A choice board gives learners a choice in a number of different situations. A calming choice board would offer calming choices to the learner during times they need to de-escalate and regulate their bodies.

*If a learner is already displaying agitated behaviors, presenting a choice board may increase the level of aggression. Practicing the use of calming strategies should happen when the learner is calm.


When a learner is displaying trigger behaviors (those identified behaviors that occur prior to a bigger more aggressive behavior) guide them to make a calming choice from the choice board.
*The adult may need to engage in the calming choice with the learner, this is known as co-regulation



1. Present the choice board to the learner *ensure the choice board is created at the learners language and cognitive skill level for it to be an effective tool
2. Ask the learner to make a choice from the choices displayed. You may have to point to and read each option
3. Wait for the learner to make a choice by pointing to, taking off, or verbally stating the icon of their choice
4. Allow the learner to immediately engage in the selected choice


● Make sure all of the choices on the choice board are readily available to the learner. If it is not available at that moment, it should not be offered as a choice for the learner to make.
● Some learners may be overwhelmed by so many options, you may have to reduce the number of icons on the choice board
● A learner may need an adult to engage in the calming strategy with them, this is co-regulation
● Limited the number of verbals used with the learner in a situation of heightened emotional well being, as this may increase the learners agitation