Course Description

Set the stage at the onset of therapy so that even your most challenging client will run to you with excitement for every session! I am breaking down the 3-step process to ensure you and your clients start the right way for a successful relationship that builds trust and gets results. 

Course Outline

  • Review reinforcement 
  • Review unconditioned versus conditioned reinforcement 
  • Learn the steps of the pairing process
  • Become a conditioned reinforcer 

Course Format

Video PowerPoint presentation with author narration & downloadable handouts.

Course Objectives

  1. Describe reinforcement & conditioned reinforcement 
  2. Describe & apply the steps of the pairing process
  3. Become a conditioned reinforcer 


Since 1998, Nikki McRory, MA CCC-SLP, BCBA, has dedicated her career to working with children and families impacted by autism spectrum disorder. She has established a variety of specialized center-based programs at her private practice, McRory Pediatric Services, Inc. that focus on helping children become effective vocal communicators. 

Nikki lectures locally, on the subject of ASD and has published articles in the Autism Parenting Magazine.  Families from across Los Angeles and the surrounding areas travel to McRory Pediatric Services, Inc. in Tarzana and Santa Clarita to participate in intensive, specialized therapy programs. McRory Pediatrics offers renowned speech- language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, child development and applied behavior analysis (ABA) in their centers and home-based autism programs.

Nikki currently serves as the Board Chair of the Southern California Chapter of Autism Speaks.

McRory Pediatrics has been awarded the "Best of Encino" award for their speech-language therapy services, and has had articles featured in LA Parent Magazine and LA Voyage Magazine.

Course Reviews

"This course, "Becoming a Conditioned Reinforcer," takes an obscure term from behavior therapy and clearly explains the definition and practical application for a speech-language pathologist who may not be familiar with techniques in applied behavior analysis. The course is brief but still provides multiple examples to help illustrate how to become a conditioned reinforcer - a skill that is invaluable as a speech-language pathologist when building rapport with clients, especially children on the Autism Spectrum. I recommend this course for anyone seeking foundational knowledge and skills for behavior management." ~ Marieke P., SLP

"Becoming a Conditioned Reinforcer" has been such as effective tool, especially as we have begun to see telehealth/screen time fatigue over the last few months. My graduate student and I were observing that one of our shared clients for early intervention was beginning to "zone-out," protest, and whine as soon as he saw his family's tablet/ computer screen at the beginning of therapeutic sessions, in particular when any picture stimuli was presented. My graduate student and I decided to take a break from stimuli on the screen and to pair ourselves positively with the screen by using his real life, highest motivators: cars, trucks, and trains. 

On our first attempt to become conditioned reinforcers, my graduate student brought a variety of toy vehicles to the screen, narrated her actions, engaged in pretend play, and interpreted our client's positive reactions. After a few minutes he was so engaged with the computer and vocalizing enthusiastically while watching her complete simple actions with his favorite items, that she began to naturally embed opportunities for him to imitate target consonants, vowels, or consonant-vowel combinations. He participated by imitating her with NO prompting. It was the most positive session we had had in several weeks and he even began to use the imitated productions (i.e., papa, nana, go) in delay! A simple "break" from structured work to allow ourselves to become reinforcers/motivators for the client resulted in huge progress! We will continue to use this strategy for many clients to come!"

Thank you for sharing this quick and easy to review resource 🙂

~ Celeste

5 star rating

Ariel Paige

It was very informative

It was very informative

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