Motivation Promotes Acquisition and On Task Behaviors
This video describes motivation in classrooms as well as individual settings and how it can be beneficial in promoting both acquisition and on task behaviors among children. This information is presented by, Lana Schlactus-Bavaro. Lana will be reviewing the definition of motivation, motivation’s place in ABA Therapy, and finally the benefits of it.
Motivation is Reinforcement
Motivation is the general desire and/or willingness to complete a task. Additionally, motivation is synonymous with reinforcement. The purpose of motivation is to increase desired behaviors. When performing ABA Therapy reinforcement plays a critical role in shaping preferred behaviors. When a child is motivated they are more willing to perform certain actions that they may find strenuous.
Preference Assessments are critical in determining what a child enjoys and does not enjoy. These assessments should be brief, varied, and ever-changing. The purpose of a preference assessment is to identify what each individual enjoys. An ABA Therapist can speak with parents, the BCBA, the OT, the teacher and/or paraprofessionals in order to gain a collaborative understanding of what the child likes. There are a variety of preference assessments to choose from, including: direct observation, single item assessment, and comparison assessment to name a few.
Tips to Enhance Effectiveness of Reinforcers
When introducing new skills it is important to set standards high yet realistic. Furthermore, it is essential to use behavior-specific praise. You want the child to clearly understand the behaviors you are praising. In addition, when you are increasing motivation, you should use a variety of reinforcers and continue introducing new reinforcers as time progresses. Children constantly are changing their minds on what they like and what they don’t like. It is important that your selection of reinforcers evolves in a synchronized manner. Also, try to limit or extinguish the use of negative commenting when performing ABA Therapy. This promotes a positive environment and relationship with the child you are working with. A primary goal is to ensure the potency of your reinforcers, in turn promoting the highest levels of motivation and success.