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Behavior

Positively Autism’s approach to problem behavior is based on two research-based strategies: reinforcement of appropriate behaviors and functional behavior assessment.

Reinforcement (or rewarding) of appropriate behaviors is important for students with autism who may be unaware that their behaviors are inappropriate. If we only punish problem behaviors, the child may not know what to do differently. When we focus on teaching and rewarding appropriate behaviors and communication skills, it gives the child tools to improve their behavior.

Functional behavior assessment, or FBA, is a process to figure out what the child is trying to communicate through his or her problem behavior and focuses on teaching more appropriate ways to communicate that need. Please explore the resources below to learn more about these approaches.

This page also includes Positively Autism's visual supports and data sheets. Scroll down for these resources.


Please note that any behavior resources on our website are not a substitute for professional advice specific to your situation from a behavior specialist, such as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).



Reducing Problem Behavior Online Class
April 1, 2014 - June 20, 2014

Join this class and receive support and training to implement effective strategies for reducing problem behaviors, improving communication, and increasing positive behavior in your home or classroom. Using helpful and research-based strategies, Dr. Thompson's "Freedom from Meltdowns" also covers topics such as preventing meltdown escalation, preventing meltdowns in public, Functional Behavioral Assessment, and self-injurious behaviors.

This class includes a copy of Dr. Thompson's book and individual support in creating a behavior plan from Positively Autism Founder Nicole Caldwell, M.Ed.


Early Registration (February 1, 2014 - March 10, 2014): $249

Regular Registration (March 11, 2014 - March 24, 2014): $275

Group Registration (4 or more registrations, February 1 - March 24): $199 each.


Click here for more information.

What are people saying about this class?
"I would like to thank Nicole and Positively Autism for offering this online course “Reducing Problem Behaviours”. The course offers an individualized and positive approach in reducing problem behaviours for the people we work with. I enjoyed the course content, having access to up to date information and tools and the discussions with many people working in the field." - Sharon

"Reducing Problem Behavior is a course that everyone working or living with individuals who exhibit problem behavior should take. It is beneficial to those who are familiar with Behavior intervention Plans as a refresher." - Sheila


ABA Skills Training Video: Token Economy for Students with Autism




Positively Autism's Tutorial on Reducing Problem Behavior

Along with the video above, this free tutorial is a great place to start in learning effective strategies to improve behavior.


Treasure Chest Point/Token System
Available Formats: Adobe PDF



"Line Up Balls"
A strategy for encouraging children to line up the first time asked.

Available Formats: Adobe PDF



"Behavior Traffic Light"
A strategy for reducing problem behaviors.

Available Formats: Adobe PDF



Outsmarting Explosive Behavior:
A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

A "program is designed to help decrease - and in some cases eliminate - explosive behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders. Tantrums and meltdowns are among the greatest challenges presented by ASD, often leaving parents and educators searching for answers. Outsmarting Explosive Behavior is a visual program, laid out as a fold-out poster, that can be individualized for each user. Four train cars represent the four stages of explosive behavior: Starting Out, Picking up Steam, Point of No Return, and Explosion. By using visuals to appeal to children with ASD, this program makes it easy to help them identify their current state and take steps to decrease the chances of a meltdown."
- Description from the Autism Asperger Pubblishing website



Train Point/Token System
Available Formats: Adobe PDF





Airplane Point/Token System
Available Formats: Adobe PDF



Car Point/Token System
Available Formats: Adobe PDF



Police Cars Point/Token System
Available Formats: Adobe PDF



Sample Behavior Strategy: Hallway Transitions
Available Format: Adobe PDF



Incredible 5 Point Scale: The Significantly Improved and Expanded Second Edition:
Assisting Students in Understanding Social Interactions and Controlling their Emotional Responses



"When I Feel Angry" Social Skill Story
Available Format: Microsoft PowerPoint
Please see the notes for parents on the last page of this story before using it.


Blank Point/Sticker Cards
Available Formats: Microsoft Word ~ Adobe PDF



Visual Aids


Simple Picture Cards Idea
Available Formats: Adobe PDF



Visual Supports for the Classroom
Available Format: Microsoft Word or PDF

Visual Cue for When Students Can Ask Questions


Calm Down Visual Aids


Pick-up/Drop Off Transition Schedule


"How to Earn Bonus Coins" Visual Support
A visual support designed to encourage independent completion of classroom behaviors such as greeting teachers/peers, getting out a notebook, pushing in a chair, etc.


Transition Countdown
A chart for visual learners that shows the passage of time until a transition takes place. Many times, it makes the transition between activities easier for students with autism if they know what activity will come next and when it is time to change activities.


First-Then Charts
A simple visual schedule. Start using these charts with just two pictures, something that is to be done "first" (such as a work task), and something the student can do when that is finished, such as playing a computer game ("then"). The first-then charts below start with two boxes (level 1), then more boxes are added as the student gets accustomed to the idea of using the charts (levels 2 and 3).

Download first-then charts (set of 6)


Christmas Song Visual Support (Pictures and Lyrics)

Jingle Bells
The First Noel




Data Sheets

Duration Recording | Event Recording | Interval Recording | Latency Recording

Discrete Trial Training Data Sheet
Available Formats: Microsoft Excel ~ Adobe PDF

Another data sheet that I use and recommend is found on page 177 of
Behavioral Intervention for Young Children With Autism: A Manual for Parents and Professionals by Catherine Maurice


Monthly Data Graph - Microsoft Word

Yearly Data Graph - Microsoft Word

Incidental Teaching Data Sheet - Microsoft Excel


Self-Recording Data Sheet

ABC Data Sheet (for Functional Assessment)

ABC Data Sheet (for Functional Assessment) - Version 2



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