Preference Assessments


Have you worked with a
student before who was hard to engage? Have you worked with a student who you
presented a variety of toys or activities and they did not show any interest?
This can be overwhelming for a professional and frustrating for a student.
Knowing what our students
enjoy engaging with, allows us to incorporate these items or activities within
our therapy sessions. But how do we find out what our students enjoy when our
students interests are so very limited. Welcome to the preference assessment!
A simple preference
assessment can be described as a list of items and activities that could
potentially be enjoyed by a student. They help us identify an individuals favorite or preferred items or activities. The idea is to present the student with
a variety of items and activities and gauge their motivation to engage with
what is presented.
There are many available for
free and I have included my favorite preference assessment at the end of this
blog post.
So we may present our student
with a fire truck and gauge their motivation to engage with it.
We may present our student
with jumping on the trampoline and gauge their motivation to engage with this
Some of our students may not
be communicating verbally, so we will have to put our detective hats on and
observe their behavior closely. We need to document if the student enjoys the
item/activity or if they are not interested.


When we have identified
items/ activities that are preferred by the student, we can use these items to
directly address requesting. Work on requesting if your student is preverbal
may help them develop a way to communicate with the world. So if we identify
that a student really enjoys playing ball, we can incorporate this into our
therapy sessions.
If we have identified that
our student loves listening to music, we can work on this as a requesting
target or use it during our sessions as reinforcement for staying engaged with
therapeutic tasks.
Preference assessments can be
so very helpful! Fill out the form below to gain access to my favorite
preference assessment.

Get your preference assessment here

A great tool to use!

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