Tactics to Increase Learning and Performance Among Children with Autism
The video below goes into great detail explaining different tactics to increase learning and performance among children with autism. First and foremost, you will learn the difference between learning and performance, specifically in regards to behavior. Then the video explains which tactics are most beneficial for each type of learner. You will acquire knowledge on how to appropriately administer these tactics in order to harbor the greatest amount of success. In the meantime, these are some important notes to consider while watching the video:
The Difference Between Learning and Performance
When you are teaching a behavior or skill you are attempting to develop knowledge, in turn promoting learning. Alternatively, performance is an ingrained behavior that is repeatedly learned and reinforced over time. The primary goal is to develop this permanent learning over time, otherwise known as, performance.
Learning is the process of introducing and mastering a new skill and/or behavior. For example, as skill such as, learning to hold a pencil, learning to write your name, or learning to ride a bike. However, performance is an extensively practiced behavior or skill that is executed fluently. For example, having good manners, saying please and thank you, using proper greetings, such as, hello and good-bye. Once more, the goal is for learning to transition into performance naturally over time. For instance, a child learning to write their name first finds it difficult to master. However, they eloquently learn to write their name without hesitation or doubt as time moves forward.
How Does Learning Transition into Performance?
First off, the biggest factor in this metamorphosis is time. It is important to have patience and be consistent in your efforts. The primary goal is for the child to feel comfortable, thus allowing progress to be made as organically as possible. It is essential that you are administering the best form of reinforcement and at the proper rate. This is determined based on the level of the learner and the difficulty level of the skill.
4 Types of Reinforcement
The first type of reinforcement is, Prosthetic Reinforcement, which is an allowance of an activity or access to a prized item. Another type is Social Reinforcement, which include things such as, smiles, thumbs up, or high-fives. The next kind is Natural Reinforcement, which is an organic consequence of a positive behavior. For example, if a child asks nicely for you to change the channel on the television because they do not like that program, then a natural reinforcement would be for you to then change the channel. The last type, Generalized Reinforcement, is where the child earns tokens or tally marks in exchange for a revered activity or item. This final type of reinforcement works well with high-leveled learners who can comprehend the two step process of earning tokens that later lead to praise and/or reward.
Schedules of Reinforcement
The first type of schedule is a fixed schedule. A fixed schedule is only recommended for very difficult skills in reference to the level of your learner. This means praise is required every time the task is completed correctly. The second type of schedule is a variable schedule. This type is recommended more often because it harbors the fastest success rate. This type of schedule is more spontaneous, thus ensuring the child’s continued desire to seek praise and reinforcement. It is important to note, that as a child masters a skill, your schedule of reinforcement should fade out seamlessly. Your goal is for the child to continuously rise to your increased level of expectation as you transition each skill from learning-based to performance-based.
This video explains a variety of tactics that you can implement to increase success among children. This video clarifies that certain tactics correspond best with specific circumstances, behaviors, and skills. It also explains which tactics are best for each level of learner you may be working with. Most often, the key to implementing these tactics is to be proactive and praise while expectations are being met, rather than trying to rectify undesirable behavior.
Now, it is time to watch the video, and perhaps take your own notes on how to increase both learning and performance among children with autism.