Behavior Basics 17 and 18: End of week wrap-up

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behav basics 17Behavior Basic 17:  To increase a desired behavior, give learner a treat or other positive consequence.

This is the golden rule of Applied Behavior Analysis!  To increase a desired behavior, give the learner a treat or other positive reinforcement.  As soon as the learner has performed the desired action (which could be anything – eye contact, touching a puzzle piece, walking into a room), give the child a treat (which could also be anything – a piece of candy, a toy, a token, a favored activity, praise, or attention).  This will cause the learner to perform the behavior again.


behav basics 18Behavior Basic 18: A positive consequence that strengthens behavior is a “reinforcer.”

The definition of “reinforcer” is anything following a behavior that strengthens the behavior or causes it to occur more often.  Sometimes people refer to the “reinforcer” as a “reward.”  While this is a commonly used word, the technically correct term, “reinforcer,” more accurately describes the result of strengthening or “reinforcing” a behavior.




REMINDER:  This concludes the wrap-up of Behavior Basics for the week.  Please remember the schedule: On the release date of each module, the Behavior Basics for that module will be compiled into a PDF ebook available from our blog and Facebook page. Click on this link to download the entire series of 42 Behavior Basics for free:


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Martha Gabler

Autism parent. Director, Kids' Learning Workshop LLC. Author of Chaos to Calm: Discovering Solutions to the Everyday Problems of Living with Autism.

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