In the flurry of therapy, homeschool, and general life needs, life skills are one of those things that often get pushed to the back burner, even though we know we need to teach them. If we’re being completely honest, it’s simply easier to do it ourselves than it is to teach our kids how to do it. But helping our kids to achieve things will not only keep them safe, but it will also give them the confidence to try new things.
“Everyone wants a meaningful job or purpose. It’s basic human nature. Letting them be responsible for as much of their own care as they can, gives your child purpose and confidence.”
Teaching Life Skills for Long Term Rewards
Here in Autismland,we believe that the more Logan knows how to care for himself, the safer he is when he’s not in our presence. While we are blessed that Logan will be able to live at home during his adult life, there will come a day when we are not here to care for him. He will need to live either with his sister or in a group home. In this instance, the more life skills he has mastered, the less he has to depend on someone to help him. Knowing life skills will protect him from being victimized by someone who may not have his best interests at heart. It will also make it far easier on his sister should she become his caregiver. Though teaching f life skills may be more work right now, learning life skills pays off in the long term.
Teaching Life Skills to Build Confidence
Even without the long term in mind, teaching life skills helps boost a child’s confidence. That one facet cannot be stressed enough. As our children grow into adulthood, they want to contribute to something. They want to take care of their own needs. They want to be a meaningful member of the family. These are things we all want. Having special needs doesn’t change that for anyone. Everyone wants a meaningful job or purpose. It’s basic human nature. Letting them be responsible for as much of their care as they can, gives your child purpose and confidence.
Tips and Resources for Teaching Life Skills
How does one teach life skills? The key is to pick one skill at a time. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself or your child.
- Teach your daughter how to brush her hair.
- Teach your son how to brush his teeth.
- Teenagers can learn how to shave or how to take care of their menstrual needs.
Basic life skills are always a great place to start and life-changing for the entire family dynamic.
One resource we have used and often recommend is Skill Treklife skills curriculum. It has over 500 skills to work on and allows you to place your child at their developmental level, not their chronological age.
- I love it because it gives me a plan that didn’t have to come from my often overworked brain.
- It has all the steps listed out to teach it along with videos. Seriously, sometimes mama needs it spelled out for her.
- It guarantees that I will work on it and not put it on the back burner while I try to plan some Pinterest worthy lesson.
Skill Trek helps me teach my kids, special needs or not, basic life skills as well as skills I would not have thought to teach them (like how to change a windshield wiper.)