Skip to main content

Supporting Choice Making

The unpredictability and lack of control caused by the pandemic can be very upsetting for us all. Incorporating opportunities for choice making throughout the day can help provide a sense of control and reduce anxiety. Encouraging individuals with autism to make decisions for themselves can also promote confidence, independence, and self-advocacy.

There are many opportunities for choice-making throughout a child’s daily routines. You can incorporate choices for what clothes to wear, what to have for dinner, what family game to play, what book to read, and more!

Using a visual schedule is a great way to structure opportunities for choice-making. This example provides blanks within the schedule where the individual can write in their choice. Interacting with the schedule by checking off each item and writing in the blanks is a helpful way to increase engagement and support transitions between activities.

Making choices can sometimes be difficult for individuals with autism. You can help them by presenting options on a choice board. If the child is overwhelmed by all the possibilities, narrow the choices to just 2 options.

If your child has difficulty with comprehending written words, you can show them pictures or objects to offer choices.

Helpful Hints: 

  • When making your visual schedule, it can be helpful to balance less preferred activities (such as homework or chores) with fun opportunities for choice-making.
  • It is a good idea to allow extra time in your schedule for the child to make choices. For example, if the child is going to pick out their clothes in the morning, you might want to plan for them to start getting dressed 15 minutes earlier, so they have plenty of time to choose.