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(Antecedent Interventions)
Classroom Interventions for Children with Attention Deficit Disorder


Response cost is a punishment technique that involves the loss of token, points, or privileges following the occurance of some inappropriate behavior or failure to meet some specified goal.  Response cost can be used as a component of a positive reinforcement program, such as a token economy.  In such a progra, tokens are distributed following appropriate behavior and removed following inappropriate behavior.

The research suggests that resopnse cost programs should be used for students who do not respond sufficiently to positive reinforcement or punishment strategies.  Response cost can be used with confidence with elementary age students.  However, carefully monitor it's use with older students because it has not been studied sufficiently with them.


Response cost interventions have been shown tobe effective in reducing off-task behavior and increasing work completion.  Some studies have shown response cost alone and in combination with medications to be at least as effective as medication alone.  Response cost also has been shown to be more effective that reprimands for children with ADD and to enhance the effectiveness of reward programs.


As with punishment techniques, teachers must guard against becoming overly critical by overemphasizing an inappropriate behavior.  When implementing a response cost program, efforts should be made to monitor and reward appropriate behavior.  When a response cost program is used in conjunction with a token reinforcement program, if the student begins to lose more points than are earned, the program should be modified.  The opportunity of rewards should exceed the possibility of losing them.


Response cost programs are used as a component of a positive reinforcement program, where rewards (e.g., praise and attention, points, tokens, privileges) are provided for acceptable performance implementing a reward program apply and should be followed.

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