Behavior is Communication. You might have heard this before…and it’s true!
- Try using a “First/Then” board. The idea of a First/Then board is to have the child complete the task first and then they get the reward, which isa pre-determined reward for a pre-determined amount of time. I also recommend using a visual timer for the reinforcer. If you need a First/Then board, you can see the one I’ve created here in both English and Spanish.
- Try using a Token Economy. Students earn a pre-determined amount of tokens to earn a pre-determined reinforcer. Give your students a choice that they pick and are “working for”. We work for our paychecks, they want to work for something too! Each time you “catch” them doing something you want them to do (working, following directions, etc.) give them a token and when they earn all of their tokens, they get their reinforcer. Again, use a visual timer for the time they are allowed to use their reinforcer. If you need a Token Economy set up system, you can get mine here as well.
- Teaching students how to take a break. They will need a break, especially if they are trying to avoid a task or become easily overwhelmed by work. I use break cards to help my students visually see how many breaks that they can take during a certain time. It also serves as a visual to help remind them to ask for a break. You can get my break cards here.
- Visuals. Always use visuals! Visuals speak louder than words. Sometimes your words can be an auditory overload for your students and using a visual may get them to do what they need to do without you having to speak. I always keep the most used visuals on a key ring on my lanyard so that you are able to give visual directions to your students wherever you are. This works great!
- Prep for your Transitions. Sometimes the transition time is the most difficult because though you know it’s coming, your students don’t always know. Prep your students by reminding them of upcoming transitions, whether it will be from a preferred to a non-preferred activity or walking in the hallway to lunch. Using a visual timer is great for this too. You may also want to use a visual schedule and social stories. You can see the visual schedule I have here.
- Sensory diet. Providing a student with sensory needs a specified sensory diet will help them to meet their needs. You may teach replacement behaviors for certain sensory seeking behaviors as well.