How to Teach Teens with Autism How to Use the Microwave
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Teaching how to use the microwave is an important cooking skill to help increase independence when cooking meals. The microwave can be a great tool to make some simple meals or a great tool to use to reheat up leftovers.
How do I teach how to use the Microwave?
The first steps are to make sure you explain the safety issues when using the microwave. Make sure the individual understands how to use the microwave safely.
- Teach them about how to handle hot foods when taking foods out of the microwave.
- what types of containers can go in the microwave to heat up foods
- what types of items cannot go in the microwave
Next, you can teach them the steps of how to use the microwave.
- You will want to go over the buttons on your microwave such as how to open the door on the microwave.
- what buttons are start and stop/cancel
- how to set the time on the microwave
- as they understand the basic buttons, you can teach some of the more complex buttons as you see fit.
Once they understand the buttons on the microwave and how to open the door, you can go through the steps of using the microwave with them. You can model the steps for them and go through each step and talk through it with them. Make sure to point out some important steps with safety such as touching hot things after they are heated up or taking off foil before putting the food in the microwave.
You can use simple recipes to go through the steps of using the microwave such as some instant mac and cheese or oatmeal, or you could reheat some leftover dinner with them.
List out the steps
You can list out the steps of how to use the microwave for them in a checklist format or with pictures and words to help them visually see how to complete each step. You could also take real-life photos of them in action when using the microwave and use those photos to make a visual checklist for them! We love using our iPhone to take photos of each step on how to complete something. You could also use this idea for when you want to teach a new recipe. If they have a hard time reading the instructions of a new recipe, you could try taking pictures of them completing each step with you so that they can go through the pictures to remember each step.
We have created a FREE Printable just for you that makes this easy for you! We made a list of the steps of how to use the microwave and then we used pictures and words to create a step by step visual for them to better understand the steps to complete.
You can download your FREE copy of the Printable down below when you provide us your name and email.
We hope you find these tips helpful and we always love hearing back from you! Let us know in the comments below if you found these tips and our FREEBIE to be helpful for you! We are here for you each step of the way as you help teach life skills!
Are you looking for more Kitchen Safety Resources? Check out our post about teaching Kitchen Safety and get our FREE Guide!
How to Teach Kitchen Safety Skills for Teens with Autism
Kitchen Safety Skills can be a tricky area to figure out how to teach because there can be so many different scenerios when cooking. There could be different outcomes based on different situations.
One area to start with when thinking about kitchen safety is setting up the kitchen environment, especially if they are young or don’t understand what is safe to use or touch or not.
*This post contains affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but if you purchase something through our link we will recieve a comisson.
Setting up the Kitchen
- Put knives away in an area they cannot reach.
- Try using stove locks to keep them from turning on the stove.
- Try using locks on the fridge or on the cupboards if they cannot be trusted to get food out on their own.
- Keep glass wear or breakable items in a locked cupboard or up high out of reach.
- Unplug appliances so that they cannot accidently be turned on.
- Place Stop Signs or visuals on items or surfaces where you don’t want them to go or reach towards.
You can download our free visuals for kitchen safety below and we provide you with some options of stop signs that you can print out and laminate to put around the kitchen if needed.
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Teaching Kitchen Safety
If the individual is wanting to do more in teh kitchen or has shown some interest in being in the kitchen with you, that can be a great time to work on teaching kitchen safety skills and awareness.
- You could start by teaching what items in the kitchen are dangerous and how they could hurt them.
- Show them pictures or get the real objects and model for them appropriate behavior to use when around those items.
- Teach them how to ask for help so if they do get into trouble in the kitchen they will know how to get you for help.
- You could try using You Tube Videos to show demonstrations on how to use specific items such as knife skills or how to use the blender.
- Be with them every time they want to be in the kitchen cooking so that you can help model appropriate behaivors and show them how to do specific steps.
- Use visuals around the ktichen such as step by step instructions for specific skills they are working on.
- You could use checklists as reminders on things such as what to do after cooking food or rules to follow so they don’t get hurt.
FREE Resources to help teach Kitchen Safety
We also looked on the internet for more additional free resources you could use to help teach kitchen safety skills.
Please take a look at these free resources we found on Teachers Pay Teachers to help find additional ways to teach kitchen safety skills.
“After you finish cooking…” Kitchen Safety Task Analysis Visual Life Skills by Adulting Made Easy aka SpedAdulting on Teachers Pay Teachers
Kitchen Safety Rules and Lesson Plan by Pro Chef on Teachers Pay Teachers
Cooking with Kids-Kitchen Safety Chart by Debbie Madson on Teachers Pay Teachers
Kitchen Safety Life Skills Poster Autism Special Education by Curriculum for Autism on Teachers Pay Teachers
Life Skills and Social Skills Interactive Notebook Free Sample by School Bells N Whistles on Teachers Pay Teachers
Kitchen Safety and Equipment Memory Game Matching by Jordan Sveen on Teachers Pay Teachers
How to Put out Kitchen Fires Quiz by Christine Kight on Teachers Pay Teachers
We hope you find our free visuals along with these other free resources on Teachers Pay Teachers to be helpful for you when teaching Kitchen Safety Skills. We understand the importantance of teaching kitchen safety before learning how to cook and to help keep our loved ones safe.
Please let me know if you have any questions and let me know in the comments below if these resources are helpful for you!
Wait don’t forget to grab the FREE Kitchen Safety Visuals!!
Free Visuals to help with Teaching Laundry Skills
Download our FREE Laundry Skills Printable that contains the steps to complete the laundry in a checklist format, visual sequencing cards with pictures and words, teaching tips, and activity ideas!
Teaching Laundry Skills
Teaching Laundry Skills can sometimes feel overwhelming because there are so many steps involved and there are some advanced skills with understanding how to take care of certain clothes, how to fold them and organize them, and how to get out certain stains. We wanted to help make this process a little easier to teach by making you a free printable with visuals to help teach each step. We hope that these visuals can be helpful to help you teach an important daily living skill! We value the importance of teaching daily living skills in order to help individuals become more independent with their every day lives.
More Free Resources
I also wanted to offer you some more free resources that I came across when searching Teachers Pay Teachers. You will have to create an account on their website, but it is free and they have tons of great teaching resources!
Household Chores Laundry Life Skills Unit by Check In with Mrs. G on Teachers Pay Teachers
Life Skills – Independent Living Skills – LAUNDRY by Career and Life Skills Lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers
DLS Doing the Laundry Workbook by Susan Traugh on Teachers Pay Teachers
Life Skills Laundry – When to wash? by Breia Franklin on Teachers Pay Teachers
Laundry Basics by Real World Life Skills on Teachers Pay Teachers
Free Apps to teach Laundry Skills
Apps to Teach about Laundry Skills
Are you trying to figure out how to teach laundry skills? We have come across some helpful apps that may be helpful to you when teaching your child the steps to complete laundry. We have also found some games that may spark their interest in wanting to learn more about how to complete the steps of doing the laundry. Check them out below!
Free Laundry Games Apps
Basic Laundry Instruction App
Fabric Care Label App
- Laundry Pro – Google Play Created by Vladimir Makarov, Laundry Pro offers an easy to read graph of the meaning behind laundry symbols
Stain Removal App
Please let me know if you found any of these apps helpful or if there are any others that I could add to the list! Let us know below if there are any more apps to teach laundry skills need to be added.
Activity Ideas to work on Toilet Training
Toilet Training can be challenging for some with autism. I have tried to put together some activity ideas for younger and older children to help teach toileting skills.
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Why do children with autism have difficulties with toilet training?
- Children with autism may simply need more time to learn a new skill.
- They may have difficulty breaking established habits and routines. They have always used a diaper, and they may not understand the reason why they don’t need to use it anymore.
- They may have difficulty understanding the feeling of when they need to use the bathroom. From an occupational therapy standpoint, they may not have inner body sensory awareness also called interoception.
- They may have difficulty communicating to you that they need to use the bathroom.
- They may have developed anxiety around toileting since this is a new skill.
- They may have sensory difficulties with using the bathroom with loud sounds such as flushing the toilet or even the smells of using the bathroom.
These are just some ideas or reasons why children with autism may be having a hard time with learning toilet training. There could be other reasons as well.
If you are working with a child with autism, try to keep these considerations in mind and try to figure out what might be one area that they are having a hard time with from listed above.
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Activity ideas to help prepare them for Toilet Training
- Read books about toilet training that are child focused.
- As parents and teachers find other books or resources to help you learn more about toilet training.
- Watch videos about toilet training
- Listen to songs about toilet training
- Talk about what it feels like when you need to use the toilet, the process of toileting, why you need to use the toilet, the timing of when you need to go, what it feels like when your not done going, what it feels like when you are done going, and the importance of being clean after using the bathroom.
- Create a social story to talk about the process of going to the bathroom
Activity ideas to help with sensory processing difficulties with toilet training
- Check out our FREE Personal Hygiene Sensory Strategies Toolkit by clicking the link!
- Try having someone else wipe your bottom for you with toilet paper to get used to the feeling
- Try using Wet Wipes if you don’t like the feeling of toilet paper
- Try wearing latex gloves or use a toilet buddy to help with wiping your bottom
- Talk to your doctor if you are struggling with constipation so they can help you
- Try sitting on the toilet with something you enjoy such as an iPad or game to try to relax you
- Have something under your feet to help with pushing.
- Check out the Squatty Potty on Amazon to help with positioning on the toilet. I personally have used this item and have felt it helped with bowel movements.
- Play music or something relaxing while going to the bathroom
- If the smell bothers you use aromas in the bathroom that you like such as a spray or essential oils.
- Try using essential oil smells rubbed under their nose to help ease the smell.
- Have scented spray available for them to spray during that time.
- Use something to close off your nose such as a nose plug and breathe through your mouth
Using Visuals to help with teaching
Check out these FREE Resources!
Breaking the skill into manageable parts using task analysis
- Sign up below to grab a copy of our task analysis charts to help with personal hygiene cares!
Community Outing Ideas to help with Toilet Training
- When going on errands to get toileting supplies to let the child help pick out the products. Let them help pick out toilet paper or wipes to let them feel more a part of the process.
- If the child has a hard time going into the store try using online order and pickup. We personally love using Walmart Grocery to order online and they bring it right out to our car!
- Use this link to get 10 dollars off your first order on Walmart Grocery!
One Last Thought
- As the parent or teacher keep in mind that this is a new skill and you both may start to feel overwhelmed.
- Try to stay positive and patient through this process. It will take some time to develop strategies that will work for your child.
- Please let me know in the comments below if there are other activity ideas I should mention that worked well for you!