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Four Steps to Using a Token Economy at Home

This blog was written by Erin Taylor, Clinic Manager, and Elisabeth Furlong, Registered Behavior Technician at Applied Behavioral Services in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Parenting a child with autism means finding effective strategies to promote positive behavior at home. One approach that many parents find helpful is implementing a token economy. It is a reward system where your child earns tokens or points for good behavior that can be exchanged for a desired reward later. 

  1. To set up a token economy, begin by choosing specific behaviors you want to encourage and defining the rewards that are most motivating to your child.  
  1. Select a way to track progress that will be motivating for your child, including stickers, colorful tokens, or a simple chart. 
  1. Once your child completes a task or follows a routine, they earn a token. 
  1. Tokens can be collected and traded for a special treat, extra playtime, or another preferred activity that you and your child previously agreed upon. 

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