Highlight praise and support positive aspects of an individual’s behaviour in order to reinforce positive behaviour

NOTE: Please be aware that the information on this page is a very rough draft and has not been fact-checked so should be used accordingly (taken with a pinch of salt)! However, it should (hopefully) give you some pointers and set you off in the right direction.

Positive behaviour can be reinforced by using praise and encouragement when an individual does something good.

 

For example, I work with an individual who is occasionally incontinent when out in the community. We put a support plan in place for staff to remind him to go to the toilet before going out. Several months later, we were getting ready to go out and he went to the toilet himself without being prompted. When he came out of the bathroom I told him how awesome he was for remembering to go the toilet and how proud I was of him and he repeated this positive the next time too, and he now remembers about 90% of the time.

 

I also worked with an individual that became very agitated at the thought of going to the dentist, so much so that staff had given up trying to persuade him to book an appointment. Over the course of several months, I observed that he always brushed his teeth twice a day and I praised him for his routine and how he kept his teeth in great shape. On occasions, I would also make a point of telling him how sparkling white his teeth looked and how I wished I’d taken care of my teeth as well as he does. Then, one day I mentioned to him that his teeth were so great, he should probably show them to a dentist so that they could see what a fine job he was doing and make sure there weren’t any problems at the back where he couldn’t see himself. After a little consideration, he happily agreed. After the dental appointment, I praised him for having a checkup and explained how much I admired him for conquering his fears. He’s never had a problem going to the dentist since.