Choice Board

When to use: 

Choice boards are effective in many situations such as: 

  • Food or Drinks Reinforcers 
  • Activities or Actions 
  • Places 
  • People 
  • Toys 
  • Materials/Supplies 

How to use: 

  1. Use pictures, symbols, text, or objects, depending on the student's language and cognitive ability, to create a board. 
  2. The way that a student is able to show you their choice will depend on the motor and communication skills of the student. Some students will need larger choice board icons so that they can point or look at the option they want. Other students will be able to grab a Velcro symbol card off of a more tightly arranged choice board and hand it to you. 
  3. Show the student the choice board and, if needed, read the choices aloud, pointing to each one as you say the word. 
  4. Ask the student to make a choice. 
  5. Wait for the student to show you which item they want either by pointing, removing the choice and handing it to you, or verbally choosing.
  6. If the student is selecting an item for immediate use, such as a snack or activity, give the student the choice immediately. If the student is picking a reinforcer or reward to work toward, place the choice on a token board or first-then visual. 


  • Only give options that are available and appropriate at the time. A student may become frustrated and less likely to use the choice board if their choices are not respected. Put a Velcro strip on the back side of the choice board to store extra or unavailable choices. 
  • Some students can only handle two or three options at a time, while others can choose from several options. If a choice board is not helping your student communicate, it may have too many or too few choices.