A token economy is a great tool to give students something to look forward to while also encouraging them to engage in positive behavior.
A token economy is a system in which students are provided opportunities to earn tokens for their work with the goal of modifying their behavior and motivating them to achieve their goals. Students may then exchange these tokens for items or experiences they enjoy. At iCan Dream Center, token economies are implemented across programs and individualized by observing students behavior, accounting for their strengths to determine which rewards will be most effective for them.
Token boards are visual supports that remind students what they have to look forward to in exchange for their hard work. When a student has successfully modified a behavior or achieved a goal, the token economy can be modified for a new goal. Some token economies may be used to encourage a student to complete academic tasks, while other token economies could be used to encourage a student to engage in positive behavior (Cosgrave, n.d.).
As a student becomes increasingly successful in response to a token economy, increasing appropriate behavior and decreasing inappropriate behavior, the token system can be phased out (Vanderbuilt Kennedy Center, 2015). This ensures that students do not become dependent on the token economy.
At iCan Dream Center, our team members use token economies to help students achieve their goals and succeed. We maintain open communication with students and parents to promote a cohesive routine for students at the center and at home.
Cosgrave, G. (n.d.). Token Economy. Retrieved from http://www.educateautism.com/token-economy.html
Vanderbuilt Kennedy Center, (2015). Token Economy – Tips and Resources for Teachers. https://vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/assets/files/tipsheets/tokeneconomytips.pdf