Functional life skills are important for children to learn and develop as they grow and learn in their everyday life. As life skills are vital for everyone, every child needs to learn them to succeed and become independent in life. For students with autism, these skills are more important as all of them would have achieved a different level of success depending on their level of learning.
Teaching life skills to kids on the spectrum can be more daunting. It can be so challenging for some parents and impossible for others to teach their children to perform daily tasks. However, it is essential for children with autism to learn the life skills to succeed when they grow up. Here are the best life skills that parents can teach their child to help him/her achieve the individual levels of success.
Personal Care and Hygiene
The basic life skills and autism are deeply related. And, personal care is one such skill that people with autism should learn to live an independent life. Personal care involves nutrition, exercise, daily hygiene and dealing with illness. Parents should teach their children how to deal with common illnesses such as cold, cough, fever and stress. Teach your children about daily hygiene skills like brushing teeth, toileting and showering. Other than these skills, kids should learn hygienic eating habits, making their hair, and wearing the right clothes.
Job skills are essential for grown-up teenagers, especially if they are about to complete their high school education. These skills include creating a resume, communication skills, applying for jobs and getting the first job. If possible, parents should help their child to get a job so that he or she can gain some experience. Children need to learn how they should work with other people and adapt themselves in a workplace environment. A good way for young teenagers to get work experience is through volunteering, and such opportunities can be found through schools, sports clubs and charity organisations.
Every child needs to be safe and learn self-safety skills. Children with autism don’t understand why they should not run into a street. They need to learn things as they should never go anywhere alone and also learn to understand the start, stop traffic signs. To make themselves independent later in life, children with autism need to learn to keep themselves safe in all conditions. The safety skills not only include understanding traffic signals, crossing the roads, but also what to do in emergency situations. For example, they should know how to use a gas stove, electrical appliances safely and call 911 in emergencies.
Children with autism need to learn social skills. These skills become essential when they work in a group, spend time with friends, communicate over the phone, and deal in family relationships. Although social skills and etiquette can be learned, children should also learn how to be flexible in thinking and taking perspective. They should not be rigid in their thought process as it would create problems when they deal with friends, family and other people.
Time management is important in daily work and other areas of life. A child with autism needs to learn how to manage time so that he or she can accomplish all the required tasks at the end of every day. Learning time management can help children to accomplish their daily tasks and complete their work in time.
Children need to be taught how to get their needs fulfilled. Parents and teachers should teach them things like when to ask questions, when to give an opinion, who to approach when they need help, and when to say no. As children with autism face many problems, it becomes important for them to learn and practice self-advocacy. They should know how to express their views and opinions whenever required.
As money is important for everything we do in our daily routine, children with autism should know how to use and manage money. They need to learn how to create a budget, manage a bank account, use an ATM, credit card, and make payments, save money and how taxes work.
Life skills and autism are closely related as learning these skills help kids with autism to grow in their life. All the skills mentioned in this post can help such children to achieve success, work in jobs, maintain their health and manage all the essential areas of life.