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.

The Magic of Token Boards & Positive Behavior Strategies

Kathys-ASHA-2013-presentation-on-Positive-Behavior-Strategies-300x300Kathy presented on The Magic of Token Boards & Positive Behavior Strategies at the ASHA 2013 conference. The talk combined her long time SLP knowledge with her more recent BCBA studies.

If you’d like a copy of the Power Point presentation, leave a comment or post that includes your email address.

SLP + ABA = !!!

Kathys-day-of-revelation-with-lightbulb-300x300Ever had a day when everything seemed crystal clear? Well, Kathy just had one. The trigger? Realizing how helpful ABA (applied behavior analysis) knowledge is to her work. Especially when layered onto her speech- language background. Since Kathy takes Me almost everywhere during her school day, here’s a report:


The essence of an SLP is establishing human connections through conversation. Giving teenage students words is powerful for them in the real world. One of Kathy’s most impacted students is a favorite, because of his amazing responses to learning words. Having more of a voice has resulted in seemingly unrelated behavior improvements. She pushes him, and all of her students, to work hard, but knows when to celebrate small successes. They respond well to these behavior principles.


Writing meaningful, functional goals is extremely important. This leads to maximizing what they can do. As does collaborating with teachers, aides, and other therapists to run lessons together. Teaching students to see the world using varied stimulus types helps to break rigid ways of thinking and rote responding.


What a day! Thanks, Kathy, for letting Me eavesdrop. Maybe sharing these thoughts will help others. That would make both of our days.

An unscripted endorsement

IMG_2408-300x300Students with autism? Behavioral challenges? With these questions as her backdrop, Kathy had the attention of CSHA (California Speech & Hearing Association) conference attendees at the 123TokenMe booth. Even when her eyes were closed! She was certainly in her element- imagine, almost 2000 SLPs gathered in one place. Communication? It was certainly not a problem at the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend. 


A favorite moment from CSHA? When an SLP that had downloaded 123TokenMe last month burst into the middle of a presentation and announced, “This is the most amazing app that I’ve ever downloaded. My kids are so engaged by it that they don’t even realize how hard we are working to improve their behaviors. I love it.” As for us? A big thanks for both her enthusiasm and her off-the-cuff endorsement. The 123TokenMe word is beginning to spread.

123TokenMe’s Flexibility with more Impacted Students


If you work with severely impacted individuals with autism and other special needs, you know that flexibility is important. Especially while we are building replacement skills and targeting frustration tolerance or interfering escape behaviors. Can 123TokenMe simultaneously address staying calm and demonstrating the new, difficult skill? 


The easiest method to accomplish this is to award a child two tokens when they truly knock it out of the ballpark. Today I had a student spontaneously take deep breaths to keep himself calm, verbally repeated the complex direction as a self- management strategy to combat his poorer attending, and completed the directions independently and accurately. Woohoo! We celebrated with high fives and extra tokens. This momentum continued, and was celebrated with time for a rarely given special privilege.


In an earlier post, a second method to accomplish this was addressed- setting up the student with two different names in order to address each behavior simultaneously and independently. I’ve used both of these methods successfully- last year with my preschoolers, and this year with my high school students. Another example of the flexibility of 123TokenMe.


123TokenMe is off to Georgia


It’s official: 123TokenMe is off to Georgia. Marketing has begun. A speech-language pathologist from Georgia approached us about a seminar she is in charge of next week. Over 200 SLP’s will be there and one of the topics is, “How new technology can assist SLP’s in their work.”


Sounds like a perfect fit for 123TokenMe, doesn’t it? Thus, our first ever promotional materials were boxed up and shipped off this morning. Safe travels and spread the word!

Articulation goals- an opportunity for shared fun

IMG_1916-300x300Last year some of my favorite speech sessions were with a group of kindergarten boys with articulation goals. Who would have guessed they would become big fans of 123TokenMe? As with most of us, they liked to see how long they were going to work and what they were working for: One token = one correct production. Twenty tokens = FUN.


A little bit of control in their very big world. Each boy had a different goal, and knew that after everybody in the group produced twenty correct targets they would all share something fun. A reward that I encouraged them to choose as a group. MarbleWorks? Mr. Potato Head? Star Wars? Very quickly they knew their routine: Check in by finding their name, choose their token type and background color, and decide together what they wanted to play on their break. 


There was lots of conversation making these choices, Hey guys, lets all get soccer balls this time. They knew the rule: EVERYONE had to get all their sounds and receive all their tokens before it was break time. What was surprising, though, was watching them coach and give feedback to each other. They LOVED IT, and I loved seeing them literally cheer each other on.


At the year end conference a mom asked me what app I was using in speech, because her son raved about it. I told her that the boys had so much fun with 123TokenMe, that they did not even recognize how focused they were on working. Speech = fun? Absolutely. 

A new high school student?




Who is that student? The one with the pink shirt hurrying to class? Actually it’s not a student… it’s Kathy. After over fifteen years of working as a SLP in early intervention, she is now working at the high school level.


Kathy is looking forward to an exciting year with lots of learning. A chance to shake things up at a different level. To make a positive impact with students in their transition from school to life. And a great opportunity to model safe behavior by properly using crosswalks.