A wood board behind 8 pieces of paper, with each piece having one letter and spelling out the word BEHAVIOR. This piece is about Positive Behavior: Support Plan Examples for Autism.

Positive Behavior: Support Plan Examples for Autism


At Blue Parachute, our mission is to provide valuable resources and support for individuals of all ages, including children on the autism spectrum. When you catch your child being good, you want them to repeat this behavior. This is why learning how to foster positive behavior in those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is crucial. To explain how you can get an individual to repeat a desired behavior, we will delve into the significance of positive behavior support plans for autism and provide examples of how they can be implemented effectively.

Whether you are a teacher or parent of an autistic individual or you work in a community affected by autism, it’s critical to understand behavior and the role positive reinforcement plays in enhancing a person’s quality of life.

Behavior Supports for Autism

Individuals with autism often benefit from structured and consistent behavior support plans. These plans are designed to reinforce positive behaviors while reducing challenging or undesirable ones. A great place to start creating your support plan is by having a functional behavior assessment conducted.

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)

Before implementing a positive behavior support plan, it’s crucial for an FBA, or functional behavior assessment, to be conducted. This assessment helps identify the underlying causes of challenging behaviors. Though special education teachers, school psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals are well-versed in performing FBAs, you can identify and record any behaviors you notice with an ASD individual. The information you gather can help guide the professional who performs the formal FBA.

There are many behaviors of concern that an FBA can recognize. In addition to identifying such behaviors, these assessments can help determine the reasons behind them. For example, if a child with autism displays disruptive behavior during a particular activity, the FBA might reveal that the behavior is an attempt to escape from a task they find challenging. Understanding the function of behavior is crucial in developing effective support plans.

Once a functional behavior assessment has been done, you will have a better understanding of what causes certain behaviors. With this information, it will be easier to shape the behavior by implementing positive reinforcement. You can do this by setting clear expectations and using reinforcement as behavior supports for autism.

Setting Clear Expectations

Individuals with autism often thrive in structured environments with clear expectations. A positive behavior support plan may involve setting clear, achievable goals and expectations. For instance, a visual schedule can assist by outlining daily routines, helping the individual understand what is expected of them.

Use of Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a cornerstone of behavior support plans for autism. It involves pairing yourself as a reinforcer and rewarding desired behaviors to increase their occurrence. For example, if a child with autism is working on improving social interactions, they may receive praise or a preferred item when they initiate positive social interactions with peers. Consistency in reinforcement is essential for its effectiveness.

What Is Positive Reinforcement for Good Behavior?

Positive reinforcement is a behavior management technique that provides a reward or consequence in response to a specific behavior. The goal is to increase the likelihood of that behavior recurring. 

In the context of positive behavior support plans for autism, positive reinforcement may include a variety of methods. For some individuals on the spectrum, receiving verbal praise, such as “Great job!” or “You’re doing fantastic!” when they exhibit positive behavior will be enough encouragement for them to repeat this behavior.

Others who have ASD might want access to a preferred item or activity as a reward for good behavior. For example, a child may earn extra playtime with their favorite toy for completing a task without disruptive behavior. For those who want a tangible item, using a token system can help.

Regardless of the type of positive reinforcement that is given, it’s essential to provide an individual with this feedback as frequently as possible. The more a person is told they are doing well, the more likely they will be to try and repeat the behavior.

How Do You Reinforce Positive Behavior in Autism?

Reinforcing positive behavior in autism can be accomplished through several strategies. Each person on the spectrum will have their preference for how they would like to be praised, and it’s important to try different methods until an appropriate strategy is found.

Here are some ways that positive behavior can be reinforced:

Token Systems

Token systems are a form of tangible reinforcement. Individuals earn tokens for displaying positive behaviors, which they can later exchange for a preferred item or activity. This system can be especially effective for children with autism, who can have difficulty grasping concepts such as verbal praise, as these tokens visually represent progress.

Social Reinforcement

For many individuals with autism, social interaction can be a powerful reinforcer. Positive behaviors can be rewarded with social praise, such as verbal affirmations or a high-five. The social aspect of reinforcement can be particularly motivating, especially if the individual knows that others are witnessing them receiving praise or if they are being praised for completing a difficult task.

Visual Supports

Visual supports, like social stories or visual schedules, can help individuals with autism understand the expectations associated with positive behavior. These visual aids provide structure and clarity, reducing anxiety and increasing the likelihood of positive behavior.

Blue Parachute: Empowering Individuals With ASD

Positive behavior support plans for autism are powerful tools for empowering individuals on the spectrum. They provide structure, clear expectations, and motivation for to repeat these actions. The more you utilize these plans, the more you will catch your child being good.

At Blue Parachute, we offer a wide range of instructional videos that serve as a form of autism home support services. These were all created by Licensed and Certified Behavior Therapists, incorporating Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques. These videos are designed to support individuals with ASD in various aspects of their development, including behavior management.

Explore our website and view our library of video resources, then find a subscription plan that suits your needs. Whether you want to learn more about communication skills, life skills, or even preparing for adulthood when you are on the spectrum, we have a vast array of videos that can help. If you still have questions, you can read our frequently asked questions or send an email to support@theblueparachute.com.

With the right support and strategies, individuals with autism can thrive, and positive behavior can become a cornerstone of their development and well-being.

Related Readings:

Blue Parachute – Who We Help

Blue Parachute – How We Help

A Brief History of Autism


National Autistic Society (UK) – Positive Behaviour Support

Indiana Institute of Disability and Community – Positive Behavior Supports Creating Meaningful Life Options

Autism Speaks – Positive Behavior Support