We all make associations all the time, where we connect one event or set of circumstances with another. I associate the arrival of Summer with sun burn, turning puce and spending many a happy hour peeling off strips of dead snake skin from my arms. I associate the holidays with Christmas pudding, hidden silver shillings to break teeth and a visit to the dentist. Some of the connections we make are faulty but they're hard to shift once they've been experiencing. We learn through our unique experiences.
Teaching autistic children can be difficult because their motivations differ so greatly from the average child. It is because of this that frequently we need to use motivators that many other parents disapprove of quite strongly. Most people are on board with giving a child a piece of candy for successfully conquering potty training at a young age, commonly under 5 years old. These same people are less convinced by giving an older child an M&M for putting on one sock, ineptly. I suspect that it's the back story that's missing.
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