Vol. 5, No. 1

Identifying and Verifying Functional Communication Behaviour in Two Hong Kong Chinese Children with Autism

Kathleen Taita


a Department of Education Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia


(Received 21 February 2017, Final revised version received 26 June 2017)


This study examined the idiosyncratic and subtle behaviours of two young children with Autism living in Hong Kong SAR by combining the theoretical areas of prelinquistic communication and functional behaviour. It examined how Chinese mothers interpret the behaviour of their children as communicative. The forms and functions of prelinguistic communicative behaviour of the participants were assessed using the Inventory of Potential Communicative Acts (IPCA). The children’s mothers completed the IPCA and the results were analyzed to provide a systematic inventory and objective description of the communicative forms and functions present in the children’s repertoire. The respondents reported a wide variety of communicative forms and functions. An innovative aspect of this study was the use of intra-subject replication as a method of verifying the accuracy of the respondents’ predictions. Problematic topographies were screaming and non-compliance. From an applied perspective there is a critical need to develop empirically validated and translated functional assessment procedures to enhance communication ability in children with Autism in Hong Kong SAR.


Key words: prelinguistic behaviour, communicative forms, communicative functions, communicative behaviours, Autism, Hong Kong SAR