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Here is my short list of considerations for using music listening as a reward. I have recently been working with a client who loves music listening, but the facility staff have had a difficult time using music as a reward for appropriate behavior. My advice to them in a nutshell included the 3 C's:
1. Contingent: Make sure that there are specific behaviors or tasks that must be accomplished in order to earn music listening.
2. Consistent: All staff members involved with a specific client should be versed in the contingencies and willing to follow through. The staff members must carry through with the established contingencies at all times. It only takes one person being soft on the contingencies to decrease the value of the music as a reward.
3. "Concrete": Use all means at your disposal to make the contingencies clear to the client. Visual charts, verbal reminders and frequent opportunities to earn the reward are the keys to this idea. The client should also be the one to choose the music for the reward.
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