Making choices can be challenging for children with autism. To practice this skill, give your students regular opportunities to practice this skill and make a choice. A great way to work on this is through voting with the classroom. You can have students vote on a range of different topics, activities, or daily questions. This also helps target more/less than when you select the winning category.
Vote for Activities
If your class is going to watch a movie or have a special snack – vote! Give a range of options and have students pick. You can easily make quick visual choices by printing some pictures from google image. Yes, some students may be confused at first if their choice doesn’t win but it’s important learning experience and if you practice this regularly they will have more chances to understand.
Vote on a Question
Continuing on the whole make a choice doesn’t necessarily equal getting something idea – I have talked a lot on here about teaching our students will limited verbal skills to use visuals to communicate beyond just requests. We sometimes get stuck at the request phase. And then we have a whole group of kiddos that can fluently use pictures to say, “I want chicken” and “I want iPad” but that’s about it. Voting helps students use visuals to communicate beyond a request. They are answering a question. Just because you say pizza is your favorite food doesn’t mean you are getting pizza that second. Daily questions like this work well for voting also!
Vote Election Style
You can also put an election-style spin on voting within the classroom by using words like ballot box, polling place, and voter registration in the process. Last year, Holly set up class elections for class president in her room and had students make campaign posters and vote. It was such great practice on this skill with a real-world twist!
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