Principle 8: Provide Frequent Choice-making Opportunities in the Classroom Transcript
Can you imagine life without choices? Would you appreciate being told what to eat, what to wear, where to go to college, who to marry, whether or not to have children? We may suffer this as children if we have parents who are controlling but more often than not, we will rebel and say enough! That "enough" may come in the form of running away from home or dressing inappropriately. For children or adolescents with ASD this "enough" is seen through their behaviors such as dropping to the floor in the hallway of school, having a complete and utter meltdown wherever they may choose, or simply refusing to complete a task or respond to anyone in the environment. Often times, simply providing the child with choices may eliminate some of the inappropriate behaviors.
Choice making is an essential element in programming and can be embedded into the daily schedule and activities. Choice-making allows the child to express self-determination in an acceptable manner. One of the simplest forms of choice making can come in the form of a board of reinforcements. By allowing a child to choose what sounds most pleasing to them at a given moment affords them the same courtesy that we have when we choose which snack we choose to eat when we're hungry or which car we choose to drive.
Remember, we have to know what is reinforcing to the child in order to develop meaningful choices.