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Offering Choices... to Develop Communication

Offer choices to your child to help encourage them to use and develop their communication skills to express a choice or preference.

Offering choices creates an opportunity for your child to use their commination skills to express a preference, and/or offers you an opportunity to encourage them to communicate to indicate a preference. By offering your child a choice, rather than immediately given them the item (even when you know what they want) you are creating a communication opportunity that otherwise would not have existed. When offered choices your child needs to communicate with you somehow to let you know which of the options offered they want. Your child may communicate a choice by reaching, pointing, or verbally labelling the item they want - all of these are suitable attempts to communicate their choice.

Offer your child a choice between 2 items. These may be 2 preferred items, or a preferred and a non-preferred item (the later may help make sure your child's choice is reliable and that they are asking for the item they actually want so this can be useful if their choices are not yet reliable). Label each item offered using a single word and pause, holding out the items, so encourage your child to indicate a choice. If you child reaches, grabs, or points to let you know which one they want, repeat the single word label and pause again to encourage them to verbalise/imitate the single word before given the item to them.

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