Speech Corner – Giving Choices

Giving choices

Providing a choice means giving your child two options. It is a very useful strategy for children with Developmental Language Disorders because it provides an immediate contrast between what they have just said and the correct way of saying it. By giving two choices, children need to reflect on their language to choose the correct way, then practise saying the correct option when responding to the adult.

Child – “Her is driving.”

Mum – “Her is driving or she is driving.”

How to provide your child with a choice:

  • Give your child two options: Repeat what your child said and the correct way of saying it
    • Stress the correct option
    • Examples: “Is it her or she?”, “The dog running or the dog IS running?”
    • Say the correct option as the second choice until you know your child can accurately choose it

When to provide a choice:

  • When you notice an error or when your child is reluctant to talk

What to provide a choice for:

  • Vocabulary (word) errors, for example:

Child says: “Lion”

Parent asks: “Is it lion or tiger?”

  • Grammatical errors, for example:

Child says: “Her walked home.”

Parent asks: “Her walked or she walked?”

  • If your child chooses the incorrect option, model the correct option, for example:

After parent gave choices, child still says “Her walked home.”

Parent responds: “She walked home.”

  • Provide lots of modelling of the correct option:

Parent says: She carried a big bag. She walked so quickly. She must be tired!”

(Adapted from Hanen.org, 2016)

Speech Pathology Team