Light Plus

By Activity Bank on Dec 24, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Vickie Brennan, Flo Ryu and Dennis Lolli and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

In this activity, the teacher pairs a predetermined reinforcer with the student’s attention to a light source. The student should exhibit attention behaviors such as cessation of motor activity, smiling, quieting, eye widening, raising or crinkling eyebrows, and an increase or decrease in respiration. These responses should be detected within five seconds of the activity to be deemed accurate. Lessons include Orientation and Mobility.


  • Light source (penlight, flashlight, colored filters, lamps)
  • Tactile stimulation (vibration, different textures)
  • Vestibular stimulation (rocking chair)
  • Olfactory stimulation (vanilla, peppermint)
  • Auditory stimulation (soft music, instruments)


  • Present the light source.
  • Contingent reinforcement: if the student attends to the light, immediately reward the attending behaviors with the reinforcer. The student must demonstrate attention to light stimulus within five seconds of its presentation in order for the reinforcer/preferred activity to be presented.
  • When the student stops attending or when the light source is removed, immediately remove the reinforcer.


Try these procedures with other favorite activities.

Hints: Always present the reinforcer/preferred activity consistently. Be sensitive to the student’s attention span.



light collage