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Ep. 26: 5 Reinforcement Myths and Why They Are Wrong

Behavior Support| Data Collection and Analysis | February 9, 2020

Highlights of Episode 26

  • 5 common reinforcement myths and the realities
  • Why reinforcement doesn’t always seem to work the way we think it should.
  • Information that addresses common reinforcement myths to address resistance from staff or families.
  • The facts of why reinforcement is a critical element in a special education classroom (and all classrooms).

In this episode I’m talking about reinforcement myths. Reinforcement is the underpinning of so much of what we do in special education classrooms, that I think it’s important that we really understand how reinforcers work, why it works, how it doesn’t work, and why we want to use it because so many of our interventions rely on it.

In the last episode, I talked about what reinforcement is and how it’s defined functionally. If something doesn’t increase, it’s not actually a reinforcer. And today, I want to talk about five misconceptions or myths about reinforcement that I sometimes hear as reasons for not using it.

In This Episode on Reinforcement Myths

In Episode 26, I’m all about setting the record straight on what reinforcement is and how we can use it effectively. Because, let’s face it, our students with autism and other special ed. needs benefit from it. But in truth…we ALL benefit from reinforcement. And reinforcement myths hurt our effort to do that!

Have you ever thought a student didn’t have a reinforcer, because you couldn’t find one? Or wondered if all this hype about reinforcement was just that–hype?

Perhaps you are frustrated because you would find something that reinforced a skill but then it stopped working and you didn’t have a replacement?

Even more likely, have you had a family that didn’t want their child to have reinforcers because they thought praise should be enough? Or that his reinforcement should come internally?

If you’ve encountered any of these issues, that what this episode will address. I am walking through 5 of the most common compliants or reinforcement myths I’ve heard and talking about why it’s a myth. I’ll give you the truth about each and some examples along the way.

Start where the student is…not where you think he should be Find out more in Episode 26 of the Autism Classroom Resources Podcast. #specialeducation

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