One of our community members asked a question about reinforcement, and we discuss it in today’s mentorship sneak peek. Even though the term “reinforcement” is used often and seems simple, it can be tough to figure out what a good reinforcer is. This member’s client is a little verbal but barely communicates, and his main behavior is task avoidance. The functions of the behavior are mostly escape and attention and so far, they haven’t been able to come up with a reinforcer that motivates him. With so many options available, it can be hard to know where to begin.
Many people confuse reinforcement with objects like toys and try to guess which one is going to be the most motivating. The best way to figure out what’s most reinforcing for your students and clients is to simply observe them. Watch them play, engage in play with them, and ask parents what the child is into. Sometimes, non-tangible reinforcers are overlooked, like physical movements and hugs. Non-tangible things that are intrinsically reinforcing often come naturally. It’s also important to assess prerequisite skills to find the most motivating type of reinforcement.
- How to determine which reinforcers are going to motivate a child.
- How to use non-tangible reinforcement.
- Why it’s important to assess prerequisite skills when choosing a reinforcer.
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