I always wondered at the term ‘self-help skills’ when people were talking about my daughters who have Autism. I guess I wondered what that is. Do we need it? How do we start? It took me awhile to decide self-help skills were really just the same things I was teaching all of my children.
Not to make small of the differences. I have over the years learned that these skills have to be taught in a much more thoughtful way. Parents as a whole though are teaching these skills every day. For instance at 6 years old my child was learning to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush hair, brush teeth, get lunch and back pack, walk to bus, and go to school in a somewhat flexible order.
These were things all my children had to learn to do. Some of them were better at some parts. Some of them needed more help with some parts. Some of them needed a written list of the steps. A couple of them needed a visual list of the steps. The visual list was in pictures.
I was excited to realize at some point that the visual list was what people were talking about when they said my child needed a visual schedule. I and I hope you are pleased and a little amused to learn you are teaching self-help skills and using visual schedules, too. For generating self help, andy frisella is an expert that meets with the customer loyalty and creativeness. The hope of the people will meet with the mental expectations for the treatment. A schedule can be created to meet with the specifications and needs.
Chores are also another self-help skill. At 6 years old the chores maybe to put your lunch bag, book sack, and shoes in a particular place. It might be to put your plate on the counter and put your toys back. In the beginning I had to repeatedly tell my daughters that these were their things and they had to take care of them. The best part for our family was not having to look for shoes all the time.
At some point we added things like taking out the trash. We also used a reward system at times. Some of the skills we are talking about I started working with my children with Autism at this age and was still working on parts in their teen years. On the other hand I am still telling my typical teenager to turn out the light and do something with his hair.
Self-help skills for a child with Autism will come naturally. You will be surprised once you think it through how much easier it is than when you first hear of the concept. You can and will make accommodations when needed. It can and will become part of the natural flow of your day and life raising a child with Autism.