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Choice Making

Learning to make choices is a functional way for your child to start letting you know their likes and dislikes and what they would prefer. It is hard to stop anticipating what your child wants or needs but by waiting a few seconds and allowing your child to make a choice shows them the value of communicating with you. Giving your child a choice, means that they have some control over you and their environment. 

Helping Your Child To Make Choices

During every day there are lots of times when you can offer your child a choice, making this a really easy change to make.

1. When you would like your child to make a choice, first get their attention then hold up the 2 objects they can choose from close to your face and say: “Do you want X or Y?”

2. They are likely to show you their choice by reaching for, pointing to or looking at the object. This is their way of communicating with you so it is vital you give them what they have asked for.

3. At first, offer your child a choice between something you know they like and something you know they dislike. Honour their choice, so even if they choose the object you know they don’t like, give it to them. In this way, they will learn to make purposeful choices. If they do choose the disliked item, they will probably let you know they are not impressed! Simply present the choice again, and maybe prompt them to choose the favoured item.

4. Once your child can consistently choose between liked and disliked objects, introduce choices between two things your child likes.

5. Here are some ideas of choices you can offer to get you started

  • Food to eat
  • Things to drink
  • Toys to play with
  • Places to go
  • Playing inside or outside
  • Whose lap to sit on.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Norfolk & Waveney Speech & Language Therapy Service by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 


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