Pros and Cons of Least-To-Most Prompt Fading

I talked in previous posts about stimulus prompts in which we change what we present to the student to help him get the correct answer and get the reinforcer.  It's important to recognize that prompting and reinforcement are the elements of instruction that make it different than testing.  Just asking a student to do something and seeing if he does it is testing.  Even asking him to do something, seeing him do it correctly and reinforcing him is only going to go so far.  If we are teaching a skill from scratch (i.e., the student doesn't ever exhibit it at the right time) then if we simply wait for him to display the behavior so we can reinforce it, we are going to be waiting a long time and learning is not going to be at all efficient.  Prompting is the way to speed things up.  

Probably the most common type of prompt that we use is response prompts where we do something at the same time or after we give the direction or discriminative stimulus to spark the correct response from the student.  Often this involves a gesture, a physical prompt, or a verbal prompt--see the infographic about different types of prompts HERE.  To be effective with response prompts, we have to make sure we fade them out.  There are several strategies that can be used for fading.  It's important to decide which strategy you are going to be using and make sure everyone working with the student on that skill are aware of that decision.  Visuals for adults (see the freebie below) can be helpful reminders.

5 Ways to Practice Applying Color Concepts for Generalization

I'm jumping ahead a little in the effective ABA series because I want to share some new products and ideas with you for teaching color concepts.  One of the "missions" I have in designing educational programs for any student is to find ways to practice skills so that it is fun and engaging while promoting generalization.  This means that we need lots of different materials and different types of materials for each skill we teach.  I'll be talking more about generalization later in the series, but essentially generalization is what it's all about.  If the learner can't use the skill in a variety of places for different purposes, our teaching hasn't been effective.  Or as I like to sum it up:

Life is not discrete trials.  

More Pictures from Camp Yes You Can Classroom Theme

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Continuing on with the pictures from the camp theme from the Baudhuin Preschool.  To see the first post of pictures Check HERE.

A Camping Theme for ESY from the Baudhuin Preschool: Camp Yes I Can.

I don't know about you, but I know that many of us are just DONE!  At least for this year and with Memorial Day weekend coming up, I decided that we needed a brief break from serious topics, like prompting, and need some nice pictures that are easy to comprehend.  I also have been holding this post since last summer and thought it was timely.  I know many of you are working ESY so I wanted to share these stinkin' cute pictures from the Baudhuin Preschool at Nova Southeastern University from last year.  I want to thank Nicole and Sue for letting me share them on the blog.

 The Baudhuin school is where I used to work and it's a preschool for children on the autism spectrum.  There are a variety of autism programs at Nova from teaching professionals about autism and ABA to early childhood programs.  You can read more about the school here and the autism programs at Nova here.

The Baudhuin Preschool is set up in 3 cores of classrooms.  Within each core, the classes open up to a large open space that is used for indoor play and a variety of activities.  For ESY last year, they set up the core to be a camping theme to go with the Unique Learning System's summer curriculum.  The ULS curriculum is a camping theme again this year if you are interested in using these ideas to put the together (remember that the ULS summer unit is free).  I want to share with you some of the ideas they put together to make the camp out of the core.  I will probably complete 2 or 3 posts that will take us through Memorial Day and then will get back to ABA strategies.  There are so many details that Nicole and her team thought of that I wanted to make sure I touched on them all.

The Pros and Cons of Stimulus Prompts--Why Changing the Materials May Not Be a Good Idea

In the last post I talked about what stimulus prompts are and gave you some examples.  Today I want to talk about some of the pros and cons of using stimulus prompts.  Some of you may be new to stimulus prompts, some may have been using them without realizing it, and some of us have been using them for a long time but there are some considerations in the literature that are worth thinking about when planning out your prompting.  Remembering that we have two primary goals in instruction: correct answers and independence.  We don't want the student to learn the wrong thing so we want to make sure we highlight the right elements so they can continue to learn.  Discrete trials are a pretty intensive type of instruction, even when you embed them in instruction or do them in groups (yes you can do them in groups and I'll talk about that later in the series).  We use them because the students don't learn well from instruction given to a whole class and because they need very precise control over the materials themselves, presentation of materials, and consequences to their behaviors.  Clearly our goal has to be to fade out prompting, but we want to make sure that when we fade them, we don't lose the student because he focused on the prompt instead of the color or animal or whatever we are trying to teach about.

What Are Stimulus Prompts? Or If I Don't Tell Them the Answer, What Other Kinds of Prompts Are There?

What Are Stimulus Prompts?

Stimulus prompts are any type of prompt in which we change the materials in a way to help the learner give the correct response.  Any time we change the way the materials look, how we put them out on the table, or anything about them, we are using a stimulus prompt.  Remember that all prompts should be faded over time, so when we use stimulus prompts we need to slowly change the materials back to how they will be presented in mastery.

Examples of Stimulus Prompts

5 Main Types of Prompts: An Infographic

As we are talking about prompts, I thought it important to define prompts before we talk about how to use them and fade them.  First, a prompt is anything you add to instruction to help the student get to the right response.  This means that it includes pretty much anything that is done after the direction is given or can be planned in advance.  

Essentially there are response prompts and stimulus prompts.  Stimulus prompts is when something in the materials themselves give information about the correct response.  Positional prompts

Different people call different types of prompts by different names, so the infographic below is designed to help standardize how I talk about them.  They are laid out in the hierarchy loosely from most intrusive to least intrusive.  Here are a couple of points to remember about types of prompts.  

File Folder Activities-Great Work Tasks for all Ages {Workbasket Wednesday}

Such a busy time of year with IEPs and Teacher Appreciation and testing and ...and...and.  So much going on as we wind up the year....and that doesn't even include those of you who have to start getting ready for ESY!  So, this post will be short and sweet with mostly pictures.

Bloggers if you want to link up, just add the graphic at the bottom to this post with a link back to this post and add your post to the link.  If you aren't a blogger, use Instagram and tag me (@autismclassroomnews) or Twitter and tag me (@reeveautism) and use the hashtag #wbwednesday or #workbasketwednesday and I'll be sure to share them.

Special Education Teacher Care Package Giveaway!

 I know! Two blogposts 2 days in a row!  Amazing!  This is just a quick one to let you know about something my fellow Special Ed. Bloggers from WeTeachSped and I had up our sleeve.  It's Educator Appreciation week and we didn't want it to go by without some special appreciation developed just for special ed!!  We know that you spend your own money on Velcro! We know that you spend long nights cutting out laminated visuals until your hands are exhausted!  We know you buy your own materials to make visuals and adapted books.  And we know that markers that still have ink in them can really make your day!  So, we want to send one person a rockin' Special Ed. care package to help make it through the end of the year!    You can enter with the Rafflecopter below up until May 8th!!  I can't wait to see who wins!!!

In addition, don't miss the freebie from yesterday's post and remember that the sale starts at midnight tonight....and runs through May 6th!  TPT's sales are the BEST savings you will find!  And everything in my store is on sale!!

And don't forget to leave feedback to get credits to go back and buy more!

And truly, thank you for all you do.  I know how hard your jobs are and how hard you work for our students!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Educator Appreciation! A SALE! A Freebie! What's In Your Cart Linky and Updates

Wow, that's a lot to cover!! So many things going on this week for educator appreciation!  I have to say educator instead of teacher.  I know that teachers are one of the hardest working professions around.  But to leave the educational team at "Teacher" just seems inadequate.  We need to make sure we appreciate the paraprofessionals, the speech pathologists, the occupational therapists, the administrators, the instructional coaches and yes, even the behavior specialists!  Because the old cliche is more than true in special education.  It takes a village.  Thank you for being part of that village.

And to celebrate all that is you, I have some great things coming your way today that I think you are going to want to check out.


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