Tracking Non-Reinforcing Objects

Running the ABLLS assessment gives us a lot of valuable information about our students.  But, where do we go from there? How can we use this information to further our student’s skills?  It is up to us to utilize this valuable data and create programs tailored to our students’ individual needs.

The first section, A, tells us about cooperation and reinforcer effectiveness.  One specific task in section A is the student’s visual tracking of a non-reinforcing item.  In this post, we will show you a great and easy-to-administer program that we created geared to develop this foundational skill!

There are 5 sets in this program.

  1. Adult will instruct, “look!” while holding the item up.  The student will respond by looking at the item within 3 seconds.
  2. Adult will instruct, “look!” while holding up the item and the student will respond by looking.  The adult will change the direction once and repeat the prompt.
  3. Same as above + one additional direction (3 total)
  4. Same as above + two additional directions (4 total)
  5. Same as above + three additional directions (5 total)

The Autism Helper

Mastery criteria: The student can be moved on to the next set after correctly looking at the non-reinforcing item for 5 trials for each set across 5 days.

Data Sheet

{This program is included in Discrete Trial Goal Sheets and Programs – Set 3}

The Autism Helper


Things to remember:

  • Don’t forget to use a NON-reinforcing item.  Some items we use are a pencil, an empty cup, and a colored strip of paper.
  • Vary the non-reinforcing item that you use.  Don’t use the same item everyday!
  • If a student takes more than 3 seconds to respond, this counts as an INCORRECT
  • Provide reinforcement (“Good job!!!”) for correct trials! We want our students to know they are responding correctly and to continue doing so!
  • For incorrect responses, use error correction.  Repeat the prompt until the student looks, point to the item if necessary. Then begin the next trial.


Thanks for tuning in! We hope you find this program useful! 🙂








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