ABA Tips & Tricks Menu – Natural Reinforcers

at www.users.qwest.net/~tbharris/aba_menu.htm
Valley CoPA (Community of Practice in Autism) – March 2008 from www.users.qwest.net/~tbharris/aba_menu.htm

  1. "I'm gonna eat your toes!" take child's foot toward your mouth with pretend chomp with sounds-- every kid I work with likes this one. Doesn't seem to make a difference in child has receptive language or not--just the anticipation. After first or second time of trying to pull away with laughter, child usually gives you other foot.
  2. Parent’s head into child stomach, tickly burrowing of head--real laughter zone
  3. Fall asleep and snore loudly on child's lap then wake up suddenly for the school bell--ding ding ding.
  4. Lean over till child leans on your back then pick them up, hanging behind you, "where is (child)?" "(Child's name)--where aaaarrrreeee you?"
  5. Wear a hooded sweatshirt with a draw string and make your head disappear as you tighten string. Ask child to help to get you out.
  6. Smell feet w/ dramatic “p.u.” and pass out on floor. Most children will proceed to put their feet in the proximity of your nose real soon.
  7. Say "raise arms" then tickle.
  8. Have child push your nose and have your tongue come out--pull left ear, tongue goes right and vice versa
  9. The table is a tent when you put a blanket over it, crawl underneath in chase mode or hiding
  10. Swing cardboard in front of child to create wind.
  11. Put socks on child's hands then say “do this” and clap or other wacky commands
  12. Give raspberries to the belly and or fake tickly kisses to the ticklish part of the neck.
  13. Water the plants
  14. Elevator rides: pick him up - "First floor!" - higher - "Second floor" - "Do you want to go to the third floor?" Then, "Oh no, the elevator is going sideways!"
  15. Piggy back rides: Go some place fun (imaginary!). Watch out for the pot-holes in the road!
  16. Stuffing stuffed animals down the back of his shirt, up his pants leg, in his sleeves.
  17. Also learned from a master - the face pump-up: "Pump me up!" (mimic two-handed bicycle pump while inflating cheeks). Now you can't talk, but hold his hands and have him POP! your mouth. Next time, pretend you have a leak and have him plug it.
  18. Borrow science tricks: baking soda dropped into vinegar makes a nice fizz!
  19. Blowing or saying silly things into a cup to hear the echo
  20. Tickles
  21. Kisses
  22. Holding his ankles and gently stomping his feet on the floor
  23. Raspberries on his palm
  24. Singing a line of a favorite song
  25. Shaking his chair like an earthquake
  26. Anything that makes him anticipate: crawling a "spider" up his arm then quickly tickling him under the chin while making sounds that indicate "I'm coming to get you...."
  27. Massage
  28. Singing silly songs while you bounce her on your knee
  29. Singing songs using her name within the song
  30. Having her stuffed animals jump and cheer for her
  31. Using a puppet which nibbles on her toes and fingers
  32. Whispering something silly in her ear
  33. Playing chase games
  34. Put child between your legs facing away and pretend you are rowing a boat while singing "row, row, row your boat" gradually increase pace of rowing until it is very silly
  35. Silly String
  36. Put a tissue on your face and blow it into the air and have child do same--this actually can be very fun!
  37. Blow up a balloon, start to hand to child, then let it go dance across the room crazily
  38. Make a box and change what you put inside and make it fun to feel Gak or Playdoh or rice and beans
  39. Attach two soda bottles together with that plastic thing to make a tornado--throw in food coloring, some sparkles, and even a small plastic cow if you want to get the twister effect...
  40. Remember when we used to take crayons and color five or six different colors then cover all with black crayon and take a coin to rub it off? i suggest preparing in advance for or five sheets and then it is fun to rub off together
  41. Put your shoe on your head and try to act like nothing is wrong
  42. Staple paper together--kids love this, we just forget how cool it is
  43. Put a ball or pillow in child's shirt in the back and wait for him to get it
  44. Shaving cream can be really fun into a mountain on table that car crashes thru or just to touch
  45. Make blocks into a birthday cake and sing and blow out candle blocks