Behavior modification can present many challenges with your Asperger’s Disorder child or teen. You may have to purposely look for behaviors to praise. Finding items and activities to use for positive reinforcement can be difficult as your child may have few things that he is excited to earn. On the other hand, his special interest may be so fulfilling that all he wants is a chance to read his book on trains or earn one more coin for his penny collection.
Certain behaviors unique to the Asperger’s Disorder child and teen are highly resistant to extinction. Using extinction to ignore a child’s incessant talking and repeated questioning may be futile as those with Asperger’s Disorder find talking so rewarding that they do not need you to participate and they won’t really notice if you are not listening. The other challenge with extinction is that when you begin to use this technique, your child will more than likely increase his inappropriate behavior even more than before. Your initial impression that extinction is not working is premature. An extinction burst is the expected increase seen immediately after extinction is implemented. If you can stand your ground and keep using the technique, your child will decrease his inappropriate behavior.