ABSTRACT

We all make decisions every day of our lives; many of those are what could be termed small decisions – everyday decisions – what to eat, and what to wear. Pondering the attributes of choices gives food for thought in relation to teaching children and young people with SEN to make their own decisions. Research has shown that people tend to think about making decisions in the same way, suggesting there is a common set of cognitive skills. From a child development perspective, decision-making is a cognitive process which develops from early childhood to young adulthood. Whilst it is aligned to certain areas of the brain, decision-making is a learned behaviour and is reliant on experience for its development. The research consensus indicates that children and young people’s experiences play an important part in the development of the reasoning abilities that underpin decision-making skills.