IDEAS FOR FUNCTIONAL REINFORCERS

The AIM Curriculum incorporates acceptance and mindfulness into a system of functional behavior management. In addition to traditional ABA practices, the AIM approach includes delayed consequences and private event antecedents into the analysis when appropriate for determining the function of the challenging behavior. 

ATTENTION

There are times in which challenging behavior may occur to gain access to parent or caregiver attention. When consequences for positive behavior are provided for this same attention, the child is taught a more appropriate way to acquire what they want. Examples of attention-based functional reinforcers might include: Line leader, working with a partner, 5-minutes of 1:1 staff time, telling a joke to an audience, a special outing with a parent, or playing a board game with a therapist.

ESCAPE

There are time in which challenging behavior may occur in order to remove or avoid an item, task, person, or any stimulus that the individual finds unpleasant.  When consequences for appropriate behavior result in this same escape from aversive events, the child is taught a more appropriate way to achieve the same results.  Examples of escape-baed functional reinforcers might included: A 5-minute break, skipping a task or chore, taking a walk, receiving a homework pass, or visiting another another person.

TANGIBLE

There are times in which challenging behavior may occur in order to gain access to a tangible item, such as a food, toy, or other preferred object.  When consequences for adaptive behaviors result in the same physical items as the inappropriate behavior, the child acquires the same reinforcer for the preferred behavior.  Some examples of tangible-based functional reinforcers might include:  a snack, small toys, iPad time, making a craft, or computer time.

SENSORY

There are times in which challenging behavior may occur in order to obtain some physical sensation that is the result of the stimulus event, such as lights, sounds, sensations, or tastes.  When consequences for appropriate behavior result in the same sensory stimulation,  the child learns a more appropriate way to achieve the same results.  Examples of sensory-based functional reinforcers might include: working with shoes off, sitting on bean bag, playing with an art box, earning extra recess, or movie time.