Tokens as an effective tool for reinforcing desirable behavior

Plastic Tokens for ClassesIn the context of supporting and educating children with autism, effective methods can become true keys to developing positive skills. One of the most effective methods of behavior correction for a child with autism is the token system, based on the use of symbols to reinforce desired reactions and behavior.

Using Tokens

Prepare a board with 5 tokens. Show the child a stimulus or attach a picture with the image of the desired object on the board with tokens. Give a simple instruction that the child can easily perform. When they complete the task, immediately attach the token to the board. After all tokens are collected, give the child a reward. Once the child understands and masters the token reinforcement system, increase the amount of work that needs to be done for one token.

Using tokens, you can reward not only correct reactions but also spontaneous desired reactions — if the child correctly points to an object with their finger and looks into the eyes at the same time, you can give a token for the correct answer and another one for eye contact.

How to Make Tokens?

To make tokens yourself, you will need a board — a small, elongated surface approximately 10 by 15 cm (for this purpose, you can take a laminated sheet, a modeling board, dense cardboard) and the tokens themselves. As tokens, you can use large buttons, chips, or laminated cards made according to our template.

On the surface of the board and on the reverse side of the tokens, you need to attach Velcro in such a way that the tokens easily adhere to the surface with Velcro and also easily come off. You can buy tokens or Velcro for their production in our store:

Choosing Stimuli

As a reinforcement for reactions, you need to choose an object or action that the child really likes. It could be watching a cartoon, candy or cookie, a toy, or a short break during an activity. If there are many such stimuli, you can put them in one box and, after collecting the tokens, allow the child to choose their reward. In this case, rewards that the child chooses themselves will be the most powerful stimuli.

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