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Masters of Special Education with Academic Instruction Certification

Choice Making - Topic 28

What is it?

Choice making is an antecedent intervention that generally follows five steps.  It is an intervention that is simple to follow and easy to implement throughout the day.  Using choice as an intervention has the ability to reduce problem behavior in the classroom.  Across most of the research on choice making, 5 steps are typically followed: 1. Offer the student or group of students a choice of two or more options, 2. ask for a choice to be made, 3. wait for the choice to be made, 4. student(s) respond, 5. after a predetermined amount of time a choice has not been made, prompt the student(s) to make a choice, and 6. reinforce the selection by giving the student(s) the item that was chosen.  This intervention is preventive and should be implemented prior to the occurrence of problem behavior.  Decisions on when to implement should be formulated from data collected on the naturally occurring patterns of problem behavior exhibited by the target student(s).

Why is it important?

Choice making is an important practice for a few basic reasons.  It is easy to implement, it is a non-evasive antecedent manipulation, and it can be used with a variety of students or for a variety of problem behaviors.


Sigafoos, F., & Dempsey, R. (1992). Assessing choice making among children with multiple

disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 747-755.

Shogren, R. E., & Faggella-Luby, M. N., Bae, A. J., & Wehmeyer, M. L. (2004).  The effect of choice

making as an intervention for problem behavior: A meta-analysis.  Journal of Positive

Behavior Interventions, 6, 228-237.

Web Links

Bridge School Multimodal Choice Making

Autism Course Modules

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