ABA technique: Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement


There are different ABA techniques that are commonly used in managing children with difficulties. These are Positive reinforcement, behavior chaining, video modeling, differential reinforcements, self-management, and shaping. Each of them has different processes and goals.

Let’s discuss what positive reinforcement is. Positive reinforcement is a concept that can be used to help teach and strengthen behaviors. This process can be used as part of a formal training program, but it is also something that can occur naturally in everyday situations as well.

Firstly, the therapist identifies a goal behavior. For example, teaching the child to focus on a specific task for 5 minutes. Each time when behavior or skill is displayed successfully, there is a reward.

The reward must be meaningful to the individual like praise, a toy, or a book. Positive rewards encourage the person to continue using the skill thus over time will lead to meaningful behavior change.

For reinforcement to work, we need to use reward as a reinforcer. A reward can be tangible or intangible. But for the reward to be effective, there is a need to ensure that the reward is meaningful & be varied over time.

One method to assess the reward choice is through the “two at a time” method or the forced choice. In forced choice, you will present two potential reinforcers to see which one the client chooses. Then you can use what the client chose as a reinforcer for behavioral change.