I love sushi. But, I am not sure that I would change any behavior if promised sushi as a reward. You also could not pay me with sushi to go to work. I do go to work to be able to earn a paycheck and for the hope that what I do is helping others. What reinforces my behavior is different from what might reinforce another person’s behavior.
We sometimes need access to tangible or social reinforcers for students’ behavior. Understanding individual preferences can be a useful part of a student’s support plan. The key is to identify what might be reinforcing or preferred from the student’s point of view. These are a few tools that you can use to make your selection.
Reinforcer inventories help you identify what might reinforce the student’s behavior. This tool, hosted on PBIS.org, allows you identify social or tangible rewards for your student. It includes items such as toys, music, and privileges. It is a guide for an interview with the student or with their guardians. The tool asks for a rating of preference and availability of reinforcers in the setting. This is a very efficient instrument.
This reinforcer inventory is like the previous one. In addition, the inventory includes detailed examples of each category of the reinforcer (e.g., food, entertainment, arts and crafts, excursions, social interactions). All the possibilities may not apply to your student or setting. But, it provides a useful comprehensive list of possible reinforcers.
The Self-Determination Preference Assessment is a little different. This tool provides an understanding of individual’s perspectives on choice making and personal preference. It includes categories such as items, activities, self-calming techniques, communication styles, personal choice making, and personal body clock. You can use this tool to interview caregivers or the individual who is the focus of the intervention. It provides insights that can be useful for the development of a person-centered support plan.
I also have another post about acknowledging secondary students.
I hope you find these resources to be useful. I would love to hear about other resources you are using to identify student preferences. Please leave a comment below!
I will send you some sushi if you do! (Just kidding – but please leave a comment)