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Reinforcement describes a relationship between learner behavior and a consequence that follows the behavior. This relationship is only considered reinforcement if the consequence increases the probability that a given behavior will occur in the future. In this module, reinforcement procedures will be discussed including positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Steps for implementing each of these evidence-based procedures is provided as well as information on how reinforcement can be used with individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

  • What's Included
  • 41 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $20 certficate
  1. Identify the reinforcement procedures that can be used with learners with ASD
  2. Describe the steps for implementing reinforcement programs
  3. Describe how to fade the use of reinforcement programs while still helping learners generalize and maintain the use of newly acquired skills
  4. Identify the challenges associated with implementing reinforcement programs with learners with ASD

Module Authors

Jennifer Neitzel, Ph.D.

Jen Neitzel, Ph.D. is founder and Executive Director of the Educational Equity Institute. Dr. Neitzel was a Research Scientist at FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina. She worked on various projects including the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC). As a Content Specialist at NPDC, she developed online modules focused on evidence-based practices (EBP) to implement with children and youth with ASD. Dr. Neitzel presents at state and national conferences and is published in peer-reviewed journals. She is the author of the upcoming book, Achieving Equity and Justice in Education through the Work of Systems Change.

Module Contributors

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPDC) was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education from 2007-2014. The work of the NPDC was a collaboration among three universities-the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the MIND Institute, University of California-Davis. The goal of the NPDC was to promote the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for children and youth with ASD, birth to 22 years of age.

Laura Maddox, Ph.D.

Laura Maddox, PhD, BCBA, COBA is the program director for the Center for the Young Child at OCALI. She has directed federal and state grants related to children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and in foster care. She was assistant director of the Boys Town Institute for Child Health Improvement, co-director of the Barkley Autism Research Project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and state coordinator of the Nebraska ASD Network. She is a past recipient of the Alice B. Hayden Emerging Leader Award from TASH and the Ruth J. Eichman Early Childhood Educator Award from the Lincoln Public School Foundation.

Module Content Provided By

Content for this module was developed by The National Professional Development Center On Autism Spectrum Disorders

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