What and Why:
Pairing is the process of building rapport with a student, in which they begin to see a connection between the adult and the reinforcer. Pairing is an active process, adult must act as the “giver” and student acts as the “taker.” A good level of pairing needs to be achieved before work can be presented.
- Reinforcement inventory (recent – monthly)
- Large variety and supply of reinforcing items
- Manipulate the environment so student only has access to the reinforcer when presented by adult
How and When to Implement:
- This is useful when you want to get a student to work with you.
- Identify reinforcing items.
- Deliver reinforcer-student does not need to work/earn the reinforcer (it’s all about building relationship).
- The child must approach the adult in order to have access to the reinforcer. Let the child take the reinforcer from presenter (helps create a relationship).
- Provide reinforcer as much as possible and deliver reinforcer frequently (give them what they want when they want it).
- Interact and speak with student. Make it fun!
- If student is bored with reinforcer, provide a different reinforcer.
Things to Consider/Problem Solving:
- When your goal is pairing, avoid making the student work for the reinforcer.
- When your goal is pairing, the student should have constant access to the reinforcer.
- Pair when changes in staff and environments occur.
- When using edibles, always have family permission and consider food allergies. Also, break edibles into small pieces to avoid satiation.
- There should be a plan for fading the edible by pairing it with another reinforcer.
- If the student has access to the reinforcer during other times of the day, they may not be as motivated to pair with the adult.
Useful Resources to Learn More:
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Information compiled by Lincoln Public Schools Autism Team (September 2015)