Academics & Skill Development

60 Life Skills to Teach Your Child on Autism Spectrum

Teaching life skills should be a priority for children of all abilities. And, in fact teaching life skills is more important than academics.

Typical kids have a greater advantage of generalizing things quickly, and so they learn most of the life skills with little or no support, however, those who are on Autism spectrum or have any other kind of learning differences, need constant support until the skill is mastered.

Teaching life skills is also crucial for kids with learning differences, because once they acquire/master a particular life skill, a lot of behavioural issues get resolved automatically.

So, if you are a parent or a caregiver of an autistic, ADHD child, teach them the life skills as top priority and you will see improvement in other areas too.

The list of life skills may have a thousand items in it, depending on child’s placement on the spectrum, his learning style and the factors that make up his/her environment. However, here is a quick list of life skills that is crucial for every individual to master.

Let’s go through the list based on the importance and priotity of the life skill:

1. Toilet training
2. Wash hands
3. Brush hair
4. Pick out clothes
5. Dress self
6. Button clothes
7. Shower self
8. Brush teeth
9. Wash face
10. Choose healthy food/snacks
11. Prepare snacks for self
12. Prepare lunch for self
13. Prepare breakfast for self
14. Prepare food for others and self
15. Heat up food in microwave
16. Put food away in proper place
17. Clean off table after meal
18. Put dishes in sink
19. Load dishwasher
20. Unload dishwasher
21. Put on shoes
22. Tie shoes
23. Take trash out of their bathroom
24. Wipe down bathroom sink
25. Wipe down toilet
26. Wipe down mirror
27. Clean up toys and put in toy bin
28. Put away pencils and notebooks after school
29. Ride a bike
30. Bike and Scooter Safety (Wear Helmet

31. Take a walk – learn street safety
32. Mail a letter
33. Retrieve mail out of mailbox
34. Vacuum
35. Sweep
36. Spray mop
37. Dry mop
38. Answer the phone
39. Dial the phone
40. Memorize phone number
41. Memorize address
42. Learn how to count money
43. Purchase items at a store
44. Shop for groceries
45. Order food at restaurant
46. Use a computer
47. Type an e-mail
48. Use a TV (remote)
49. Pour liquid into a glass
50. Learning to read an indoor/outdoor thermometer
51. Dressing appropriately to the temperature
52. Water Safety
53. Learn to swim
54. Make Bed
55. Change Sheets
56. Learn to Use Washer & Dryer
57. Dust furniture
58. Wipe Walls & Railings in Home
59. Read Street Signs
60. Read a Map

Work on just one a a couple of these at once and move to the next one only when the child masters the first. And even when a child has mastered a skill, make sure to have revisions, because many times even the typical individuals lose a skill if it is not in practice.