Teaching Children with Autism, continued
Mixing Easy and Difficult Tasks/Targets
One way to keep the value of working with you higher than either escape/avoidance or repetitive behaviour(s) is to have about four already-learned/easy teaching targets for every being-learned/more difficult target. And be sure to reinforce as appropriate, i.e., not just the items that are in acquisition. The point is to see that the child’s behaviour is eliciting sufficient reinforcement that he enjoys the experience and remains motivated to keep trying to learn. If his behaviours are not eliciting enough reinforcement, you probably need to be targeting smaller steps.
Mixing/Varying Targets and Tasks
This means switching among different kinds of tasks: motor imitation, echoics, requests/demands (mands), labels (tacts), intraverbals, and so on; and switching between tasks that require verbal communication and those that require nonverbal communication. You will learn what all of these new and strange terms mean in just a little while. Mixing/varying targets and tasks helps to reduce boredom and keep the child attentive.