Life Skills

Research categorised under the heading “Life Skills” covers areas that support individuals to be as independent as possible in and out of the school setting.


The Use of Token Economy, Positive Reinforcement and Escape Extinction to Reduce Food Refusal in a Young Boy Diagnosed with Autism – Charlotte Holland

This research project focussed on addressing food refusal with one child diagnosed with autism. Tactics from the behaviour analytic literature were combined and systematically applied to reduce food refusal over a period of 3.5 months.  This research was presented in poster format at the 2018 CABAS conference in New Jersey.


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This study evaluated the effects of a token economy and escape extinction to reduce food refusal in a nine year old male diagnosed with autism. The participant would refuse food at lunchtimes in addition to exhibiting assaultive and self-injurious behaviours. The combination of using a token economy, positive reinforcement and escape extinction was shown to be effective in reducing food refusal for this child.

Link to Poster

A Replication of a Comparison of Prompting Strategies on the Acquisition of Daily Living Skills – Gemma Reeder & Amy Blaskett

Two different prompting strategies were used to teach two adolescents diagnosed with autism to fold clothes. The first prompting strategy was the teacher model which involved the teacher showing the participants what they needed to do one step at a time. The second prompting strategy was the gestural prompt which involved the teacher pointing to the clothes to show the participants what they needed to do. Both strategies were successful for teaching the adolescents to fold clothes, but the participants learnt the skills more quickly when the teacher model was used.  Study submitted for the CABAS® Master Teacher Rank.

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The two adolescents were taught to fold a pair of trouser and a shirt according to a task analysis which broke down the sequence of behaviours into smaller manageable steps. The use of the task analysis ensured that the participants were taught to fold these items in a consistent manner across different teachers. The teacher model prompting strategy involved the teacher carrying out the action according to the task analysis so that the participant could copy one step at a time. The gestural prompt strategy involved the teacher pointing to the clothes to guide the participant to the correct part of the clothing to support them with carrying out the correct folding action. All steps completed correctly were reinforced. If a step was completed unsuccessfully then the teacher physically prompted the participant complete the step and this step was not reinforced. Results showed that although both prompting conditions were successful in teaching the participants to fold clothing, the teacher model prompting was more efficient than the gestural prompt condition.

Link to poster