Applied Behavior Analysis – Aiding Tools (1)

Everyone hopes to get their job done as soon as possible so they can relax and enjoy their rewards, and it is the same for children with ASD. Hence, for children with ASD to understand better the time they need to spend on each task (and to get the rewards), we use visual aiding tools. Below are some effective aiding tools we often use for behavioral intervention:

1. Token Board
Token economy Board
  • Target: Children who just received therapy/needed frequent praise or reminders
  • Principle: A sticker would be given when the child displays the target behavior. After earning all the stickers, the child can exchange them for a reward.
  • Steps:
    1. Set a target behavior: The target behavior can be a behavior (e.g. look at teacher’s eyes) or a skill (e.g. learn a vocabulary accurately) or both (e.g. Look at teacher’s eyes before and after answering questions correctly).
    2. Select a reward: Let the child decide the reward after earning all the stickers. Place (either write or draw) the reward on the token board to motivate the child to learn.
    3. Explain to the child: Explain to the child that he can gain the reward as long as he collects all the stickers.
    4. Give out the tokens: When the child displays the target behavior correctly, praise him and give a sticker immediately (place the sticker on the token board). Likewise, if the child fails to display the target behavior, teacher tells him there will be no sticker and gives comment/suggestion for improvement.
    5. Give the reward: Give the reward to the child after he finishes collecting all the stickers.

2. Classroom Behavior Chart
classroom behavior chart
  • Target: children attending lessons in a small group, applicable to both mainstream or special schools
  • Principle: Give encouragement or punishment based on the performance of the child, after attaining the highest level of encouragement, the child would be rewarded or be given some special privileges (e.g. becoming a little teacher).
  • Steps:
    1. Set target behavior(s): Set target behavior(s) that the child needs to display (as long as the child knows how to differentiate between correct and incorrect behaviors, there can be more than one target behavior), for example, answer questions correctly, help friends, speak in long sentences, stop hand flapping and etc. Incorrect behavior is not only defined as in opposition to correct behavior, it can also include some wrong behaviors like fighting with classmates.
    2. Select a reward: Let the child to decide the reward or special privilege given after attaining the level of “Super Star”. The reward can be something related to social interactions, like students who attained the level of “Super Star” can play his favorite game together.
    3. Give different levels of encouragement or punishment: Each child has his name clipped to the chart. Students’ name stay in the column of “Ready to learn” at the beginning of the class. Each time the student displays a correct target behavior, move his name one column above and so forth. When inappropriate behavior is displayed, move his clip one column below. When his name appears in the last column, you can decide how to treat him (e.g. time-out).
    4. Give the reward: Give the reward or special privilege to the child after he attains the level of “Super star”/the lesson ends .
Next week we will introduce more aiding tools to be applied at different levels.