Autism and Independence: Developing Life Skills for the Future
Autism is termed as a large range of circumstances exhibited by social abilities, wordless communication, and speech.
As autism has a broad spectrum, thus, each person has specific strong points and weak points.
So the way of learning and thinking about certain situations can be extremely skillful and challenging as well from one person to another.
Meanwhile, a person with autism can be identified at the age of 2 or 3. Thus, for parents it can be very hard to deal with their children with such a disorder. On the other hand, the happiness of seeing one autistic kid grow and learn new skills can be overwhelming.
Moreover, teaching autistic children can lead to having an independent life. There are several distinct ways of teaching the skills to them that make them confident enough to deal with their daily life chores which leads to independence.
Here is the list of points that can be adopted by autistic children to have independent life:
Motivating Them by Using Their Interests
Each autistic person has a specific interest that can be used to motivate them to learn new things like communication.
For instance, a person whose interest is in music and has the ability to remember lyrics easily can be put together with other people in groups who are good at music too.
This can enable the person to interact with people who in turn can help the person to learn ways to enhance their communication skills. As a result, the person communicates independently with others without being a burden on others.
Parent’s Education and Awareness
It is very important for parents to have a deeper understanding of autism spectrum disorder.
Knowledge about autism enables parents to know about the distinct and unique skills and interests of their child along with the areas where their kids are weak. This information helps parents to support their children in many ways.
Moreover, keeping one’s self updated with all the latest therapies and technologies makes it easier for parents to teach their autistic children many skills that lead to independence.
Encouraging Community Get-Togethers
Societies and communities play an important role in the upbringing of individuals. A person learns socializing, integrity, and skill enhancement from their community.
Identifying an appropriate group of people from the community and indulging children with autism with those groups can help them to learn new skills, socialization, and independence. Consider enrolling your child in a ADHD Summer Camp.
Making an Individual Pictorial Contemplate
It is in human nature that people tend to understand pictorial representation of events more than other ways of communication that include verbal.
Thus, making pictorial guidance of the daily routine for the autistic child can enable them to independently spend their day without needing the assistance of any other people.
Thus, it is one of the best ways to make an autistic person independent.
Usage of an Appropriate Technology
Technology has become an indispensable component of today’s world as the world is growing fast and becoming dependent on technology to live a comfortable life.
Apart from being a source of entertainment, technology has many other uses that include health, education, and agriculture.
Thus, many technologies and applications are invented to support and assist people with their daily life chores.
Thus, there are many other applications for autistic people to assist them with their daily routine, making them independent. For instance, visualized tasks and verbally controlled apps can help them.
Professional therapists play an important role in assisting people with autism to attain the important skills of life so that they can live independently.
They have the ability to analyze the interest and requirements of children with autism and create a profile containing plans and targets to help them.
The combined sessions with therapists contain a lot of activities to guide the children about daily communication skills and self-care that enable each child to work independently.
Children with autism usually have low self-esteem. Thus, it is necessary for parents to always make them feel loved and wanted. Teaching children about their specific abilities, hurdles and basic life skills can boost self-confidence leading to an independent individual.
In nutshell, children with autism need to be taught life skills in order to make them independent and confident. There are strategies that enable them to learn life skills that include identifying their skill, consulting a therapist, using appropriate technologies
References and Resources for Autism
- Autism Speaks: A nationally recognized authority on autism, this website contains a wealth of information about the disorder, its treatment, and resources for families. (https://www.autismspeaks.org/)
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): NIMH’s section on Autism Spectrum Disorder provides evidence-based, trustworthy information about the disorder. (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Their page on Autism Spectrum Disorder is regularly updated with new research and statistics. (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html)
- Autism Society: This organization has a long history of providing information and resources for individuals with autism and their families. (https://www.autism-society.org/)
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): ASHA’s page on Autism provides relevant and detailed information about communication difficulties in people with Autism, a key element in understanding and treating the disorder. (https://www.asha.org/practice-portal/clinical-topics/autism/)
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: September 24, 2023