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Preparing For Effective Reinforcement

Preparing For Effective Reinforcement

Author: Capella Partnered with CARD

This lesson covers:
RBT C-2: Prepare for the session as required by the skill acquisition plan.

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what's covered
This lesson will explore how to prepare for effective reinforcement by defining and discussing the following:
  1. Having Successful Reinforcement
  2. Arranging the Environment

1. Having Effective Reinforcement

Make sure you have sufficient and effective reinforcement when working with your patient! If you have great reinforcers, you will have success because the patient will be motivated and ready to participate.

big idea
Reinforcement is the key to successful ABA.

Here are some tips for successful reinforcement:

  • Proper motivation leads to meaningful learning and patients who are likely to maintain this learning across time.
  • Reinforcement must correspond to the patient’s current motivation (MO).
  • Preference assessments must be conducted frequently and throughout the session, which helps us monitor changes in what motivates the patient during the session.
  • Reserve reinforcement for ABA sessions and specific challenging tasks.
  • Bring a reinforcer bin to ABA sessions with items that are exclusively associated with the behavior technician.
  • Rotate reinforcers over time to prevent boredom and satiation.
  • Deliver reinforcement immediately.
  • Vary reinforcement (e.g., praise, items, etc.).
  • Change reinforcers if the patient is no longer interested.

2. Arranging the Environment

When preparing the environment for effective reinforcement, it is important to think about how you arrange the environment. Consider where toys are kept and if the patient has free access to reinforcers in the environment.

If the patient is regularly engaged in a highly preferred activity when you arrive for a therapy session, the BCBA may want to discuss the schedule with caregivers.

Video Transcription

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One of the most important things that you can do as an ABA therapist, to make sure that your sessions and your teaching activities are successful, is to make sure that you have sufficient and effective reinforcement. Oftentimes if you have a really good reinforcing item, you're going to have success, because the individual is motivated, and they will want to participate in order to get the reinforcer that's available.

So it's really important that if you are struggling with a client, if you're having a difficult time keeping their attention, keeping their focus, redirecting challenging behaviors, part of that issue may be that the reinforcement that you are offering to that student isn't effective, isn't necessarily what is motivating to that particular person.

So you want to make sure that you are adequately assessing their motivation. Are you doing your preference assessments? Do you have a variety of different things to offer that individual as a reinforcer, so they don't satiate or get bored with things that you have offered them?

Look into the reinforcement, and don't underestimate the importance of reinforcement, because if you have good, strong, effective reinforcement, you have a much greater chance of having success within a learning activity.

In this lesson, you reviewed tips and techniques for preparing for effective reinforcement in your therapy sessions with patients in ABA. Remember, if you have effective reinforcers, you will have success because the patient will be motivated and will want to participate. You revisited key reinforcement strategies to ensure successful ABA, as well as some guidelines for arranging the environment for effective reinforcement.