Hi , in today’s blog I am going to put forward about four important life skills that need to be aware and must develop in your child with Autistic personality
What are mainly life skills? What do they mean for us ?
“Life skills are anything that is desirable and essential for full participation in life”
In case of an individual with Autism , life-skills are are important to attain independence at home , school , community , increase self confidence and self esteem
So how to start developing life skills for a child with autism and what is the best time to do
Well time is as much early as possible
If its early it will definitely add happiness in different areas in their life
Now , how to start ?
Well every person on autism is unique and different so their pace to learn and execute shall vary
An important mantra is to give clear , easy and to the point instructions and do hands on rather than expecting them to do it all at the first go
Your intent should be to build confidence in the skill first and then develop the precision and fineness
Remember , they learn , process , express and execute differently and we must enter their world
What are four important life skills that must be in your to do list ?
Well , you should always OWL your child
AHHHH are you confused what is owl ?
Haha …this is O- observe , W- wait , and L- Let your child take lead
So this is observing your child for their specific interest around the chores in the daily routine
You should have a supportive role and practice is the key
Four skills that are utmost important and can influence learning other life skills are
1.Reading and Registering a visual schedules and supports
These can include – morning checklist ,night routine cards , school time table , playtime schedules, therapy routine charts etc
This skill will prepare them to understand what goes in their day and help them be the boss and take control of situation . You will notice less aversion and rigid and challenging behaviours
2. Teach your child to take breaks
The child can get overloaded , overstimulated , understimulated , tired , bored and confused. In order to emotionally regulate , they must be learning to convey that they want break or time out to sort themselves and keep emotions in check
This will again help in lessening out of character and disruptive escalating behaviours and situations
3. Community safety skills
Well this is very important skill. This is because the child might have sensory processing difficulty that can interrupt them to understand safe and unsafe choices and land up in an inevitable accident
So , community safety skills should not be forgotten .This will include understanding danger signals signs , safety signs , travelling in public transport , playing public places. You can start social stories to develop on these skills
4. last and again an important one – teach money skills
Well you might say , the child should have pre- numeracy skills to understand money and further quantification.
How to sort this , try recommending in your child’s school IEP to add money skills , along with this , whenever you get an opportunity , like in grocery , or super market , encourage your child to handover the money to the cashier. This might create better awareness and enlightment about using money as an entity
You can gradually progress to different settings
Broadly speaking , there many more important life skills that you can develop in your child with ASD , but these four should always be on your bucket list
Other skills you can promote for learning are :
Work on self care – dressing , toileting ,personal hygiene , eating etc
Work on leisure skills – ball skills , cycling , recreational activities like painting , playing any instrument
Work on house hold chores – to encourage child to take ownership and responsibility
Well , I hope this was quite informative and now you have step by step guide when it comes to teach life skills to your autistic child
Please leave comments if you wish more details on any one particular skill
Creative Efforts and Life skills Mentor – Heena Sahi
Creative representation of various life skills is wonderfully done by my little buddy CreativeSaathi associate Morpheus Nag