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Toys that provide positive reinforcement can greatly benefit autistic children.
When it comes to effective behavior management, many doctors believe that positive reinforcement is one of the best methods for dealing with the challenging behaviors of children with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. These difficult conditions can not only make it complicated for children to learn new behaviors or important life skills, but can even make it challenging for them to express their difficulty with these actions.
Positive reinforcement, however, can help encourage positive behaviors and reward the action so that children are likely to repeat the same action or behavior in the future. For instance, if a child engages in a certain behavior or action and they are rewarded with something that they wanted, they are more likely to repeat it again in the future―especially if they are met with this same reward again.
However, the term “positive” in positive reinforcement does not necessarily mean something “good” as a reward. Instead, it simple relates to the more mathematical term of “adding” or “addition.” i.e. One action directly an additional action. Without one, there would be no additional action. Therefore, positive reinforcement does not necessarily have to come in the form of a reward or a bribe.
In fact, there are many toys and activities that were created with autistic children in mind as a way to provide positive reinforcement for their play experiences. For instance, some toys may make noise or light up when a child gets an answer correct. Others may produce an effect when a puzzle piece is correctly inserted in the right way. No matter what the action is that produces the positive reinforcement, it has been proven that many kids with developmental disorders feed on this type of praise and are more likely to repeat their action afterwards.
Laser Pegs is one type of positive reinforcement toy that has been shown to have benefits for children with autism. Here are just a few reasons why these toys are so helpful for children with developmental disorders:
Gives immediate positive reinforcement: In order to a child to make a direct connection between their action and the positive reinforcement that they receive, the reward must be given immediately following the desired behavior. For instance, the immediate light-up effect of Laser Pegs allows a child to make an instant connection between their behavior of connecting the toys and the positive reaction of the play structure lighting up.
Promotes Positive Actions
According to a recent article on the relationship between autism and positive reinforcement, a true system of positive reinforcement includes presenting tasks and lessons which have been broken down into simple steps, allowing the child to experience small incremental successes while working toward a larger goal. Laser Pegs is a great example of how a child can see block by block how their actions turn into rewards.
Develop Better Relationships
Laser Pegs and similar toys can also help to build a child’s relationship with their parents. This is because parents are able to change their response and reaction based on how their child is engaging with the toy, both positively and negatively. Parents can also show their children how to correctly connect the Laser Pegs block in order to produce the lighted effect, and help to manage any frustration or difficulty their child may be having by working one on one with them.