High Probability Requests

For something so simple it's amazing as to how effective it is. I learned this strategy as a tutorial in a behavior mod class for extra credit. (Thanks Dr. Kossar!) Here are the technical steps:

To implement this strategy, the interventionist must identify three to five high-p requests for the child. Each of these requests needs to be one to which the child can quickly and immediately comply.
2. Next, the interventionist should target a specific low-p request that usually results in the production of challenging behaviors. (math worksheet, circle time, seat work, reading)
3. The interventionist then delivers 3 to 5 high-p requests immediately prior to delivering a low-p request. In Mark’s example, the teacher may ask Bob to get a stack of papers, pass them out, get the teacher a dry erase marker, and then write one sentence about weather.

The reality is anytime a student(or son/daughter) is going to be asked to do something that they don't like or want to do is when this is particularly effective. If the function of the behavior is attention or avoidance, then you are golden. The student will be under less stress and happy to comply. They sometimes won't even realize that they end up doing the task they don't like to do. This strategy is also great to use if transition produces challenging behavior.

Over Christmas break I realized how I could modify this technique. I knew my son does not like to clean his room. I would give him a choice of two things to do. Always giving the choice of cleaning his room as one and the other would be a housekeeping chore that needed to be done but that he didn't mind doing. As you may imagine, he always picked whatever was the alternative. After three chores done with no bribing and minimal complaining is when I went for the big show. The last two choices were both parts of cleaning his room. (Put away clothes or sweep the floor) He didn't really realize both choices were in his room and complied immediately. I kinda had to laugh because I got my closet reorganized (shoes), the rest of the house vacuumed and all the Christmas boxes brought up. It's not technically the high probability request strategy but it worked on the fly.

What I'd like to know is: Have you used this strategy in your classroom? How did it go? Any reflections?

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