We've recently started giving Sadie choices. This isn't an easy thing to do, and requires some planning on our part. So, we decided to start small. We let her choose her jammies after bath and we let her choose her shirt to wear when she gets dressed in the morning. And then we constantly tell her how pretty she looks and what a good decision she made!
I'm not even sure if Sadie understands that she's making a choice or even how to make choices, but we hold up 2 different things before her and even if she looks at one more than the other we clap and rejoice in her "big decision." The hope is that this is a skill she'll learn if we continue to give her choices over and over again.
I think it's important for Sadie to make choices, especially when she's trapped in a body that she has such limited control over. Everything is done FOR her or TO her, she doesn't have a lot of freedom or independence. We decide when and what she eats (for the most part), we decide when to get in the tub and for how long. We decide where she's going to sit and if she's going to watch Sesame Street or not. I want her to feel somewhat like she has some independence over at least what she is going to wear.
Someday I hope that we can tell that she is making a conscious decision clearly by touching something or making a certain noise, or even saying yes or no. As for now, we'll stick with clothes, and slowly move on to more complicated things, maybe even start using a choice board on the ipad.
What kinds of things do you do for your special needs (or typical) child to help them gain/learn independence?