Thursday, 7 July 2016

Keeping Rewards Fresh

For the last several months, Alex has been earning train rides to Montreal as a reward for toileting.  Lately, the train schedule hasn't been as cooperative, and the trips have been longer than ideal, leaving Alex restless and cranky by the end.

This puts us in a bit of a dilemma.  The reward has calcified.  Alex expects the trip to follow a certain pattern: train, go to the Eaton Centre, ride the elevators and escalators, eat at A&W, more riding elevators and escalators and then go home on the train.  When we don't have to spend more than 3 hours in Montreal, it works.

However, the schedule lately has ended up with 5-6 hours in Montreal, which is too long.  But Alex doesn't have the mental flexibility to alter his schedule.

In the past, when rewards calcify, then satiation usually follows.  So I need a plan to break the routine while still making sure Alex gets the reward he wants.  (I think it doesn't help that my parents, who have been taking him on the trip, are heartily bored of the Eaton Centre and the escalator rides.)  

I'm thinking that I'll start making him walk around outside for awhile before we go into the Eaton Centre.  Hopefully that will give us a chance to find another activity that he will enjoy.

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