Skip to main content
Monthly Archives

April 2019

“Time-Out” & “Time-In”

By Blog No Comments

behavior planning for autism

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions that often bring challenges related to: social skills, speech, and behavior. For many parents, trying to understand and manage their child’s behaviors can be difficult. One of the biggest challenges is trying to create a consistent structure for handling situations when their child is acting out. Additionally, having a consistent way to reinforce positive behaviors is often overlooked.

Below is an example of a method parents can use effectively when trying to address certain behaviors of their child, both positive and negative.

Time-Out & Time-In.


What is Time-Out?

When a child is told to go somewhere – like a chair or facing a wall, alone for a determined amount of time.

How to effectively implement Time-Out.

  • Use a calm voice and avoid making choices based on emotions.
  • Set specific rules and criteria and ensure a consistent implementation.
  • Use brief statements of the behavior you want to see next/again.
    • “When you are calm, you can tell me what you need.”
    • With an inside voice, let em know what you want when you are ready.”
    • The video games are not available, you can have a book or your race car. Let me know when you are ready to pick with an inside voice.
      • Avoid offering to many options.
      • Avoid offering options after the behavior occurred.

When NOT to use Time-Out

  • With children who use behavior to avoid or escape situations, tasks, or activities.
  • With children who engage in self injurious behavior and could cause harm to themselves.

What is Time-In?

Reinforcing positive behaviors through praise or attention.

Ho to use Time-In

  • Provide lots of attention for the behaviors you want to see again.
  • Labeling the things you like. (Descriptive praise.)
    • “I love how you are sharing your blocks with your sister!”
    • “You are sitting waiting so nicely!”
    • “Thank you for helping clean up!”
  • Identify what your child likes.
    • Verbal praise, hugs, tickles, squeezes, high fives, tokens, toys.
    • Use these paired with descriptive praise.
  • Use high energy and incorporate them with activities your child likes.


At EAS, we build individualized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy programs which help address behavior planning, as well as: social skills, fine motor skills, language and communication, play skills, self help, and more. If you would like to speak with a clinician to set up a time to see discuss building a personalized program for your child, please click on the link below.