In public school autism programs, teachers are faced with many challenges including instructing large groups while addressing the variability of student needs. Many of us ask, “How can we engage ALL students during these group activities, especially when some seem to have little interest in them and/or display problem behavior?” The truth is, some of our students may not simply ‘get used to’ an activity from simply being exposed to it over and over again. Some students may need ADDITIONAL REINFORCEMENT to encourage direction-following and appropriate behavior while in non-preferred group activities.
Listen to Jenny, a public school autism program teacher, explain how she uses additional reinforcement in her classroom. Watch as her student follows directions, gets rewarded, and displays appropriate behavior during a group activity. This additional reinforcement may lead to this activity becoming a ‘preferred’ activity for this student!