Resource Gallery of Interventions

Token Economies

Explore a token economy; a way to deliver positive reinforcement to an individual in the form of stickers, chips, tokens, pennies, etc. when they perform a specific task or engage in a particular behavior. When enough tokens are gathered, they are then exchanged for their identified reinforcer. Token economies are used when an individual is able to delay the receipt of positive reinforcement and is not in need of immediate reinforcement. Token economies may not be a concept understood by all individuals with ASD.

For further information, visit the Reinforcement Autism Internet Module at or the ASD Strategies in Action online autism certification series at


Token Economies - Star points

Token Economies

Token Systems - 3 Lizards
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Token Systems - 6 Horse Pieces
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Token Systems - 6 Stars
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Token Systems - 8 Coins
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Book Suggestions

Incentives for Change

Incentives for Change: Motivating People with Autism Spectrum Disorders to Learn and Gain Independence

Delmolino, Lara and Harris, Sandra

As many parents and teachers know, people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be difficult to motivate, especially when asked to learn something new. Finding the right incentives to support learning is one of the crucial first steps in teaching them new skills. 'Incentives for Change' explores systems for determining what incentives children and adults with ASD will find rewarding, and ways to use motivation as a tool to affect their learning and behaviour. This easy-to-follow guide explains a variety of motivational methods and systems, including how to: identify potential incentives; transition from concrete to intangible incentives; use reinforcements or rewards to increase motivation; teach a child to express what he wants; understand 'establishing operation' and other concepts that affect motivation; motivate children with ASD to make choices; implement token systems to enable children to delay reinforcement; encourage independence and self-management skills. Parents and teachers will find methods for teaching a wide variety of social skills, such as interacting playfully with others and making eye contact, and life skills such as getting dressed and doing chores. This book contains many real-life case studies of families who are using motivational systems in a variety of situations to help their child learn and gain a greater measure of independence.

Expanding Behavioral Strategies and Promoting Success

Autism in the School-Aged Child: Expanding Behavioral Strategies and Promoting Success

Schmidt, C., & Heybyrne, B.

Includes bibliographical references and appendices.

A handbook for parents and teachers in using Applied Behavior Analysis in expanding behavioral strategies and promoting successful communication for autistic school-aged children in school and at home. Each chapter includes examples of practical ideas in checklist form and summaries. Examples are geared especially for use with children in preschool through 2nd grade and may be adapted for older children.