Positive reinforcement is a very effective behavioral technique for increasing appropriate behavior. Praise is the easiest and most commonly used positive reinforcer. Being overly sensitive to criticism, Asperger’s Disorder children are hungry for and responsive to praise. However, unlike most children, who are happy to be told their behavior is good, Asperger’s Disorder children seem to prefer praise for their intellectual choices.
Rather than telling your child, “You are doing a good job on your homework,” you can appeal to his craving for admiration of his intelligence by calling attention to his wise choices: “That was a smart decision to get going on your homework so you have plenty of time to work on your rock collection tonight.” Look for opportunities to praise your child. He has so many opportunities for others to point out his wrongdoings, he needs you to point out what he does right.
Positive reinforcement can also be used in the form of a behavior chart where your child earns a point for every task he is expected to perform. He can trade his points for food treats, privileges, or items. Don’t worry if he wants to spend most of his points on engaging in or purchasing items for his special interest.