Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reinforcer of the Day

Kids with autism are strange creatures.  Alanna has this new pattern I call "reinforcer of the day".  She picks something odd and carries it around with her, and if you take it away, there will be massive protest.  On the plus side, it can easily be used to reinforce her during behavioural (ABA) therapy.
Here is a list of things that have served as "reinforcers of the day":

  • A Backyardigan action figure
  • Toothbrushes
  • Hairbrushes
  • A small washcloth
  • The letter "A" written on a piece of paper (I'm not kidding)
  • Spoons
  • Blankets (she especially enjoys when you fold them up while giving to her)
  • Various clothing
What makes it funny is that the item of interest varies so much from day to day. We're almost to the point of making bets on what will qualify the next day.

Anyone else experience this phenomenon?

1 comment:

  1. Yep, a list for one week:
    1 - Mon) Helicopter toy, not a stim, correct play.
    2 - Tue) People games - lift up and turn upside down. Good thing he is six!
    3 - Wed) Clothspin.
    4 - Thr) Picture of Dad (I liked that one).
    5 - Fri) Playdoh.
    6 - Sat) Floam.
    7 - Sun) People games - he asks you to go to sleep [pretend] and then he wakes you with a tickle.

    Changing and finding the reinforcer for daily therapy is a unique experience every day. We have a list of 236 reinforcers and they all work great for exactly one day!

    We are four years into our sons therapy program and he is verbal (limited) but he can now tell us what he will work for. This is great (him asking) but when asked for something like a "purple zebra that can fly" sometimes presents challenges for us.