as requesting objects or actions. By breaking down these skills into manageable steps and using reinforcement, Alex’s communication abilities could be enhanced.


In conclusion, addressing Alex’s communication challenges requires a comprehensive intervention plan. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Functional Communication Training (FCT), Sensory Integration Therapy, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) are all potential strategies that can contribute significantly to his communication development. By implementing these interventions, professionals can help support Alex’s communicative abilities, enabling him to express his needs and desires more effectively. In turn, this will enhance his overall quality of life and promote positive social interactions.