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Contracting: A Positive Way to Improve Family Dynamics and Learn New Skills

Jill C. Dardig, Ed.D & William L. Heward, Ed.D., BCBA-D
First developed in the 1970s, contingency contracting is a behavior change strategy that identifies a task to be completed and a reward to follow successful accomplishment of the task. Numerous research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of contracting to improve behavior and teach new skills to children with and without disabilities in home, school, and community settings. Using children’s stories, examples of contracts used by families to help children fulfill household responsibilities, learn new skills, get ready for school in the morning, and make friends at school will be presented.

Presented at the 2022 Michigan Autism Conference

Jill C. Dardig is a professor of education at Ohio Dominican University, where she teaches a variety of courses and supervises student teachers. She has trained intervention specialists for the past 30 years at the university and was the first recipient of Ohio Dominican’s Booth-Ferris Master Faculty Award. Dardig has served as president of the Teacher Education Division of the Ohio Federation Council for Exceptional Children. She worked previously as a curriculum specialist for the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, a special education faculty member at Russell Sage College, a research assistant for the Northeast Regional Media Center for the Deaf, and a parent educator for Project Change. Dardig has written a variety of books and other publications about and for parents.

William L. Heward, Ed.D., BCBA-D, is Professor Emeritus in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. Dr. Heward has taught at universities in Brazil, Japan, Portugal, and Singapore and given lectures and workshops in 22 other countries. His publications include co-authoring the books Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd ed., Pearson, 2020), Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education (12th ed., Pearson, 2022), and Let’s Make a Contract: A Positive Way to Change Your Chilld’s Behavior (Collective Book Studio, 2022). Awards recognizing Bill’s contributions to education and behavior analysis include the Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award from the American Psychological Association’s Division 25, the Ellen P. Reese Award for Communication of Behavioral Concepts from the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and the Distinguished Psychology Department Alumnus Award from Western Michigan University.

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