Contrived mediating stimulus

Overview of Contrived Mediating Stimulus

A contrived mediated stimulus is a teaching aide that is used in the instructional setting to teach a specific skill and then used in different settings to elicit the same skill.

Implementation Guide

Additional Tips

There are many types of resources that can be used as a contrived mediating stimulus.

  • Visuals (Social narrative, self-monitoring card, visual prompts/reminders, token economy cards)
  • Timers
  • Paraprofessionals (When training a new skill, ensure the paraprofessional (if the student has one) is part of the training process. The presence of the paraprofessional in other settings may be enough to signal the learner to engage in the desired skill. 
  • Peers: (Include a peer in the training process if peers are present in both the training and generalization settings). 

Consider delivering additional reinforcement for using the skill in other settings

  • The learner could earn 1 token for engaging in the desired behavior in the training setting, but earn 2 tokens for using the skill in settings outside of the training setting. 
  • Train peers and teachers to provide positive feedback to the learner when the learner engages in the desired behavior. 

Communicate with all teachers in the generalization settings.

  • Make sure the teachers who are in the generalization settings know what the contrived mediating stimulus is. 
  • Train the teachers to prompt the learner to use the contrived mediating stimulus when the learner is not exhibiting the desired skill. It’s important the learner is using the contrived mediating stimulus so the learner’s use of the desired skill is maintained by the contrived mediating stimulus, rather than becoming prompt dependent from the teachers (the teacher is taught to NOT prompt the skill, rather the teacher can just point to the contrived mediating stimulus when the desired skill is not being exhibited by the learner).