Autism can make daily life skills challenging. Children with autism may struggle to understand the world around them, which can create challenges at school and at home. Autism can make it difficult to understand the steps of home tasks like laundry, cooking, or understanding how money works. Often, this leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and social isolation. Parents might worry their child will never be independent. The truth is, all children need different levels of life skills training. Children living with autism may need extra support for learning life skills.
EMIT offers life skills and other autism training programs for kids ages 1.5 to 18 years of age. Learn more about our New Jersey-based functional skills training today by calling us today at 844.983.0240.
What Is Life Skills Training?
Life skills training, also called function skills training, teaches daily tasks. These activities range from personal hygiene to outdoor safety. Often, children with autism don’t understand the importance of life skills. When they learn to break down life skills into steps and create a routine, children can begin to thrive. These functional skills, like social skills, are modeled by parents, therapists, and teachers. Functional skills training includes:
- Personal health and safety
- How to engage in social relationships
- How to respond in community settings
- Learning to love leisure and play
- Understanding transportation systems
- Understanding money, banks, and their importance
- Learning to cook, clean, and other home skills
- Planning for the future
It’s best to practice functional skills through a routine. Build a laundry routine at home or at the local laundromat if your child is learning laundry skills. A familiar place develops consistency to reduce social and environmental anxiety. Like all skills, life skills improve with practice.
Helping Your Child with Life Skills at Home
Children with autism and their families learn best with goals that they can meet easily. If you’re beginning life skills training at home, start with a series of small, actionable steps. Teaching life skills at home requires patience, routine, and the curiosity to learn and grow with your child. Life skills training usually has a general three-step approach. Consider the following when teaching life skills at home.
- Assess skill levels-Make a list of your child’s strengths and challenges for functional skills. Does your child already brush their teeth but have trouble managing their bedtime schedule? Creating bedtime routines and learning about their importance may be an excellent place to start.
- Teach new life skills-Charts, pictures, and ABA therapy techniques can help teach children new life skills. At home, consider visual aides like a picture of a toothbrush to symbolize brushing their teeth or other visual reminders.
- Practice-Practice makes a habit. If you practice functional skills alongside your child, they are more likely to adopt them as a habit. You are also more likely to strengthen your relationship and have fun along the way.
For extra support, therapists and teachers can help parents implement life skills training beyond the home. Also, consider asking family and friends to take part in practice sessions. Familiar people and places can make functional skills training less overwhelming for kids. Over time, life skills training builds more confident and independent adults.
Contact EMIT to Begin Your Child’s Autism Treatment!
Are you struggling with functional skills training at home? Know you’re not alone. EMIT Therapeutics is here to help. We believe in holistic autism treatment to help children with ASD grow into the best version of themself. We tailor our programs to each child’s needs through applied behavior analysis and early intervention programs. In addition, we provide each child with the tools they need for a happier present and future. Our in-home telehealth therapy also supports parents’ busy schedules from the comfort of home. Contact us today at 844.983.0240 to discuss life skills training programs for autism.