Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational & Clinical Studies

First Committee Member

Tom Pierce

Second Committee Member

Kyle Higgins

Third Committee Member

Susan Miller

Fourth Committee Member

Richard Tandy

Number of Pages



A number of studies have suggested that when children with disabilities are presented with choice-making opportunities, they can make choices (Bambara, 2004; Carlson, Luiselli, Slyman, & Markowski, 2008; Dibley & Lim, 1999; Manhertz, 2006). Teaching choice-making to students with intellectual disability is an important skill. Students with intellectual disability, when exposed to choice-making, tend to display these skills in future settings as they grow older (Lee, Palmer, Turnbull, & Wehmeyer, 2006). Choice-making research has been limited for high school students with mild to moderate intellectual disability (Dibley & Lim, 1999; Manhertz, 2006; Shevin & Klein, 2004).

The purpose of this study was to determine if high school students with intellectual disability, when given choice training, would improve their choice selections. This study involved an investigation of choice-making instruction intervention with individuals with intellectual disability.

The researcher used a multiple probe design with one replication for six students with intellectual disability.

The study took place in one 9-12 public high school classroom. One specialized classroom with a special education teacher who served students with mild to moderate intellectual disability was used in this study. Students received daily instruction with choice-making scenarios using still picture photographs. Choice-making training scenarios embedded real life situations that teenagers face daily. Real life choice situations were (a) making a choice on how to tell a friend that you are going to attend his or her birthday party, (b) making a choice on what and how you will spend your money, and (c) making a choice on what to wear to a job interview. This study involved an investigation of daily life choices and choice-making options that high school age students are given everyday.

Lastly, the maintenance of choice-making skills in high school age students with intellectual disability was explored. The results of this study will add to the choice-making body of literature. Additionally, this study provided strategies for teachers to implement choice-making with a variety of students with disabilities.


Children with mental disabilities; Choice (Psychology); Choice awareness; Choice-making; Decision making – Study and teaching; Intellectual disability


Education | Special Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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