In my classroom of students with autism in grades Kindergarten to 1st grade, I have a few students who do not fully understand the concept of the traffic light used in my classroom. For consistency, I have adapted the traffic light and added visuals. Below, you will see sad/happy faces and thumbs up/thumbs down paired withe the appropriate color of the traffic light. Since this specific student likes to be spun on the playground in a merry go round like contraption and is consistently on it during recess, I thought he would like the spinning chair from IKEA. The chair was tested on the student, he was spun in the chair and he loved it! He was made to ask for more by signing and using his head to nod “yes” and we spun him more.
I created an individualized “reward board” for this student since he does not like to do paper/pencil work and has a hard time sitting down. I broke up the school day in two: morning and afternoon (see below). Josias gets two chances to be rewarded with the chair only if he is on the green light. If the student is following directions, sitting down for at least 30 minutes during a lesson and engages in the lesson, he earns a green light. By the 3rd hour of school , he is rewarded with the spinning chair if he has earned a green light. On the 5th hour of school (before school ends), he can also be rewarded with the spinning chair if he earns a green light.
On the green light picture, there is a happy face and a thumbs up visual. When he is rewarded with a green light, I pair the visual with myself giving him a thumbs up and smiling. If he is given up to two warnings, he is given a yellow light which is paired with myself giving him a sad face and a thumbs down. If he doesn’t listen at all, does not participate in paper/pencil activities and will not sit down, he gets a red light which is paired with myself giving him a sad face and thumbs down (see below).
He will only be rewarded with the spinning chair when he is on the green light. This behavior reward board is used consistently with his ABA, OT (occupational therapist) and speech therapist. Wherever the student goes, he takes his reward board with him. I have used this reward board for less than a month and he seems to understand the concept of the traffic light better.
Below is a file folder that is laminated with his picture on the front to personalize his reward board. When you open the folder, the different color lights and the picture of the spinning chair is velcroed to the left hand side of the folder. On the right hand side of the folder is a visual for the student that is broken up into the morning and afternoon of a school day (see below).