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Reinforcement (R+)

Reinforcement (R+) is a foundational practice that is used with other evidence-based practices. Reinforcement describes the relationship between learner behavior and a consequence that follows the behavior. This relationship is reinforcing only if the consequence increases the likelihood the learner will perform the skill or behavior in the future. 

What Will I Learn?

The AFIRM model guides the learner through four lessons to facilitate:

  • Learning basic knowledge about reinforcement (R+).
  • Applying R+ in activity based scenarios that promote real-world application.

The R+ module will take approximately 2.5 to 3 hours to complete. However, the module is broken into individual lessons to help guide your learning:

Lesson Time to Complete
A Case for R+ 10 minutes
Lesson 1: Basics of R+ 25 minutes
Lesson 2: Planning for R+ 40 minutes
Lesson 3: Using R+ 40 minutes
Lesson 4: Monitoring R+ 30 minutes
Applying R+ 10 minutes
Suggested citation:
Sam, A., & AFIRM Team. (2015). Reinforcement. Chapel Hill, NC: National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder, FPG Child Development Center, University of North Carolina. Retrieved from

Professional Standards

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards that apply to all 27 evidence-based practices (PDF document, 2 pages)

CEC standards that apply specifically to the reinforcement (R+) module (PDF document, 2 pages)


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