Tips for Teaching Money Management to Teens with Autism

Tips for Teaching Money Management to Teens with Autism

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Why are Teaching Money Management Skills so Important for Teens with Autism?

Personally, I think money management skills are vital to learn if you want to help your teen become more independent as they grow up. I do want to say though, that there is no magic timeline as to when your teen or an adult with autism may learn all of these money management skills. It will come over time and each person is unique to when they may learn various skills. I just want to make sure to point out the importance of learning these skills to help increase their independence. I am not an expert on money management skills, but I am doing the best I can to learn more about these skills in order to help my brother increase his independence. I have put together resources and tips that I have learned while reseraching this topic.

A recent study, “Financial Capabilities Among Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” was conducted through the University of Missouri and was intended to shed light on exactly this issue. “When teenagers and young adults with autism enter adulthood and age out of many of the services designed to help them, they often are anxious about how to handle new adult responsibilities such as paying bills and filing taxes. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating financial management into early education to empower young adults with autism.” (Cheak-Zamora, et al., 2017).

How to Help Teens with Autism with Money Management Skills

So now that we know that these skills are important to learn, how do we help them learn money management skills? First of all, let’s figure out what skills are needed to learn in order to have a better understanding of money management skills. There are a ton of skills encompassing money management as a whole.

There is a lot to learn when it comes to money management skills. I have created a list of skills that your teen will need to learn to become more independent with money management skills.

Tips for Teaching Money Management to Teens with Autism

MONEY MANAGEMENT SKILLS

  1. Manage spending
  2. Create a budget
  3. How to manage a checking account
  4. How to manage a savings account
  5. How to use an ATM
  6. How to write a check
  7. How to pay with dollar bills
  8. How to pay with debit/credit card
  9. Understanding how credit works
  10. How to save money
  11. How to pay bills
  12. Understand how taxes work
  13. Borrowing money-credit
  14. Using a credit card
  15. Controlling Debt
  16. Earning Money through a paycheck
  17. Investing Money
  18. Financial Services
  19. Understanding Insurance
  20. How to use Banking Services
  21. Taking out a loan
  22. Managing money in Employment
  23. Understanding Benefits
  24. Making Smart Money Decisions
  25. Shopping Wisely
  26. How to use coupons when shopping to save money
  27. Understanding how to live on your own and take care of money
  28. Understanding Cars and Loans
  29. How to protect your money
  30. Understanding rent payments or taking out a mortgage loan

Grab our FREE download below to have easy access to all of these money management skills in one place! 

Money Management Display Image for Printable

FREE TRAINING AND RESOURCES

While searching and learning more about money management skills, I came across some free training and resources that I wanted to share with you. Feel free to check out these free online trainings to see if they can help you teach some of the money management skills listed above!

  • The National Autistic Society has created a Free Online Training Module!  The module was created to assist learners to recognize their strengths as well as the challenges they may experience with managing their money. It shares real-life experiences of autistic people about the sorts of difficulties they encounter, and how they successfully manage their money.
  • Practical Money Skills has tons of free resources and lesson plans for all ages and for special needs. Check out the FREE Lesson Plans here! 
  • NEFE’s High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP) is a turnkey financial literacy program specifically focused on basic personal finance skills that are relevant to the lives of teens.
  • Hands on Banking offers Free Online Course for Elementary, Middle school, and high school grades. You can check out the free courses here.
  • FamilyEducation.com has some short and easy to read articles on a range of money management topics for teens. You can check them out here.
  • If your teen is having a hard time with understanding the cost of things or how to spend their money you could try using Jump Start Reality Check. This is an online quiz they can take to help them understand a ballpartk relationship between their expenses and the income they will need to support their lifestyle.

 

Tips for Success with Money Management 

These are tips I have learned through personal experiences with my family or with clients and then additional strategies I have found through researching money management skills. 

Tips to help with money management through daily activities:

  1. Have them pay for items at the store
  2. Give them an allowance and save up for items to buy at the store
  3. Have them go to the bank with you and discuss how the bank works
  4. Help them open up a savings or a checking account
  5. Use workbooks to help teach about money skills
  6. Try using apps and online resources like the ones listed above to help teach money skills.
  7. Have them list out their wants and needs
  8. Look up the prices of their wants and needs to figure out if they have enough money or what they will need to earn.
  9. Talk about money habits such as helping them set up a budget.
  10. When you make a grocery list of items you need, have them go to the store with you to help you find them in the aisles and then show them the different prices of the same item. Help them learn which items are the best deals or bring along coupons and have them find the items they need to use the coupons.
  11. If they have a job where they are earning income talk to them about their paycheck. Help them understand their benefits and taxes.
  12. If you are working on understanding and paying bills, go through some common monthly bills such as housing, food, utilities so they can get an understanding of how much those items cost. Talk to them about ways you can pay those bills either online or by check in the mail.
  13. Help them organize their monthly income and expenses either on paper or on the computer.
  14. Practice paying with cash
  15. Save your receipts and practice reviewing the purchases. Practice adding up the totals of your receipts, especially if you pay with cash so that you can keep track of your spending.
  16. Use newspaper ads and grocery ads to work on finding coupons and finding specials on products that you need to purchase.

I hope you find some of these tips and strategies helpful along your journey to teaching money managmenet skills. Please feel free to add some additional tips or strategies you have found helpful in the comments below.

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!

 Final Thoughts on Teaching Money Management Skills

There are a lot of little skills to learn when teaching money management skills as a whole. It can feel overwhelming when thinking of the big picture, but my advice would be to start with one small skill and build from there. Try to go with your teens’ interests and try to build on the skills from there. For example, if they have a big interest in a specific item such as a video game or some candy they really enjoy eating start by working on having them save up money to purchase those items. Find some simple chores around the house that they could help you with to start to earn some money and see if they can help pay for those items at the store. If they are further along with their skills, have them go to the bank with you so they can try to learn and experience what you need to do at the bank.

Each individual is unique and is at different learning stages when it comes to money management skills. Take a look at our list of skills to learn and try to figure out what specific skill you can try to teach.

I also wanted to share another resource that I came across when teaching life skills. Autism Speaks has designed a Community-Based Skills Assessment.  This assessment was developed for Autism Speaks through a contract with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center.

The Community-Based Skills Assessment helps parents and professionals assess the current skill levels and abilities of students with autism beginning at age 12. The results will help you develop a unique and comprehensive plan.

The tool is divided into three levels based on age. Eight areas of functional life skills will be assessed:

  • Career path and employment
  • Self-determination/advocacy
  • Health and safety
  • Peer relationships, socialization and social communication
  • Community participation and personal finance
  • Transportation
  • Leisure/recreation
  • Home living skills

The assessment uses both observation and interviews to measure the individual’s knowledge, skills and behaviors.

You can learn more about the Community-Based Skills Assessment Here. 

Additional Money Management Resources

The Autism Awareness Centre has an excellent blog post with some more tips on how to teach money management for independent living with autism. 

Here is the link to the research article mentioned above called Financial Capabilities Among Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder if you would like to look into it further.

Friendship Circle has an article with 5 ways to Teach Money Management to Older Children with Special Needs you could check out.

Other Blog Posts you may find helpful

Evidence-Based Practices for Individuals with Autism

How to Help Teens with Autism with Organization Skills

The Best Functional Life Skills Resources for Individuals with Autism

How to Teach Kitchen Safety Skills for Teens with Autism

Where to Start when Teaching Life Skills to Teens with Autism

References:

Nancy C. Cheak-Zamora, Michelle Teti, Clark Peters, Anna Maurer-Batjer. Financial Capabilities Among Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 2017; 26 (5): 1310 DOI: 10.1007/s10826-017-0669-9

University of Missouri-Columbia. (2017, April 17). Money a barrier to independence for young adults with autism: Researchers suggest parents, caregivers and financial institutions can play a role in helping young adults with autism improve financial literacy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 13, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170417155019.htm

Tips for Teaching Money Management to Teens with Autism

 

How to Help Teens with Autism with Organization Skills

How to Help Teens with Autism with Organization Skills

how to help your teen with autism become more organized

*Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. 

 How to Help Teens with Autism Become More Organized

This is a question I hear from my readers and on the internet a lot. Do you have any tips on how I can help my teen become more organized? He is constantly losing his homework and his room is so messy. He doesn’t know how to find things in his bedroom and always needs my help. Is there any way that I can help him become more organized to find things on his own??

I decided I wanted to look more into these questions and see what information I could find as it relates to organizational strategies and autism. I am not an expert in this area, but I wanted to share with you resources and information I found while looking up information about organization and executive function skills. I know these skills have a huge impact on their everyday life skills. I did my best to find helpful tips and strategies as well as include tips and advice from autistic adults.

 

Why Organization can be Difficult to Learn for Teens with Autism

Some individuals with autism may have difficulty with cognitive function skills. They may have difficulty with processing information, problem-solving, coming up with solutions, and predicting consequences of an action. They can have difficulty thinking ahead to the future, so if you tell them a date or time to remember in the future, they may have difficulty remembering it. They may also have difficulty understanding the concept of time. If your teen is struggling with any of these areas, they may also have difficulty with organizational skills. 

It is important to note, that not all individuals with autism will struggle with executive function and organizational skills. 

What is Executive Function?

Executive Functions are a set of cognitive processes that help all of us to:

  • Plan and organize daily tasks
  • Be flexible between focusing on a task and then shifting our attention to performing another task
  • Multitasking
  • Manage time-constrained activities
  • Remember things in our mind for a short duration (working memory)
  • Control our impulses
  • Prioritize what is important in our day
  • Monitor ourselves with self-awareness
  • Initiate a plan (knowing when to start an activity) 

This information was obtained from https://researchautism.org/understanding-executive-functions/

Teens with autism mature at a slower pace in executive skills

“Teens with autism mature at a slower pace in executive skills. They may have particular trouble with flexibility, organization, initiating activities and working memory. In kids with an autism spectrum disorder, cognitive flexibility is the standout problem for them and seems to remain a problem as they get older,” (Rosenthal, et.al 2013).

So how can we help them improve with their executive function skills and organization skills?

 Tips for Success with Organization 

Now that we know what executive function skills are, what strategies can we use to help them with these skills? These are tips I have learned through personal experiences with my family or with clients and then additional strategies I have found through research. 

  • Figure out if these skills are important to them: Figure out if them being unorganized is a priority for them. If losing their homework or having a dirty room is not a priority to them, then they will most likely not want to work with you to improve in this area.  If this is the case, then you may need to wait until they are ready to work on this skill or figure out a way to talk to them about why these skills are important.
  • Get an understanding of their needs and work with them together: Before starting any plan of how to help, you need to have a clear picture of what their needs are in order to help them. What specific thing are they having a hard time figuring out?
  • Make a plan: Start with one specific task and make a plan. Write out the plan on paper or on your phone to keep track of what you did and how it worked. That way you have a way to reflect on what is working well and not so well.
  • Make Lists: Find a visual way to help remember things: You could use written lists or checklists, or use sticky notes to place on mirrors or outside of doors to help give reminders.
  • Find ways to use reminders that work for your teen: this could be alarm reminders set on their phone or iPad or a clock. You could use a watch that goes off at specific times for reminders. Or you could also use a planner or calendar.
  • Visual Supports: We kind of already talked about this above, but setting up visual supports can really help. These can include a to-do list, calendars, planners, real objects, step by step instructions, or labels to help organize.
  • Set up the environment for success: If there is a specific area of the home or a specific area at school you are wanting to help them organize think about how you can set up that space to make things as simple and easy for them to organize or put things away. Work with the teen in this process though, because you need to use a system that works for them. Everyone is different and has different ideas on what works for them. When we organized the laundry room area for my brother to allow him more independence to help put towels and certain clothes away, we used baskets where he could see into them so he could easily sort and figure out what goes where.
  • Social Stories: Social stories can be used to help talk about different social situations when it comes to being organized. Such as remembering your homework, cleaning your room, keeping a clean desk and locker at school. 
  • Start Thinking in Questions: I learned this technique from myaspergerschild.com after learning her strategies for organization. This technique makes sense to me because I personally do this myself. I am always asking myself questions throughout the day so that I don’t forget things. This is something that you may need to teach to others as this may not come easy to them.  She suggested you start by practicing by saying the questions out loud as they come up and you think about them. 
  • Be clear about expectations: This one is huge for me personally, when we are trying to learn something new and doing something that is hard for us we need to really be clear about our expectations. Don’t try to do too much at once. Think about one specific change that you can make to help with organization. The more you change the more you can start to feel overwhelmed and then you will be more likely to go back to your old habits or feel bad about yourself. You may get upset that you didn’t figure out a good technique to work on organization and executive function skills. 

Some helpful Tips and Resources from Autistic Adults on Organizational Strategies.

I have always wanted to have a better understanding of what it is like to have autism in order to better help my brother and the clients I was serving. As professionals and as parents we have a lot to learn about autism and now with the internet, there are so many more ways to learn and hear about autism through autistic adults. I am going to do my best to help provide you with opportunities to learn from autistic adults. 

Below you will find either blog posts or videos from autistic adults with information about organization strategies.

Autistic Mama has a blog post with 3 super helpful tips for executive function tips for autistic adults. She also has a free download with10 additional free tips! Check out her post Doable Executive Functioning Tips for Autistic Adults here!  

The Aspie World has a YouTube Channel where he explains a lot of topics about his life with Aspergers. He has a great video about Time Management. You can check out the YouTube Video Here.

He has another video with 7 Time Management Tips you can check that out here

Autistic Not Weird has a great post about Growing Up Autistic. It is not specifically geared towards organization skills, but it has great advice for teenagers with autism. Check it out here!

Some Helpful Products to Teach Executive Functioning and Organization Skills

Your Therapy Source has created an Executive Functioning Resource that is a digital workbook that is a step by step guide to help boost your student’s working memory, impulse control, focus, emotional control, organization, planning, and self-monitoring!

Smart but Scattered Teens: The Executive Skills Program for Helping Teens Reach Their Potential by Richard Guare, Peg Dawson, and Colin Guare created an awesome resource!  This positive guide provides a science-based program for promoting teens’ independence by building their executive skills–the fundamental brain-based abilities needed to get organized, stay focused, and control impulses and emotions.

 Final Thoughts on Organization tips 

Organization skills are a higher level skill and it will take time to learn these skills and find a process that works for the teen you are working with. Have patience and understanding as they are trying to find a strategy that works for them. Things will hopefully go better when you can stay calm when working with them to find strategies that work for them.

One final thought, there is no specific timeline for teens to learn specific skills and understand that it is a process and everyone learns different skills at different rates and times. Autistic Mama has a great article explaining how no one knows your autistic child’s future. 

Additional Resources for Organizational Strategies and Tips for Teens with Autism 

Information from the National Autistic Society about Organization, Sequencing and prioritizing. 

Helping your Child with Autism Get Organized video on YouTube by Autism Grown Up

Autism in the Teen Years: What to expect, how to help by Marina Sarris at the Interactive Autism Network 

Here is an amazing list of Actually Autistic blogs that you can check out if you would like to learn more about autism through their point of view. https://anautismobserver.wordpress.com

Teaching Organizational Skills by Diane Adreon M.A. and Heather Willis PsyD. from the Autism Support Network

Getting Your Life Organized from Autism-Help.org

Organization Skills for Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism by myaspergerschild.com

Let me know in the comments below what tips and resources you find helpful or if there is anything else I should add to the list!

How to help teens with autism with organization skills

References:

Rosenthal, M., Wallace, G.L., Lawson, R., Wills, M.C., Dixon, E., Yerys, B.E. & Kenworthy, L. (2013) Impairments in real-world executive function increase from childhood to adolescence in autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychology. 2013 Jan;27(1):13-8. View abstract

Free Resources for Teaching Personal Hygiene Cares

Free Resources for Teaching Personal Hygiene Cares

Free Resources for Teaching Personal Hygiene Cares

I get so many questions about how to help with personal hygiene cares and I wanted to put together a list of FREE resources available for you to look at and use. Below you will find a list of FREE Resources and Videos available for you to help teach these skills for individuals with autism.

Free Teaching Resources for Personal Hygiene Cares

Free Sensory Strategies Personal Hygiene Cares Toolkit 

Before you check out the other free resources below you should check out our FREE Sensory Strategies for Personal Hygiene Cares Toolkit!

Personal Hygiene Sensory Strategies Toolkit #sensory

 

Free Personal Hygiene Resources!

Free Washing My Hands Visual Sequencing Cards by Learning for a Purpose at Teachers Pay Teachers

Personal Hygiene and Teenagers with Auitsm Spectrum Disorder by raisingchildren.net.au

Personal Hygiene Teaching Resources for Special Needs Students by galleonsupplies.co.uk

A Free Social Story about Taking Care of Myself by Katie Peterson at Teachers Pay Teachers

Free Social Stories for supporting Personal Hygiene and Self-Care Skills at tes.com

A Free Social Story about Boogers by Occupational Therapy Resources by Allison at Teachers Pay Teachers

Washing My Hands Adapted Book by Chalkboard Superhero at Teachers Pay Teachers

Teaching Personal Hygiene to Children with Auitsm-Free visual story by Autism Spectrum Teacher

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!

 

Below is a list of Free videos you can find on YouTube about Personal Hygiene Cares

Ending the Hygiene Struggle by Asperger Experts on YouTube

Video Explaining Hygiene Help for Autism Spectrum Children and Teens by Barbara Lester on YouTube

Tips for Personal Hygiene-Real Life Tips for Kids with Autism by Children’s Specialized Hospital on YouTube

Teens and Hygiene From Autism Spectrum Therapies on YouTube

Teaching Personal Hygiene-Life Skills by Jacob Vlogs on YouTube

Let me know in the comments below if these were helpful for you, or if there are some other resources I should add.

Free Teaching Resources for Personal Hygiene Cares

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!

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

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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!