The Best Functional Life Skills Resources for Individuals with Autism

The Best Functional Life Skills Resources for Individuals with Autism

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.

*This post contains affiliate links. When you use this link to make a purchase we get a portion of the fee, at no cost to you. Please see our disclosure statement for further details. 

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

Resources for Teaching Life Skills

Resources for Teaching Life Skills

Resources for Teaching Life Skills

Below is a list of books and resources I have come across when researching ways to help teach life skills to individuals with autism. I have personally read these books and found them all to be helpful in their own unique ways. Check them out for yourself and see if they can help you think of new ways to help teach life skills.

Resources for Teaching Life skills to children, teens, and adults with autism #lifeskills #autism

*This post contains affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you. If you purchase a product through our link we will receive a commission. Please see our disclosure statement for further details. 

How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger’s  by Jennifer Mcllwee Myers

I have enjoyed reading and getting to understand Jennifer’s perspective. I always want to take the time to learn from adults with Autism or Asperger’s. Jennifer’s personal experience with Asperger’s Syndrome and having a brother with autism makes her perspective doubly insightful. Jennifer can show you how to:

  • Create opportunities for children to learn in natural settings and situations
  • Teach vital skills such as everyday domestic tasks, choosing appropriate attire, and being polite
  • Help individuals on the spectrum develop good habits that will help them be more fit and healthy
  • Improve time management skills such as punctuality and task-switching and much more!

Jennifer’s straightforward and humorous delivery will keep you eagerly turning the page for her next creative solution!

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

This book gives parents of children from age 3 through young adulthood proven strategies for teaching children the life skills they’ll need to live as independently as possible. Parents will start with a reader-friendly overview of the basics of teaching and then go deeper with a step-by-step guide to teaching seven different types of skills: get-ready, self-help, toilet training, play, self-care, home-care, and information gathering skills. In this fourth edition, they’ll also find helpful updates and additions, such as

  • an expanded section on managing behavior problems, including guidance on identifying the problems, examining behavior, initiating a behavior management program, and encouraging alternative behaviors
  • a chapter on technology that reflects recent advances and shows how to benefit from using email, instant messaging, Internet communities, search engines, and software
  • a chapter on strengthening partnerships with other teachers in the child’s life during IEP meetings, through classroom volunteer work, and in everyday communication with them

Autism Life Skills: From Communication and Safety to Self-Esteem and More – 10 Essential Abilities Every Child Needs and Deserves to Learn by Chantal Sicile-Kira

This book provides advice and reflections from autistic adults across the spectrum, as well as Sicile-Kira’s own experience as an advocate and parent of an autistic teen, the book covers these ten essential life skills:

Making Sense of the World * Communication * Safety * Self-Esteem * Pursuing Interests * Self-Regulation * Independence * Social Relationships * Self- Advocacy *Earning a Living

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

This book was written for teenagers and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), this instructional book is also for parents, instructors, and therapists to help teens on the autism spectrum. The information is written in an easy-to-understand manner with simple how-to lists. This book is geared for use in an instructional or home setting for any teenager or young adult with ASD. Topics covered include: dressing for different events, feeling anxious in social situations, public versus private behaviors, staying healthy, anxiety, depression, and feeling suicidal, social media issues, sexual harassment, finding and keeping friends (including a boyfriend or girlfriend), safe and responsible sex, and deciding to have sex with a partner, and more.

 

We hope you find these additional resources helpful on your journey to teaching life skills. Let us know in the comments if you have any other books or resources you have found helpful!

How to Teach Teens with Autism How to Use the Microwave

How to Teach Teens with Autism How to Use the Microwave

How to Teach Teens with Autism How to Use the Microwave

How to teach teens with autism how to use the microwave

*This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but if you purchase something through our link, we will receive a commission. 

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

How to Teach Kitchen Safety Skills for Teens with Autism

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

  1. Put knives away in an area they cannot reach.
  2. Try using stove locks to keep them from turning on the stove.
  3. Try using locks on the fridge or on the cupboards if they cannot be trusted to get food out on their own.
  4. Keep glass wear or breakable items in a locked cupboard or up high out of reach.
  5. Unplug appliances so that they cannot accidently be turned on.
  6. 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.

Kitchen Safety Display Image

Download the FREE Visuals Printable below by subscribing to our email list!

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.

  1.  You could start by teaching what items in the kitchen are dangerous and how they could hurt them.
  2. Show them pictures or get the real objects and model for them appropriate behavior to use when around those items.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Use visuals around the ktichen such as step by step instructions for specific skills they are working on.
  7. 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.

How to Teach Kitchen Safety Skills for Teens with Autism

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!!

 

 

How to Teach Kitchen Safety Skills for Teens with Autism Pinterest Image free download

Free Visuals to help with Teaching Laundry Skills

Free Visuals to help with Teaching Laundry Skills

Free Visuals to help with Teaching Laundry Skills

How to Complete the Laundry Printable Display Image

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

Free Visuals to help with Teaching Laundry Skills Free Visuals to help with Teaching Laundry Skills