The KEY to effective behavioral therapy is this…

The KEY to effective behavioral therapy is this…

Let’s talk about something super important in the world of behavior therapy…

And it’s NOT the teacher.

It’s NOT the School.

It’s not even a special therapy toy.

It’s the art of landing the reinforcement.

Now, for those of you deep into Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), you know it’s all about understanding and bettering human behavior.

I believe all human beings speak with their language of behavior FIRST, and our children with Autism are no exception.

And the reinforcement? It’s the bread and butter of this whole deal.

But what’s it really about?

In simple terms, the reinforcement is like a consequence that makes a behavior more likely to happen again.

Reinforcements are the secret sauce that makes us do what we do, more often.

Here’s the skinny on how it plays out:

• Positive reinforcement is when something good follows a behavior, making that behavior more likely in the future. Like when little Tommy gets water by turning on the faucet, he’s going to remember that trick next time he’s thirsty.

• Negative reinforcement is about ditching something annoying or uncomfortable, which also makes a behavior more likely. If Tammie has a headache, she’ll take an aspirin which makes it go away. She’s made the connection that if she has a headache in the future, that taking aspirin helps.

• And then there’s automatic reinforcement, where the behavior itself sorts out the issue. John’s scratching an itch for a bug bite. That’s his body’s way of saying, “I got this,” without needing anyone else to step in.

The thing that follows the behavior, that makes us want to do it again, is called a reinforcer. And they come in different flavors:

• Unconditioned reinforcers are the no-brainer types that we don’t need to learn to love, like food, water, ipad, etc.

• Conditioned reinforcers are the things we’ve LEARNED to value. Stuff like using the toilet, clothes, cars, and money.

• Generalized conditioned reinforcers are like the VIP of reinforcers; they work in all sorts of situations. Again, money is a prime example because it’s practically universal. I can give Samatha an allowance for cleaning her room.

The golden rule here is timing.

For reinforcement to really work its magic, the reward or consequence has to come right after the behavior, ideally within 30 seconds. That’s how you make sure the behavior sticks.

But here is the key….

You have to BELIEVE that your child can learn to do things like potty train, communicate, or stop problem behaviors…


You have to BELIEVE that there is something out there you can use to teach them.

I can talk “tactical” and the different types of reinforcements till I’m blue in the face, but NONE OF IT will work if you don’t believe.

And BELIEF is the #1 roadblock for most parents of children with Autism.

So, there you have it, the KEY to the #1 most effective way to teach children with Autism (and all people for that matter) is the reinforcement BUT more critically is that you have the belief behind it.

Without belief, the most carefully crafted reinforcement strategy is just a shot in the dark.

It’s the belief in your child’s potential, in your ability to effect change, and in the transformative power of reinforcement that lights up the path of progress.

It’s a testament to believing that Autism is different NOT LESS!

If there’s one takeaway, let it be this: Believe.

Believe In your child, in the process, and in the off the charts outcomes that belief can manifest.

Because at the end of the day, belief isn’t just a part of the therapy—it’s the very key that unlocks the door to a world of possibilities.

Xo Michelle

P.S. Ready to turn belief into action? If you’re eager to learn how to teach your child with autism essential life skills like potty training, communicating effectively, and so much more, I’m here to help. I’m inviting you to book a complimentary consultation call with me to explore my group coaching program. It’s a space where we dive deep into the practical steps, and the transformative belief in your child’s potential.


This is more than just a program; it’s a community where we share, learn, and grow together, empowering our children to achieve milestones at their own pace. Don’t let doubt hold you back. Let’s unlock the door to endless possibilities together. Click here to book your spot. Let’s make the impossible possible.

Michelle B. Rogers is an Autism Mom & Life Coach for Parents of Children with Autism. She is an expert in helping parents Potty Train and Improve the Communication Skills of their children, with a "straight forward" results-driven approach. Her mission is helping every child with Autism to reach their greatest potential by empowering their parents. She provides Autism Parents with the mental, emotional and tactical tools and strategies to help their child live as independent of a life as possible so they too get their independence back.

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