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Activity and strategy

Making Choices with Objects

Tips to help children with multiple disabilities make choices using real objects

Many of my students with multiple disabilities have limited language. I introduce objects connected with activities to introduce making choices. Students use the object to request objects or to communicate what activity comes next. 

  • Objects
  • Key chain bracelets
  • Binder rings
  • Super glue if needed
  • Plastic pages (available as a part of the Symbols and Meaning (SAM) Kit from APH)

Create an object key chain for daily activities. 

  1. Attach object to key chain with binder clip. Glue joint on binder clip. 
  2. Attach the braille/print tag using the key ring. The tag is made from a piece of the plastic page from the SAM Kit.

I started with 2 object keychains for one of my students. I created an object to pair with a book and a toy. I used another toy similar to the one he likes but it does not have the sound.

Let your student explore the object keychains then have the student choose one. Immediately give the student the requested item or activity.

Introduce new object key chains as previous objects have been mastered. Create object key chains for individual books, classes, etc.

The key chains make it easier for students who have difficulty carrying objects from place to place. 


  • You could start with a preferred activity and a non-preferred.
  • Objects could be attached to cards and placed on a felt board for choices.
  • Create objects for different classes so that students know what comes next. The student could carry a PE object to PE and an object for the class that comes next.
Student making orange juice with a teacher using a juicing machine.
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