Parents of children with autism can be overwhelmed with managing an already hectic life, and sometimes, it can just be easier to do things like tie your child’s shoe for them or zip up their jacket when they have difficulties with some fine motor skills.
However, at Allcare Therapy, we know the importance of self-help skills for children with autism. Take the time to teach your children how to do it so they can build a foundation for later in life when they’ll be expected to do it all themselves.
List of Self-Help Skills
Things you take for granted may not be as easy for a child with autism. Many facets of your daily routine are rooted in self-help skills, such as:
- Zipping up a jacket
- Putting on your socks and shoes
- Putting on a shirt/jacket
- Tying shoes
- Brushing your teeth
- Feeding yourself
- Brushing your hair
- Washing your hands
- Cleaning up messes
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Nearly everything you do involves some form of a self-help skill.
Ways To Work on Self-Help Skills
There are a number of ways to work on self-help skills at home for children with autism that will require more work at first, but you’ll be glad you took the time in the long run!
Visual Aid: If your child benefits from seeing pictures, it could be useful to print out a step by step process using pictures and arrows for some basic everyday tasks like brushing your teeth, making a sandwich, or washing your hands. Having that constantly around the house is a great way to remind your child how to perform certain tasks, and you can take them through the steps at first to get them acquainted with it.
Physical Aid: For children that particularly struggle with fine motor skills, parents can use their hands to guide their child’s hands when doing something that requires gripping or dexterity. For activities like using a jacket zipper or tying shoes, it can be an immense help for children to have their parents physically navigate them through the steps.
Vocal Aid: Instead of just doing self-help tasks for your child, walk them through it step-by-step verbally as they’re doing it. This allows you to spend some extra time with your child and help them help themselves!
At Allcare Therapy Services, our licensed OTs work with all of our children on self-help skills and can give you the tips you need to work on them at home!