Submitted by: Danica Samsin, QASP
In the ABA world, motivation is a key component to helping our clients succeed. These learners need to stay motivated! Our instructors spend countless hours getting to know our clients in order to decipher what really intrigues them and keeps them interested in what we are teaching them. They do so through observations, and running preference assessments throughout the day, a technique that allows our learners to choose what they are most interested in (i.e. edibles, activities, attention, etc.) prior to instruction. We call these “interests” reinforcers and they help our learners stay focused on the task at hand in order to receive their ultimate reinforcer at the end of their learning activity.
Children with Autism typically struggle with completing specific activities placed for them to complete, however, by clearly providing them with a specific reinforcer to earn at the end of an activity their motivation to complete the activity will increase and make them want to complete the task to earn that reinforcement.
Through the use of edibles, activities, attention, and more, we find ways to motivate our learners to increase responding and decrease problem behavior. This also helps them learn new skills to communicate more effectively, use appropriate social skills, and overall, become independent successful individuals. You can say that we at Reaching Milestones are motivated to keep our learners motivated!