We have started to get Raiyan acquainted with MONEY! Oc course following the basic principles of ABA, everything we try to instil needs to be broken down into very small and easy to follow steps so for now we are only familiarising him with 1 cents and 5 cents coins.
Just to make it interesting, we set up a pretend shop where there is a cash register and a box of fake supermarket items that Raiyan would need to purchase from us and we would ask for a certain amount of the coins that he has (which again, only consists of 1 cents and 5 cents coins). Oh and it is also worth to note that to do this, it is vital that the child has a basic knowledge of additions and at least to be able to add numbers that total to an amount not more than 10.
Just to share, this is how we are teaching him the value of money on a step by step basis:
1. First, we would just ask for either 1 cent OR 5 cent. What I tried to do is that with 1 cent coin, I taught him to identify it by it being gold coloured and having a diamond shape on one side whereas the 5 cent coin is silver and has a scorpion like shape on one side (of course it being an animal makes it all easier for Raiyan). So he can buy an apple for 1 cent and he would give me one 1 cent coin and he can buy a carton of milk for 5 cent and he would give me one 5 cent coin. This was relatively straightforward because all he had to do was remember the identity of these 2 coins separately from each other;
2. Once he has familiarised himself with what a 1 cent and a 5 cent coin look like, I tried to move by making him give more than just one coin. Again, using the simplest way, I ask him to give me 2 cents for a piece of bread to which he would give me two pieces of 1 cent coins. And then I would move on to 3 cents, 4 cents and then 5 cents where he would give me three, four and five 1 cent coins respectively.
3. Once he's familiar with that, then I started to make him do the same thing with the 5 cent coins but since we're keeping it simple, that would only make up one configuration which is two 5 cent coins to make 10 cents. This was not as straightforward as per 2. above as it took a while for him to see that ONE 5 cent coin actually makes up 5 units and not just 1. I really had to prompt him for this and in the end it did "seem" like he got the fact that TWO 5 cent coins make up the 10 cents that I asked from him. However, I am still not convinced that this is really mastered so there is definitely a need to revisit this over and over again.
4. You would think I'd stop at that point, seeing how he clearly had difficulties identifying a 5 cent coin to have 5 units as he still saw one coin to have just one unit. Noentheless, I still pushed further and tried to get him to give me 6 cents when he only have five 1 cent coins which would then compel him to give me a combination of one 5 cent coin and one 1 cent coin. OMG, this was such a STRUGGLE to do and I REALLY had to talk through every step of the way that I nearly went crazy! LOL! I would already have the 5 cent coin and the 1 cent coin on my palm and when asked he would STILL tell me that I only have 2 cents! Even after having passed 6 cents and to go on to 7 and 8 cents he was still finding it hard to grasp and his first answer was always (5+1+1) 3 cents and (5+1+1+1 )4 cents!!
I tried to get him to use his fingers by putting up five on one hand and then the 1 cent units on the other which did make it a tad easier but there is no denying that in the end, he reallly, really has to work hard on this.
I'm going to be more creative in terms of giving a better reinforcement for him to concentrate and work harder when doing this (as he kept switching off and gazing halfway through when we were doing it!).
In the bigger picture, I could tell him that it would be useful for him to understand the value of money so he can go to the bookstore and buy something himself if we give him the money beforehand? :-D But for broken down reinforcements, I really need to think of things he would really love to have so that he 'd be more motivated to learn this! With how difficult it seems to be for him, he needs all the motivation he can get!