Growing Independence {Part 2}

In the last post, we talked about how to develop and practice independence in academic tasks. 
(Click HERE to read that post.) Today we are going to focus on increasing the amount of work a student completes before earning a reinforcer.

There are 2 ways to work on lengthening the amount of work a student can complete.

1. Increase the number of items a student has to complete before earning a reinforcer. 

2. Increase the length of each task while keeping the number of tasks the same.

Each option has pros and cons and should be considered for each individual student. For example, I have a student who will have a melt down if he is given extra tasks to complete. To get around this, I have increased the length of each item. You could do this by increasing the number of problems on a worksheet, amount of pegs to put in, larger puzzles, etc. 

Other students in my class are fine with getting several tasks as long as they are shorter tasks. For these students I keep the length of each task the same while adding more and more tasks that need to be completed. 

No matter which option the student needs, the focus needs to be on the student working longer and longer without a reinforcer or adult intervention. 


  1. I am a Special Ed. Teacher working with 5-7 year old,sK-1 ASD students. I pinned this several months ago and have been looking forward to learning and implementing independent work strategies into my students schedules. My concern prior to reading this article was the amount of extra work it would take to get this model up and running. Once I read this I realized, I have the materials at my fingertips. Now it is a matter of organizing the each students 'independent work bins' and figure out how/when to rotate the materials Each student has an ABA therapist assigned to them. This process is feasible. I look forward to getting started.Thank you for sharing. One question, how do I access Part 1 of Growing Independent?

  2. Here is the link to part 1:

    Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions. I would be happy to help!