Task as Reinforcer (wait outs)


What do you do when your student is not working well? Historically, many have recommended “escape extinction”, also known as “working through it”. In some cases, escape extinction is exactly the right intervention.

But there are several molecular and molar drawbacks to the use of escape extinction, and those can usually be avoided by replacing “working through” with “waiting through”.

While maintaining emphasis on a potentially large number of proactive variables, task resistance is frequently best treated by temporary task removal, an absence of attention, and significant limits on access to positive reinforcement. This treatment package can establish the representation of a task as a reinforcer…as an opportunity to begin moving forward.

Participants in this workshop will be able to:
-describe at least 3 potential problems with the use of escape extinction
-explain how access to non-preferred tasks can be established as a reinforcer
-gather and analyze data on the efficacy of “wait outs” 


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