The Appreciation Station

February 27, 2008 Kyron 3 Comments

In my article on January 26th of this year I talked about the use of positive reinforcement in the use of Applied Behavioral Analysis. I specifically talked about an Exceptional Parent magazine article which highlighted something called the Appreciation Station. I told you I was going to get one and try it out with Katherine and report back. So here we go.

I ordered this station and it arrived quickly. While I have to say the picture is of course accurate it does not do this product justice. In person it’s incredibly bright and inviting as was evidenced by BOTH of my kids reactions to it. Excitement doesn’t begin to descriappreciationstation The Appreciation Stationbe the joyful chaos that ensued as we pulled our very own appreciation station out of the box. Both children couldn’t wait to touch and explore it’s every graphically pleasing detail. It’s well packed and has quite a bit of starter materials to set you on your way. The DVD included gives you a good basic overview of the components and the differing ways in which to use them.

Since our youngest is really still too young to start with this (at least for a few more months) we decided that for us the best way to utilize it was to make each color a different level of achievement as Diana Low, founder, described in the DVD. From my years of experience in knowing what are things that motivate Katherine, I made a list of ‘rewards’ that I felt would be exciting to her and then I made decisions about what each reward would be worth. I made coupons up for each of the rewards and put them into their corresponding capsules (we went from left to right with far left being the lowest value). In the lowest we have stickers, temporary tattoos, (which by the way I thought had no chance of motivating Katherine and is what she looks for the most at this point).

Each container at the lowest level also contains a paper with the words 1 point on them. She collects these to turn in for the upper rewards which each have a corresponding point value. While Katherine has a sheet that tells her what the possible rewards are at each level she gets totally excited about seeing what one is going to come out in her capsule!! I love this because I can structure which reward comes out based on something I might need to do anyway. For instance if we’re going to have a long day and I plan on having take out pizza or chinese that night – I line it up so that’s the reward she gets out of the capsule and Katherine gets a ‘reward’ out of it by choosing whether it will be pizza or chinese!! I also use it to make sure she doesn’t trade in her points and get “afternoon at the movies” on a Wednesday when the wait to redeem might kill the effect of the reward.

We’ve also got a new coupon that we’re implementing with Katherine with some good success. I call it the “Get out of Jail Free” card – which those of you who have ever played Monopoly will understand. Katherine calls it the Wipe Out Card. It’s a card she gets in the capsule which she can save until she has a day where she has a behavior issue. When she has the behavior – we use the card to remind her she has a chance to reverse things and still earn for the day. With the opportunity to know that if she pulls it together all is not lost for the day she frequently seems to be able to pull it together BEFORE it’s totally out of control and she’s allowed to ‘Wipe Out’ the episode and still collect for the day. She knows however that behavior that involves aggression, self injury or property damage can’t be wiped out. We are finding that Wipe Out seems to reduce our chance of reaching destructo mode by about 60% so for Katherine thus far it’s an incredibly valuable technique.

The lowest level rewards we use once a day but in the case of a particularly outstanding accomplishment I have occasionally recognized this with an additional token which is something like receiving an Oscar apparently (as far as Katherine is concerned).

As I think you can tell overall, I have found the Appreciation Station to be a WHOPPING success with Katherine. I look forward to implementing in in several months with her brother as well. The only real con I had is that at the start the capsules which hold the rewards were a bit difficult to open for Katherine. She had to give them to me to open which never really seemed to kill the joy for Katherine, but might in another child who had a physical limitation without the mental limitation. They have gotten easier with repeated use. I feel like the investment of $49.95 is incredibly well worth it.

I wrote to Diana Low last week to let her know I was going to be reviewing the Appreciation Station on The Special Parent. I was hoping I could get her to offer some incentive to our readers who might be interested in purchasing one. As my mom always said the worst they can do is say no. Hey I figured maybe she’d give us a few dollars off but she’s done even better than that – she has offered my readers FREE SHIPPING!! (A $10 value!) All you have to do is enter the code ‘PARENT’ where they ask for a promotional code. This is good for up to 10 stations so stock up day care centers and head start programs!!

Diana also has another product The Conversation Station which we’ve only just started to use and I’ll report back on in another week or two.

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Categories : Resources, Strategies

Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. marsha says:

    I was wanting to get an appreciation station for my special needs classroom. I am having trouble finding it online. Could you tell me where I can order one? Thank you,

  2. admin says:

    If you google Appreciation Station Treasure Chest you can find several places that sell it still including some on Ebay.


  3. Kelly Johanson says:

    I found the Appreciation Station on sale at for $29.63 and they ahve a free shipping offer on the home page. Great deal. I LOVE it!

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