Reinforcer or Break

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Tip of the Month:
May, 2018

Often, we look at reinforcer (or reward) and break as the same thing where in reality they serve different purposes.

A break is an activity that helps a person bring themselves back into a zone where they are at their optimal condition for participating and engaging in an activity. A break:
· Is something that everyone needs throughout the day
· Is typically short in duration (5 minutes or less)
· Should always ends with the student returning to the current task
· Is NOT something that the student needs to earn
· Is NOT access to preferred item/activity

A reinforcer is a preferred item or activity that the student receives contingent on the student completing a given task or instruction. A reinforcer:
· Uses a preferred item or activity based from a completed preference profile (see Resources for example)
· Can only be accessed by completing a given task or instruction
· Is typically short in duration (5 minutes or less)

To review, a break is a self-regulation activity designed to help a student stay engaged throughout the day, while a reinforcer is an item or activity that helps motivate a student to complete a given task or instruction.

Resources

GoNoodle, Inc. (2015). Press play on movement and mindfulness. Retrieved from https://www.gonoodle.com/
CosmicKids. (2018). Welcome to Cosmic Kids!. Retrieved from http://www.cosmickids.com/

Your Kids OT. (2016). Brain breaks to help concentration in the classroom!. Retrieved from https://www.yourkidsot.com/blog/brain-breaks-to-help-concentration-in-th...

AFIRM Team. (2015). R+ reinforcer selection list in PDF. Chapel Hill, NC: National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder, FPG Child Development Center, University of North Carolina. Retrieved from http://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/resources/r-positive-reinforcer-selection-list-pd

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