Choices and Compliant Behavior

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How can choices help to increase compliant behavior?

Choices and Compliant Behavior

It is never a good idea to cave in when faced with a full-blown tantrum. However, parents and therapists can use choices as a kind of compromise when the child is trying to communicate that he does not want to engage in a task through more appropriate ways. Providing simple choices while encouraging the individual to complete the task is a great approach to gaining complaint behavior. For example, a child may have an aversion to brushing her teeth. She has sensory issues that make the whole ordeal uncomfortable. However, this is a task that needs to be addressed. Starting with simple choices like a selection of toothpastes and toothbrushes is a start. Also, breaking down the task into very small steps and ending the session is another way to encourage compliant behavior as well. The parent or therapist could model brushing teeth and prompt the child to choose a toothbrush. Once the child makes the choice, she is rewarded and the process is ended. At a later time, the toothbrush activity is introduced again and the initial step of choosing a toothbrush is followed by choosing a toothpaste. One step is added to the next progressively, all the while the child is given choices to make in order to encourage compliance.



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