We are in the midst of fine tuning potty training with my daughter “Princess” who is 3 and we have created rewards chart that we placed on our fridge for her. She has a specific number of boxes that she can place a sticker in when she meets an expectation and then she gets to choose a doll. She has completed one chart and got to take Daddy to the store for a Rapunzel doll but she has found the second chart challenging but she is still determined.
Meanwhile at school Johnny’s ISP Autism teacher has introduced a token system to reward Johnny every time he meets the expectations that they have for him while he is in the regular classroom. When he gets all of his tokens he gets the agreed upon reward. I have to admit that I was not really convinced that Johnny would actually buy into this system because at home he hasn’t been interested and prefers to accomplish a task and get a little reward for doing so. So when the teacher wanted to try this and then said that Johnny was happily doing it I couldn’t help wonder if for now he is humouring everyone. He likes to please and for now the little rewards acknowledge the hard work he is doing at school. The only thing is that as his Mommy, I know that the currency (the reward) will have to change and be more interesting as he is challenged more.
The day before last I noticed Johnny looking at the stickers and sticker book that his sister left on the table. I asked him to be careful with it and then just as soon as I said those words he was grabbing a little sticker. He ran over to the fridge very excitedly and went to his sister “Princess’s” reward charge and put a sticker in the next empty box. I asked him what he was doing and he said:
“Princess has been using the potty Mommy. She deserves a sticker too Mommy.”
He was so pleased with himself that he had the idea and I told him that was such a beautiful thing to do for his sister. It was so selfish and he knew it would help his sister get closer to her goal of getting to buy another doll. I was also very spontanous and from the heart.
Today I mentioned this to his EA (Educational Assistant) and to his ISP Autism Teacher and they both thought it was wonderful and cemented for them that he truly understood the reward/token system. The thing I wanted to ask but I bit my tongue was do they truly know how smart he is and that he just might be humouring them for now. We shall wait and see.
Things have progressed really well for Princess now and Johnny is very excited for her. She finished her second chart and got her doll and now she is half way through her second one that requires double the stickers for her next doll.