Thursday, May 12, 2011

Introduction to Self-Management

Teaching students to manage and control their own behavior is a valuable life skill. According to Alberto and Troutman (2009), “the best person to manage a student’s behavior is the student” him or herself. Each student knows what type of reinforcement/reward he or she wants to earn (for completing school work or other appropriate behavior) better than anyone and is the only individual that will be part of his or her entire educational and life experience.

Mastery of self-management skills is essential for independent functioning. Therefore, it is important for individuals, whether they are on the autism spectrum or not, to learn to monitor, reinforce (reward), and maintain their own positive behavior. This type of behavioral intervention is known as self-management. Self-management may also be thought of as self-discipline or self-control, but it is more than simply a matter of keeping behavior “under control.”

In this issue of Positively Autism, we will describe how you can teach your children or students to use various elements of self-management including:
• Goal Setting
• Self-Recording of Data
• Self-Evaluation
• Self-Reinforcement

Additionally, in this issue you’ll learn about self-management as a part of pivotal response treatment (PRT). PRT is a “naturalistic child- and family-centered intervention that has been used to promote” social and communication skills in children with autism (Texas Autism Resource Guide for Effective Teaching, n.d.).


Alberto, P. A., & Troutman, A. C. (2009). Applied behavior analysis for teachers (8th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice Hall.
Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers (8th Edition)

Texas Autism Resource Guide for Effective Teaching (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2010 from

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