Tag Archives: Positive Reinforcement

The Disney Wall

BoysDisney

Each week we pick a theme to center our activities around. This week, we chose Disney. Each day, we do some sort of coloring activity to go along with our theme. We did Mickey, Goofy, and Tarzan. This is the artwork that the boys, our student aides, and staff did.

The best part of this, to me, is the DISNEY at the top. The letters were done FREEHAND by “E”. He loves to draw letters and numbers. He has never really done any letters on demand. Today however, I thought I would try and get him to do the heading for our art wall. So, armed with skittles, a marker, and blank pieces of paper, I sat down with him at the table and asked him to draw me the letter D. He thought about it for a minute and then he began to draw. Once the D was on the paper I gave him a skittle. Then he gave me a big smile. I slid the D to the side and a new sheet of paper in front of him. I asked for an I…. his wheels were spinning and in the blink of an eye, the I appeared. More skittles. More smiles. We proceeded this ritual until the entire word was written. Once complete, I gave him tons of high fives and lots of praise. I could see how proud he was of his letters.

I carefully cut around them and hung them up. I had him come look at his work. I think he was pretty happy that we displayed his letters.

I foresee more headings for our projects in our future… and that makes ME smile!

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Operant Conditioning – Reinforcement and Punishment

I have spent the better part of the last two days sick. It is hard enough to study when you are feeling your best!

Anyway, part of my readings for this week included Operant Conditioning and the wonderful world of Positive/Negative Reinforcement and Positive/Negative Punishment. This really should be review for me as I have had all this information before, but for some reason I really never could wrap my brain around this. It confuses me how there could be negative reinforcement and positive punishment!!

Lucky for me, I have to be supervised by a BCBA (what I want to be when I grow up), so for this weeks meeting (done on the phone while she was headed for Chicago), she sorted it out for me in a way that I can understand. AND… because I love dearly how she explains things to me, I thought I would share so that maybe it will help this concept click with someone else!

The best way to figure out what is happening is to use the phrase…

“In the presence of ___Reinforcement (R) or Punishment (P)__, the behavior ___increased (+) or decreased (-).

So, let me give you some examples that make sense in the real world.

Positive Reinforcement

We want “J” to use his voice (speak out loud), so we will reinforce his talking behavior with a skittle.

In the presence of a skittle (R),”J’s” talking behavior increases (+).

Negative Reinforcement

“N” will sometimes avoid a math problem. We want him to pay attention. We will use his favorite chip as a reinforcement to decrease his avoidance behavior.

In the presence of “N’s” favorite chip (R), “N’s” avoidance behavior decreases (-)

Positive Punishment

“D” does not like speech. To him, it is a punishment. He escapes to the Tan Room for a break.

In the presence of speech (P), “D’s” escape behavior increases (+).

Negative Punishment

“E” will sometimes stomp at lunchtime. We want him to stop stomping. We remove his plate of food. He stops stomping.

In the presence of plate removal (P), “E’s” stomping behavior decreases (-)

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I sure hope this helps you as much as it did me!!

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Filed under Autism, Behaviors, Lessons