Token Boards Rock!

Screenshot-of-123TokenMe-with-a-watermark-300x225“Token boards rock!” If we put those three words into Google translate for Common Wording’ Technical Writing what would it produce?


Maybe the following? This is from a recent submittal by Kathy. Actually, it came from Formal Kathy, i.e. Kathleen Murphy, PhD., CCC-SLP, BCBA-D 


“The use of token economy systems, and specifically token boards, in classrooms utilizing ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) principles is pervasive. They are one of the most effective tools in managing problem behaviors. Implementing a program consistently across individuals and settings is a critical issue and impacts a student’s overall progress. As a team member, the SLP (Speech-Language Pathologist) should understand the basics of token boards for managing problem behaviors, how parameters are changed systematically, and how to implement successfully. Many SLPs are surprised to realize they are using token economy systems when they use sticker charts or marble jars to reinforce student attendance and performance.”


Wow! 123TokenMe puts the power of a token board into the hands of teachers, therapists, and parents, so this translation should put a pep in its step.

Reducing Challenging Behaviors

Dr.-Doreen-Granpeesheh-300x300Attended an excellent presentation by Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh of the Center for Autism & Related Disorders. The subject? “Using ABA to Reduce Challenging Behaviors.” Among much wisdom, here are three takeaways:


1)All challenging behaviors are, in essence, communication. Not functional communication, but communication nonetheless. The challenge? To figure out what children or students are “trying to say” through these challenging behaviors.


2) The two main areas of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy: Provide reinforcement to increase skill deficits, and remove reinforcement to decrease behavior excesses.


3) How do we change behaviors? By changing the antecedents (What comes before the behaviors) and the consequences (What comes after the behaviors.)


One more? ABA works, but that does not mean “easy.” Parents, teachers, and therapists should be on the same page. Hours of consistent work. However, as Dr. Granpeesheh pointed out, it should ideally be provided as part of a day that includes fun.


Which triggers the realization that 123TokenMe uses ABA methodology to assist in reinforcement of skills and behaviors. With a touch of fun. Perfect.


Communication before Escalation

IMG_0670-300x225 Temper outbreaks, including hitting, are brought on by Trevor’s antecedent of too much input. Once the outbreak has started it is too late. Reason does not work during tantrums, but this is quite often when intervention is attempted.


What about introducing functional communication when the input overload first begins? Before escalating into the problem behavior? “Please turn down the music.” “Back off.” “That bothers me.”


Trevor’s ongoing situation is being addressed by a therapist in conjunction with 123TokenMe. Tokens, starting with just three, are awarded to Trevor for every verbal response to antecedent situations that would have usually produced an eruption. His reinforcement, computer time, is a powerful motivator.


After many weeks Trevor is understanding that the consequence he was obtaining with his violence- a quieter atmosphere with less conflicting demands- is achieved much easier through simple communication. The therapist is working 1) To help Trevor recognize potentially escalating situations, and 2) To introduce appropriate verbal responses. Real life? It is slowly looking more welcoming.

A 123TokenMe introduction in just 79 seconds…

DJ-timer-back-to-30-seconds-and-awarded-tokens-reamin-the-same-300x300Are you still curious about 123TokenMe? Why you’ll find me from general ed settings, to autism classrooms, to ABA clinics, to homes, to speech therapy offices? Because it is a new standard for token systems, and uses positive reinforcement to assist teachers, therapists, and parents to improve behaviors and teach skills.


Unlike old-fashioned token boards, this iPad/iPhone tool is highly motivating for learners, collects data, and is easy to customize for students and behaviors.

Learn more in this short (79 second) YouTube.

Customer Service: An easy answer.

Screen-Shot-2013-07-24-at-1.57.05-PM-300x300A 123TokenMe user just called. Her family was on vacation when they realized, “We need a token board.” They searched for an app. Before they knew it, 123TokenMe was on their iPhone ready to assist their daughter.


Her question involved changing the number of tokens. An easy answer: Simply tap the student name. A screen pops up where all token system aspects (number of tokens, reminder time, token type, and background) can be modified. Additionally, target behaviors can be added from this screen. Now, back to your vacation.

Keep Mommy happy!

IMG_4280-300x300Summer. A time for vacation, right?
Not for Me, evidently:


“We’ve put 123TokenMe to work at home this summer. Here are a few of the behaviors we’ve been reinforcing: Follow directions. Put away toys. Positive attitude. And, my favorite- Keep Mommy happy!”


The photo that was included seems to confirm that kids, Mommy, and Me are all happy. Summer work has benefits!

Student (and teacher!) growth

IMG_3353-300x300The last month of school, and my have we grown. Summer’s class topic? Growth and change, of course. We discussed how animals, flowers, and people grow. But the most exciting change? Seeing student skills & behaviors improve dramatically during the year. Makes Me proud! 

A bonus? Watching student growth spark teachers to be stronger. A very inspirational end to the school year.

Miss Tara flips sad upside down

Sad-to-happy-snack-face-token-300x300This story from Miss Tara was emotional for Me: “When one of my students is having a difficult day (not following directions, crying, tantrums) we use the sad happy snack face token. It helps in turning her frowns upside down. We make a big deal when all of her sad faces are smiling. 123TokenMe is an awesome motivator!”

From seconds to minutes in weeks

From-just-seconds-of-calm-sitting-to-minutes-using-123TokenMe-and-classroom-collaboration-300x300A special ed teacher shared this experience with Me: “A student with autism joined my class several weeks ago. She was unable to sit still for more than a few seconds. Her language was very limited, but growing. We set her up on 123TokenMe, and targeted “Calm Sitting.” She started with three tokens on a five second interval- a total of just 15 seconds. Now? Our classroom team has been gradually increasing both her number of tokens and her interval time. She is currently sitting for several minutes. Today, she was in circle with 123TokenMe in front of her when she exclaimed, “Nice calm sitting” and gave herself a token! It was so exciting. Her growth in this short period of time has been amazing to watch. Thank You for this app!”


This illustrates how 123TokenMe is used at its most basic level:A token economy system that is an effective and efficient strategy for teaching and managing behaviors. The ultimate outcome is for students to perform these skills “on their own” in the real world.


While the teacher that shared this story works in the USA, look for stories involving Me coming in from all over. This past weekend’s release of “Me for Free” saw downloads in seventeen new countries. Lebanon, Poland, Columbia, and fourteen more. Frequent flyer miles are part of my future!


If you’ll share this story, it might lead to benefiting other learners. Thanks.

Stinky Diapers and 123TokenMe


At the APBA conference this past week in Las Vegas we met interesting behavior analysts from all over the world, and received great feedback. Maribel, however, took the prize for the most pungent idea yet for using 123TokenMe.


Maribel works primarily one-on-one with pre-school kids, but several times a week she runs a small skills group. Her idea? To take a group photo of her kiddos and set them up as a 123TokenMe group session. She said they love to call themselves something funny- Stinky Diapers, for example. She will set a target behavior such as Asking questions that the Stinky Diapers will work on together. She was already imagining how she’ll have each student come forward to tap a token for their group of peers after asking a question.

The reinforcer? A group activity that the Stinky Diapers will choose, such as a popcorn party, or playground time. Great idea, Maribel. Starting this week, have fun with 123TokenMe and the Stinky Diapers. Just don’t forget to hold your nose!