Independent Living Skills For Autism - No parent or teacher wants to spend time on meager curricula and expensive checklists to teach daily living skills (DLS), only to find out there is no evidence that it works. Time with our children and students is very precious, and the opportunity for greater independence is too important to risk.
That's why today we're sharing a list of evidence-based ways to teach DLS to teens and young adults. These are tested and science-based methods that we know help students learn the communication, effectiveness, and skills they need to grow into adulthood.
Independent Living Skills For Autism
The interventions below have been reviewed by the National Clearinghouse on Autism and Evidence & Practice (NCAEP) as evidence-based methods to help students with special needs develop self-help practice skills. Although not all students we work with have a diagnosis of autism, research shows that this method works for all types of students.
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Parents and teachers can feel free to review the list of interventions below and know that they have been tested as the best way to help students grow.
Antecedent-based interventions (ABIs) involve a variety of modifications to the student's environment to change or shape the student's behavior. This involves making small changes to the environment that help increase the chances of success. In addition, you already use some of the previous strategies at home and in the classroom because they are popular and easy to use.
It should be noted that early intervention alone is often not sufficient to teach DLS. If your student doesn't know how to complete a skill, giving them options or posting a visual schedule isn't likely to make them learn a whole new skill. We often need to combine ABI with other items on this list. It is better to think of them as additional motivation that helps students acquire skills faster and more efficiently than as a plan to learn a completely new skill.
Behavioral Momentum sounds like a complicated technical term, but it can be a simple way to motivate students to practice DLS skills. Behavioral momentum involves scheduling low-effort activities immediately before those that require more effort. As a result, the student gains "power" by completing manageable tasks and finds it easier to roll to difficult tasks.
Daily Living Skills And Young Children With Autism
Behavioral momentum interventions work best when your student finds certain skills easier than others, and there is an easy way to reschedule tasks. We often think that certain DLS skills need to be done in a specific order, but they can actually be done in an order that sets your teen up for success.
For example, if bathing and dressing are skills your child doesn't worry about, start the morning routine with those skills instead of "fighting" breakfast if it's too difficult. Earn specific achievements and reward your student with manageable tasks when they collect less preferred ones.
Does it seem strange to see exercise and movement on the list of evidence-based interventions to teach coping and self-help skills? This is not. But remember that managing fun and stress is one of the most important independent living skills our youth need to learn. Exercise and movement interventions involve physical exertion and/or mental movement to target different skills and behaviors.
Exercise and movement interventions have been shown to increase basic communication skills (eg, asking for help, expressing wants and needs, community involvement) and improve executive functioning skills such as self-control, attention management, and planning. Therefore, include exercise and movement as part of maintaining our physical health, enjoying rest and relaxation time, managing stress and other daily life skills.
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Many of the youth and young adults we work with struggle with communication barriers. They often use challenges and inappropriate behavior to communicate frustration, overload, or difficulty understanding a task. Effective Communication Training (FCT) is a set of practices that replace these behavioral problems with appropriate and effective communication. Although FCT may not directly teach DLS such as dressing, cooking, and riding the bus to school, we strongly believe that effective communication is essential to learning these skills.
Consider a situation where a teenager uses yelling, aggression, or hitting when they are upset or when the skills are too difficult. Now try to teach that child the behavior at the grocery store, riding the bus to work, or driving the car that happens every time he is frustrated. Instead, FCT helps the learner use non-verbal communication to communicate the same things (for example, "I need a break." "This is too hard, I want to stop." "I don't like this. Can we do something else?") FCT is one of the most effective ways to solve behavioral problems of students with communication problems.
How often do you find yourself using the phrase "Let me show you?" when teaching your child or student DLS? Modeling or demonstrating desired student behavior is one of the most common ways to teach new skills. It's simple, effective, and often every other student should use the new DLS. We often combine modeling with other evidence-based techniques in this series, such as awareness and empowerment.
Just as modeling is a "let me show you," promotion is a "let me help you" strategy.
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Many of the other evidence-based practices on this list also rely on the use of motivation. Incentive programs include support provided to students to help them demonstrate DLS behaviors. There are many different types of teaching, some of which are more effective for some students than others. When we use prompts, we choose a combination of verbal, hand gestures, or physical assistance to help them acquire or engage in the target behavior or skill. Parents, teachers and peers can give advice.
As mentioned above, not all guidelines apply to all students. Some suggestions can even be inhibiting if not used correctly (eg, being constantly "harassed" through lots of verbal instructions; having other people in your personal space during physical instruction). The best way to do this is to give your child a chance to show permission to get help – and to stop when they no longer want or need your help.
If you've worked with students with special needs, chances are you've come across them using positive reinforcement to teach new skills. Along with the other skills on this list, this is one of the most effective evidence-based ways to help students become more independent in their daily activities. Reinforcement can be used in many different ways. Generally, this involves planning specific consequences after a student engages in a behavior that increases the likelihood that the student will behave in the same way in the future.
Parents and teachers can use the grants to encourage young people to learn and complete the new DLS independently, in endless combinations. For more on motivation, check out our guide: 6 Steps to Help Your Child Develop a Strong "Why"
Pdf) Video Based Instruction In Enhancing Functional Living Skills Of Adolescents And Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review
One of the final stages of teaching DLS to youth and young adults is dealing with independence. Once they have learned all the necessary skills, how do you teach them to demonstrate those skills without adult supervision? Self-regulation is an intervention that teaches students to independently manage their behavior. Using self-regulatory strategies, students distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior, accurately monitor and record their behavior, and reinforce appropriate behavior.
Self-regulation works well for practice and self-help skills, especially when it requires students to monitor their routine performance. Self-assessment effectively helps students:
Although we don't always think of DLS as social, many important aspects of independent living have social components. Some DLSs have a significant impact on society if our students participate in them incorrectly or inappropriately. Social skills training is group or individual instruction designed to teach students how to participate effectively and efficiently in their interactions. Social skills sessions often include teaching the student social skills, role-play and practice skills, and debriefing.
Consider some of these DLS jobs that require social interaction (and can be supported by social skills training):
Life Skills Lady
Many social skills training programs improve when combined with other evidence-based techniques in this range, including modeling, encouragement, and reinforcement.
For an example of how video modeling can be used with social skills training, check out our Real Life Social Skills Academy Conversation Skills video course.
As technology advances, so does our ability to use it to help teenagers learn new skills. Video modeling is a learning method that uses video technology to record and present DLS. The student watches the video and has the opportunity to make a target. Skills will be shown immediately or later. Videos can be made, for example, with an adult or a peer, or even for the student to record himself and see how he practices this skill in the future.
Among all the evidence-based practices on this list, the one we refer to frequently on this blog is life skills training, and our training courses use physical support. Visual aids are tangible guides that provide information about a task, routine, or expectation. They are added to the environment to help and support
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