Exercise 1 – For Parents and Tutors

Strategy Examples Use this when…
Shaping can support children with behavior and skill development

Note: This exercise can be shaped in a way to suit the goal. If the goal is that the child learns the skill to say another word, then this exercise can be adapted to fit the goal. Another exercise examples with the word ‘Ball’: LINK

1)    The child will say the word milk

2)    The child can reliably say, “k” when requesting milk. 

3)    Shaping steps = “m-k” (slowly, maybe not even “smoothly) –> “m-k” (a little faster) –> “m-lk” (slowly) –> “m-lk” (faster) –> “milk” (slowly) –> “milk” (faster). 

4)    First start teaching the child “m-k” and differentially reinforce better responding.

5)    Once the child can reliably say, “m-k” (slowly) move to the next step of “m-k” (faster). This time you are putting “m-k” (slowly) on extinction and only reinforcing faster “m-k” sounds. Continue these steps until the child can say “milk.”

To enhance skılls and/or skıll development

Tip: Visit the dimensions of behaviors in order to prepare this exercise better.

Exercise 2 – For ASD Professionals

Strategy Examples Use this when…
Reinforcement is the act of providing a reinforcer (this is different for everyone and varies from situation to situation – for some it is a preferred snack, for others perhaps it is an activity, some still it can be verbal praise) to an individual after a behaviour, to increase the future probability of that behaviour happening again under similar circumstances.

When using a strategy like Differential Reinforcement, you are likely to use additional ABA methods as well. One technique that is typically used with differential reinforcement is shaping.

Therapist, S: “what does a cow say?”
Client response: “quack, neigh, moo”
Do not reinforce

Therapist, S: “what does a cow say?”
Client response within 3 seconds: “moo”
Provide reinforcement: high five and “you got it! A cow does say ‘moo’!”

Apply this methodology for the patient with the affected arm.

Shaping therapy is based on conditioning behavior: Patients are trained individually to perform increasingly difficult tasks with their affected arm, and then are rewarded for improvement (differential reinforcement). Tasks involved everyday activities, such as pressing a light switch, moving a chair and pulling up socks.