The Best Functional Life Skills Resources for Individuals with AutismFunctional Life Skills for Individuals with Autism

Functional life skills are essential for all individuals to learn and develop as they get older to learn to be more independent with their everyday life. It can feel overwhelming when you think about all the different areas of life skills you can teach and that someone has to try to learn.

We are working on a lot of these skills with my teenage brother right now to help him as he transitions into adulthood. I wanted to put together a more comprehensive post about various life skills and strategies you can use to help teach those life skills.

Below you will find a large list of life skills you can help teach and some helpful links to resources on how to help teach those skills.

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Self-Care Skills

Dressing

  • Taking shirt on and off
  • Taking pants on and off
  • Taking underwear on and off
  • Taking bra on and off
  • Taking socks on and off
  • Taking shoes on and off
  • Tying shoes
  • Completing buttons and zippers on clothing
  • Tie a tie
  • Pick out appropriate clothes for the day/weather
  • Mend tears in clothing/sew a button
  • Picking out the right sized clothing
  • Read and understand fabric labels
  • Folding clothes and putting them away in the appropriate location

Resources for Dressing Skills

Sensory Considerations for Dressing by Your Kids OT

Independence with Self-Dressing and Fine Motor Skills by The OT Toolbox

Teach Kids how to use a Zipper by The OT Toolbox

Get Dressed! How to Modify your Child’s Dressing Routine by Miss Jaime, OT

Child Development: Teaching Kids How to Dress Themselves by The Inspired Treehouse

Improving Following Directions with Getting Dressed for Kids by Growing Hands-on Kids

Visual Perceptual Skills in Dressing by Kids Play Space

Work on Dressing Skills through Play Activities by Therapy Fun Zone

When do Kids Learn to Dress Themselves?: The Developmental Progression of Self-Dressing Skills by Mama OT

Gross Motor Skills and Independent Dressing by Your Therapy Source

Tons of therapy treatment and play ideas to work on Activities of Daily Living by Therapy Fun Zone

Shoe Tying Tips and Tools for Kids by The OT Toolbox

Teach Kids How to Button the Fun way by The OT Toolbox

Personal Hygiene

  • How to Use the Toilet
  • Washing hands
  • Taking shower
  • Taking bath
  • Brushing hair
  • Brushing teeth
  • Washing face
  • Flossing
  • Shaving face
  • Shaving legs
  • Menstrual cycle cleanliness
  • Applying makeup

Resources for working on Personal Hygiene Skills

Personal Hygiene Sensory Strategies Toolkit Freebie by Learning for a Purpose

Everyday Life Skills: Personal Hygiene Skills in the Bathroom Ebook by Learning for a Purpose

Calming Strategies for Teaching Personal Hygiene Skills by Learning for a Purpose

Activity Ideas to work on Toilet Training by Learning for a Purpose

Best Tips to Help with Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism by Learning for a Purpose

Free Resources to Teach Boys about Puberty by Learning for a Purpose

15 Sensory Strategies for Sound Sensitivities during Personal Hygiene Cares by Learning for a Purpose

Tons of therapy treatment and play ideas to work on Activities of Daily Living by Therapy Fun Zone

The Toilet Training Book by Functional Skills for Kids

Kitchen Skills

  • Making a sandwich
  • Getting a snack from the fridge or cupboard
  • Getting a bowl of cereal to eat
  • Making toast
  • Pouring self a drink (milk, water, or juice)
  • Reheating a meal in the microwave
  • Packing lunch for school
  • Follow a basic recipe
  • Using toaster
  • Using the oven to make a meal
  • pack leftovers from dinner
  • Read food labels
  • Knife safety skills
  • Tell ripe food from spoiled food
  • Set the table

Resources for Kitchen Skills

How to Teach Kitchen Safety Skills for Teens with Autism with FREE Kitchen Safety Visual Supports by Learning for a Purpose

How to Teach Teens with Autism How to Use the Microwave with FREE Visual Supports by Learning for a Purpose

Everyday Learning in Everyday Life at Home by Your Kids OT

Tons of therapy treatment and play ideas to work on Activities of Daily Living by Therapy Fun Zone

Attention, Behavior, and Meal Time Problems by the OT Toolbox

Cooking with Kids by the OT Toolbox

Fine Motor Skills for Mealtimes by the Therapy Fun Zone

Postural Control, Gross Motor Development, and Mealtime by Your Therapy Source

15 Tips for Picky Eaters by The Inspired Treehouse

Visual Perceptual Skills Needed for Independent Feeding by Growing Hands-On Kids

Home Management Skills

  • Cleaning up toys, putting away in bin/basket
  • Washing a load of laundry in the washer and using the dryer
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Vacuuming the floor
  • Throwing away items in the trash
  • Taking out the trash
  • Sorting out recyclables
  • Washing off countertops
  • Washing dishes
  • Loading dishwasher
  • Washing dishes by hand
  • Cleaning the shower/bathtub
  • Cleaning the toilet
  • Putting away clothes
  • Put dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Folding clothes
  • Making the bed
  • Sorting certain items in the home and organizing them into the correct location
  • Feeding Pets
  • Bring in and put away groceries
  • Basic home repair skills such as unclogging toilet or sink

Resources for Home Management Skills

Free Visuals to help with Teaching Laundry Skills by Learning for a Purpose

Everyday Learning in Everyday Life at Home by Your Kids OT

Taking Care of Body/Health and Safety

  • Taking medicine
  • Treating a wound
  • How to call 911 and what to say to the operator
  • How to stop bleeding from a cut
  • What to do in a fire
  • What do to in an emergency
  • Knows own address
  • Knows basic medical information about themselves
  • Understands stranger safety
  • Use an epi-pen for self or for friends
  • How to call the doctor to make an appointment
  • How to go to the doctor
  • How to take over the counter medicine safely for common illnesses

Taking Care of the Body/Heath and Safety Resources

Taking Care of Myself 2: for Teenagers and Young Adults with ASD by Mary Wrobel

Taking Care of  your Body: Answers for Girls with Autism by Kids Health

Personal Hygiene and Teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Raising Children.net.au

A Guide to Safety by ResearchAutism.org

Shopping/Community Outing Skills

  • Making a grocery/shopping list
  • Going to the grocery store
  • Finding food or items at the store
  • Purchasing food/items at the cash register at the store
  • Order items online to be shipped to home
  • How to checkout at online store
  • Using public transportation safely
  • Walk around the neighborhood safely
  • Crossing a busy street and parking lot
  • Understanding car safety when driving
  • How to read road signs
  • How to go to a restaurant
  • How to go to the mall
  • How to go to the park
  • How to go to the movie theater

Shopping and Community Outing Resources

Living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): The High School Years by AOTA

The Ultimate Life Skills Prep Bundle for Community Outings by Speechie Side Up at Teachers Pay Teachers

Functional Life Skills at School

  • Eating lunch in the lunchroom
  • Having an organized desk/locker
  • Getting the homework completed each day
  • Following school routine
  • Hanging up backpack and coat
  • Getting ready for recess
  • Using the bathroom/restroom at school
  • Getting food from the vending machine
  • Navigating to the correct classroom
  • Staying at a school desk
  • Typing on computer
  • Checking out a book from the library

Resources for Functional Life Skills at School

Sucessful Participation at School: Strategies for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by AOTA

Organization Skills

  • Get up in time and ready for the day to go to school/work on time
  • Create a checklist of things to do in the day
  • identify important tasks vs. non-important tasks
  • Meet deadlines
  • Develop a daily routine
  • Takes care of their things and know where they are in the home

Resources for Oganization Skills

Organising, Sequencing, and Prioritising by the National Autistic Society

Tips for Teaching Orgaizational Skills by Indiana Resource Center for Autism

10 Steps to Foster Oganization: Homework and Beyond! by Michelle Garcia Winner at Social Thinking

Teaching Organizational Skills by the Autism Support Network

 

Money Skills

  • Creating a budget
  • how to manage a checking account
  • how to manage a savings account
  • How to use an ATM
  • How to write a check
  • How to pay with dollar bills
  • How to pay with debit/credit card
  • Understand how credit works
  • How to save money
  • How to pay bills
  • Understand how taxes work

Resources for Money Skills

Managing Money by The National Autistic Society

How to Teach Money Management for Independent Living with Autism by the Autism Awareness Center Inc.

Teaching Money Exchange by Autism Classroom Resources

Tools for Teaching Financial Literacy Skills by Life After IEPs

Are you looking for additional help and strategies to help teach life skills to individuals with autism?

Check out our new online course Learning Life Skills for a Purpose! We will teach you the step by step process of how to use task analysis and visual supports to help teach life skills to children, teens, and adults with autism. Plus we give you step by step resources to help get you started with specific skills!

You can learn more about the course here!   

Check out the amazing resources you get when you enroll in the course!

Life Skills Ideas Course Display Image

Learning Life Skills for a Purpose Life Skills Checklist template display image

Life skills course workbook display image
Progress Monitoring charts life skills course display image

Check out Learning Life Skills for a Purpose Online Course Here!

Additional Life Skills Products and Resources

Life Skills-Activities of Daily Living Printables and Products by Your Therapy Source

Life Skills Activities for Secondary Students with Special Needs by Darlene Mannix

Steps to Independence Teaching Everyday Skills to Children with Special Needs by Bruce L. Baker and Alan J. Brightman

Taking Care of Myself 2: for Teenagers and Young Adults with ASD by Mary Wrobel

CBT Toolbox for Children and Adolescents: Over 200 Worksheets and Exercises for Trauma, ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, Depression, & Conduct Disorders by Lisa Phifer, Amanda Crowder, Tracy Alsenraat, and Robert Hull

 

The Best Functional Life skills resources for individuals with autism