Autism, PDD-NOS & Asperger's fact sheets | Using the 'Rewards Tower' for behavior management of individuals with Asperger's syndrome or Autism
Fact sheet: information on creating a behavior management program fora child with Autism, a common Autism Spectrum Disorder
 
 

'REWARDS TOWER' FOR POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT

The Rewards Tower was developed by Peter Sparey, and uses positive reinforcement and other concepts from Applied Behavior Analysis to modify behavior. The purpose of the Rewards Tower is to assist individuals in managing their behavior - they are rewarded for making the right choices.

 

A case study

Peter is a teenager with Asperger's syndrome. His parents know that he can become quite short tempered in the mornings. They use the ABC principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to find the antecedents, behavior and consequences of his outbursts.

 

The antecedent is the general noise in the house as his parents get ready for work and his sister goes to school. Peter’s response to this has been to slam doors, make threats, and generally display (what he acknowledges as) unacceptable behavior.

 

In discussion with Peter he indicated that he enjoyed visiting the local shopping center on a weekly basis. Although he is capable of doing this on his own, he does enjoy being accompanied by his parents.

 

After discussion with Peter, it was decided that Peter needed some sort of assistance in monitoring his behavior. Peter finds it easier to use pictorial tools rather than the written word (although he can read) and everyone agreed to develop a 'tower' that would record the times that he was appropriately behaved in the mornings.

 

Peter agreed that appropriate behavior. would be asking people politely to make less noise, or ignoring the noise level by utilizing the privacy of his room.

 

It should be noted that Peter’s room opens directly onto the main living area of the house, which is noisy in the mornings. He has been offered a room in a more secluded area of the house but has declined to move.

 

the rewards tower

The tower has seven steps and should be completed as follows:

 

At the end of each morning routine Peter asks his parents if he has completed that period without threatening anybody, slamming doors or screaming. Please note if Peter has been angry during that period but has been successfully redirected he has been successful.


If he has been successful Peter should attach one ‘Kylie Minogue’ picture to his chart.

Once Peter has attached all seven ‘Kylie Minogue’s’ he will remove all of them and arrange his shopping trip.

The process then starts again.

 

If Peter does not receive a picture it only delays his trip. He is not being punished for behaving inappropriately - he is merely being assisted to remember that he will go shopping but it is his responsibility to achieve this.

 

The tower should not be used as a threat to Peter. If he is beginning to escalate staff should use phrases like,

 

“Come on, Peter we want to get that chart filled”, not “ Peter if you don’t behave yourself you’re not getting a picture today”. The former is inductive, the latter coercive.

 

The process applies to every day of the week and therefore all staff who work or are likely to work with Peter in the mornings are required to be familiar with this process. It should be noted that this applies only to the mornings and should not be utilized to address Peter’s behavior. at other times of the day.

 

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The Rewards Tower was developed by Peter Sparey, and uses positive reinforcement and other concepts from Applied Behavior Analysis to modify behavior. The purpose of the Rewards Tower is to assist individuals in managing their behaviour - they are rewarded for making the right choices.