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Learning Centre

How people make choices

There are different ways a person may respond when given a choice.

Response                                                     Example

Speech                                                          Say a word or part of a word

Gesture                                                        Point or reach for an object / symbol

Eye Gaze                                                      Look longer at the object / symbol

Facial Expression                                    Smile, frown or raise an eyebrow toward the chosen object / symbol

Body Movement                                       Move a hand or arm when you hear the name of the chosen object / symbol

Breathing Rate                                          May increase or decrease

Speech Generating Device (SGD)    Press a button and the device speaks the choice

Helpful Hints

  • Acknowledge and respond to every communicative attempt
  • Respond in a consistent manner
  • If the person makes a “wrong choice” (for example, selecting a non-desired item), give him/her the chosen ‘wrong’ item.
  • This will teach the person that his/her response has meaning.
  • Inform all members of the support network how the individual makes a choice and how they should respond to his/her communication attempt