Travel Card (Myles, 2005)

  • Situation

    My son has Asperger Syndrome and has been displaying some challenging behaviors in many of his classes. His teachers tend to be negative and are always telling me what he is doing wrong in class! Any ideas for how I can help his teachers focus more on the positive?

  • Summary

    Research supports that students respond better to positive behavioral approaches such as verbal praise and small tangible rewards for good behavior. A ‘travel card” is one way to positively reinforce a student for demonstrating good or improved behaviors by allowing the student to earn points toward a chosen reward. The tool also provides teachers with a constructive way of providing praise for good behavior and gentle corrective feedback when needed. Typically, the award is given at the end of the day however; for some students who may have issues with delayed gratification, a mid-day and end of day reward may be necessary. In addition, the tool provides a nice way to communicate with families as the card can be sent home each night for a parent to review with their child. The Travel Card should be used positively…do not send it home with any negative comments written on it as the point total will reflect performance.

  • Definition

    A Travel Card is an incentive chart that a student carries to each class for teachers to review and sign at the end of each period. It lists behavior expectations in positive terms and the student is awarded points based upon his performance. These points are then cashed in at the end of the day (or morning depending upon the student) for a preferred item or activity.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13, 14-17
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    form that “travels” with student identified reinforcers

  • Process

    1. Talk with your student about what items or activities he might like to earn for improving his behavior. (Reward Menu)


    2. Explain that his behavior will be “scored” after each class period and that he can earn points toward his reward:

    •  2 points if he follows all behavior expectations
    • 1 point if he follows some
    • 0 points if he did not follow expectations and needs to improve in the next class.


    3. Develop a chart that lists the Point Key (0, 1, 2) the daily points required for him to earn his reward that day, his class schedule and 2-3 behavioral expectations.


    4. Initially set the point criteria for a reward on the lower end to insure some success for the first few days. Over time, the criteria can be changed to where more points are needed to earn his reward.


    5. After each class period (or designated time), the teacher and student meet privately for a minute or so to review the behavior and score accordingly.


    6. Keep it positive and encourage the student to do better

  • Documents and Related Resources

    Travel card sample template (Word document)


    Travel card sample (PDF)


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