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Self Help Skills & Life Skills

Most basic self help skills are difficult for children but are essential for independence and of enormous value once they are accomplished.  It is important to teach in simple steps with visual supports then praise and use motivators to complete the tasks.  These skills will help develop self esteem and responsibility for ones self and belongings.   Children will then develop independence as well as allow them the opportunity to contribute to the family.
Children do not just develop self help and life skills and abilities.  These are expectations that require consistent coaching to achieve mastery.  Parents need to:

Guidance and patience are needed with positive and specific feedback.  Praise your child for persistence and determination.  Allow for the messiness to happen and overlook imperfections as skills develop.  Refining and shaping the end product will occur over time.  Place as many skills in daily routines as possible for the added practice time.

Self help skills may be grouped in these areas:  Eating – Grooming – Dressing - Toileting – Life Skills.  The following are a list of a few skills in these areas that families should consider teaching in daily routines in order to further their child’s independence:

Grooming Skills to Teach

Eating Skills to Teach

Dressing Skills to Teach

Life Skills to Teach

Toilet Skills to Teach
This is a topic that can stand alone & you can find it here.

Review these skills and continue to gradually add new skills to your child’s expectations so that they may develop the independence they will need to live a fulfilling and productive life.  These skills should be added throughout their childhood and developed continuously rather than waiting to be introduced at time of transition.

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