'REWARDS TOWER' FOR POSITIVE
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
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
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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range of Asperger's and autism fact sheets at www.autism-help.org
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