A Systematic Review of the Effects of Choice on Academic Outcomes for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder


This review synthesized single-case design studies whose interventions investigated the effects of a choice-making component on academic behaviors in academic settings for students with autism spectrum disorder. The included studies were conducted between 1990 and 2013 with kindergarten to grade 12 students with autism spectrum disorder. Eight studies met the criteria for inclusion. The authors applied a multistep evaluation process to provide an overview of the quality of evidence across studies and to inform the interpretation of results from each study. Findings indicate that providing a choice component results in improvements in student (a) work completion, (b) behaviors (e.g., increase in on-task behavior, reduction in challenging behavior), and (c) affect and interest. Further, the authors noted that outcomes varied by design, with conditions that included a choice component outperforming the no-choice-component condition in both multiple-baseline and withdrawal designs, although results were mixed for studies employing an alternating-treatment design.


Reutebuch, C. K., El Zein, F., & Roberts, G. A. (2015). A systematic review of the effects of choice on academic outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 20, 1–16.