Free Comprehensive Functional Life Skills Checklist

Free Comprehensive Functional Life Skills Checklist

In this post, you will learn about a life skills checklist you can use to help teach various life skills to improve independence and quality of life.

Ever felt that tingling sensation of stepping out into the unknown, where the world is vast and full of mysteries? Do you recall those pivotal moments when you stood on life's threshold, wondering how to maneuver the path ahead?

Those moments, while exhilarating, can also be daunting, especially when you ponder the importance of life skills in navigating the maze of daily life.

Sure, we all wish there was a guide, a sort of manual for life. That’s where the beauty of having a checklist comes in. For those striving towards independent living, knowing what skills to hone can be a game-changer.

As an occupational therapist, passionately devoted to helping autistic teens and young adults, I've curated a life skills checklist. This isn't just a list—it’s an easy reference guide tailored to ensure every individual can live their life with confidence and resilience.

Why Are Life Skills Important?

The shift from middle school to high school and eventually to adulthood is monumental. This journey demands not just academic brilliance but also a comprehensive set of essential life skills to navigate the challenges that come their way. Preparing young people with these skills can be the difference between them just surviving and truly flourishing. Learn more about the benefits of life skills here.

Essential Life Skills for Everyday Life

Life isn't just about major milestones. Often, it's the little day-to-day things that define our well-being and confidence. Let’s delve deeper into some fundamental life skills everyone should consider honing:

Social Skills:

  • Effective Communication:
    • Active Listening: This involves fully concentrating, understanding, responding, and remembering what the other person is saying. It's a crucial aspect of two-way communication.
    • Non-verbal Communication: Understanding body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. They often say more than words can.
    • Constructive Feedback: Knowing how to give and receive feedback in a way that's constructive can help maintain healthy relationships and personal growth.
  • Social Confidence:
    • Starting Conversations: Whether it’s introducing oneself to a stranger or initiating small talk, these are skills that can set the tone for lasting relationships.
    • Handling Rejection: Not every interaction will be positive. Knowing how to handle rejection with grace is vital.
    • Adapting to Different Social Settings: From a formal dinner to a casual hangout, understanding the nuances of various social situations helps in making appropriate choices.
    • You can check out a free social skills checklist here.

Financial Skills:

  • Managing Financial Records:
    • Budgeting: Creating and sticking to a budget to ensure you live within your means and can save for future needs.
    • Understanding Taxes: Knowing basics about income tax, how it's calculated, and when and how to pay it.
    • Reading Financial Statements: Being able to interpret bank statements, investment summaries, and more to make informed financial decisions.
  • Using a Debit Card:
    • Monitoring Transactions: Regularly checking statements to catch any unauthorized activities and manage expenditures.
    • Understanding Fees: Being aware of any associated fees, like ATM charges or over-the-limit fees, to avoid unwanted surprises.
    • You can learn more about money management skills here.

Basic Skills:

  • Time Management: Prioritizing tasks, setting realistic goals, and allocating specific blocks of time for different activities can increase productivity and reduce stress.
  • Self-care: This includes skills like understanding basic nutrition, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring regular health check-ups. Learn more about helping with personal hygiene care skills here.
  • Household Management:
    • Cleaning and Maintenance: Knowing how to clean different areas of your living space, manage waste, and perform basic maintenance tasks like changing a light bulb.
    • Basic Cooking: Even if it's just a few dishes, knowing how to prepare meals can be a lifesaver. From boiling an egg to making a simple pasta dish, these skills go a long way.
    • Laundry: Recognizing how to separate clothes, understanding laundry symbols, and knowing how to iron or fold garments properly. Learn more about teaching laundry skills here.

Equipping oneself with these essential skills ensures that regardless of the challenges thrown our way, we can handle them with confidence and flair.

The Life Skills Checklist: A Useful Tool for Young Adults

Having a life skills checklist at your fingertips is a game-changer. Consider it a handy list for a quick scan of where you are and what areas might need a bit more attention. Remember, it's a starting point; mastering everything simultaneously isn't the goal. Use it to gauge progress and identify areas for growth.

free life skills checklist

Important Skill Sets to Dive Deeper Into

Life has its complexities, and while foundational skills keep our daily life running smoothly, there are some deeper skills that arm us against life's more unexpected challenges.

Survival Skills:

When we talk about survival skills, it’s not just about being able to light a fire in the wilderness. It's about the fundamental abilities that can get you out of tight spots or even potentially save a life.

  • Basic First Aid: Understanding how to perform CPR, dress wounds, or even identify signs of a heart attack could make a difference when seconds count.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Recognizing what to do during natural disasters like earthquakes or floods. This includes having an emergency kit ready and knowing evacuation routes.
  • Reading a Map and Compass: GPS might not always be available. Understanding topography and orienteering can be essential when in unfamiliar terrains.
  • Self-Defense: Basic self-defense techniques can be invaluable, especially in compromising situations, ensuring personal safety.

Effective Communication:

While we touched upon aspects of communication earlier, here's a deeper dive:

  • Conflict Resolution: Knowing how to mediate disagreements, find common ground, and resolve issues without escalating them.
  • Empathetic Listening: Truly hearing and understanding someone's emotions without immediate judgment. This helps in fostering deeper connections.
  • Presenting Ideas: Whether in a classroom, boardroom, or even in personal settings, being able to clearly and confidently present thoughts can make a significant difference.
  • Digital Communication: In our digital age, understanding the nuances of online communication, like email etiquette, is equally crucial.

Navigating The Real World:

The world today is multifaceted, and understanding its various elements ensures one remains informed and protected.

  • Understanding Privacy Policies: With data becoming the new gold, it's essential to know what personal data websites and apps collect and how they use it.
  • Digital Footprint Management: Recognizing that our online actions, like social media posts, leave lasting impressions and learning how to manage this digital footprint responsibly.
  • Consumer Awareness: From understanding product labels to being aware of consumer rights, it's key to make informed decisions in the marketplace.
  • Civic Awareness: Grasping the basics of how local and national governance works, understanding one's rights, and participating in civic duties like voting.

Diving deep into these skill sets enriches our understanding of the world and equips us with the tools to navigate it effectively.

Want the Life Skills Checklist? Subscribe Now!

If this resonates with you, or if you believe this checklist could be the guiding tool, someone you know needs, I have exciting news! By subscribing and signing up for my emails, not only will you receive insights, tips, and updates from a dedicated occupational therapist (that’s me!), but you'll also get access to the Free Comprehensive Life Skills Checklist.

It's a valuable resource that you can always have at your fingertips, offering guidance, assurance, and most importantly, a roadmap to independent living. Don’t miss out; sign up today and let’s make life’s journey a confident and empowered one!

Tips and Tricks for Teaching Life Skills

A handy list of life skills is an invaluable tool. However, the process of imparting these skills is equally, if not more, crucial. While it requires a lot of work and dedication, the rewards are undeniable. As an occupational therapist, I've learned that success in teaching comes from the approach. Let's delve into some strategies:

General Teaching Methods and Strategies:

  1. Active Participation: Encourage active involvement. Let them do the task while you guide, instead of merely showing them how it's done.
  2. Scenario-based Learning: Create real-life situations or stories to explain the importance of a skill. It aids in retention and applicability.
  3. Visual Aids: Using charts, diagrams, or even apps can make understanding easier, especially for visual learners.
  4. Role-playing: This method can be especially useful for social skills. It provides a safe environment to practice and refine skills.
  5. Feedback Loop: Constructive feedback helps in reinforcing positive behaviors and rectifying mistakes.

Teaching Life Skills to Autistic Teens and Adults:

  1. Consistent Routine: Repetition and routine can be reassuring and help in mastering a new skill.
  2. Break Down Tasks: Simplify tasks into smaller, manageable steps, guiding them through each stage.
  3. Use of Visual Schedules: Visual prompts can be a useful tool, guiding them through daily routines or specific tasks.
  4. Safe Environment: Create a judgment-free space, where mistakes are seen as part of the learning process.
  5. Sensory Considerations: Always be aware and considerate of any sensory sensitivities, adapting methods accordingly.

For Special Education Teachers, Parents, and Occupational Therapists:

  1. Collaborative Approach: Working together ensures that the individual receives consistent guidance across different environments.
  2. Stay Updated: Regularly update your knowledge. Attend workshops, webinars, and seminars on life skills education.
  3. Tailored Techniques: Recognize that every individual is unique. Adapt your teaching methods to suit the learner's pace, interests, and strengths.
  4. Real-world Practice: Provide opportunities to practice skills in real-world settings. For example, a trip to the market can be a practical lesson in budgeting and social interactions.
  5. Positive Reinforcement: Celebrate successes, no matter how small. It boosts confidence and motivates continued effort.

When equipped with the right strategies, teaching life skills becomes not just an educational endeavor but a transformative journey. Remember, the goal isn't just skill acquisition, but fostering independence and confidence.

Introducing the Functional Life Skills Bundle for Autistic Teens and Adults

While understanding the strategies and techniques for teaching life skills is essential, having the right resources can make all the difference. That's why I've curated a special bundle designed specifically for those teaching life skills to autistic teens and adults. Let me introduce you to the Functional Life Skills Bundle. You can check it out here.

To enhance your teaching experience and offer the best to your students, consider adding the Functional Life Skills Bundle to your toolkit. It's not just a set of resources but a bridge to a more confident, independent, and skilled future for autistic teens and adults.

Functional Life Skills Bundle

​Life Skills Checklist

Life is a beautiful journey, and with the right skills in hand, our young adults can navigate its twists and turns with confidence and resilience. This life skills checklist serves as a beacon, guiding them through the essential skills they'll need. Please make the most of this great checklist, and don't hesitate to share it with someone who might benefit!

Helping Autistic Students Succeed With Pre-Vocational Skills

Helping Autistic Students Succeed With Pre-Vocational Skills

For autistic young adults, acquiring pre-vocational skills is vital for achieving independence and living a fulfilling life. As caregivers, you want to provide the best support, but finding the right resources can be very overwhelming. 

Let me tell you about the importance of pre-vocational skills and give you practical strategies to support autistic students. I will also share eight essential pre-vocational skills that will help your teenager gain independence and self-reliance. Finally, I will introduce some tools to help you measure progress and keep track of your child’s pre-vocational life skill goals. 

What Are Pre-Vocational Skills? 

Pre-vocational skills are the abilities and knowledge you need to prepare for employment, job training, or further education. These skills are essential for people on the autism spectrum to achieve independence and succeed in the workplace. 

To develop pre-vocational skills, you need to gain a range of abilities that help individuals perform job-related tasks like following directions, managing time effectively, and organizing their work. 

For people with autism, acquiring pre-vocational skills can be especially challenging, as they may struggle with executive functioning, social skills, and sensory processing. However, with the right support and strategies, they can develop these skills and become confident in the workplace. 

8 Essential Pre-Vocational Skills

Developing pre-vocational skills can help autistic teenagers and young adults prepare for future employment and achieve independence. Here are eight essential pre-vocational skills that can help your autistic teen or adult gain valuable skills.  

1. Communication Skills

Autistic teens and young adults may struggle with communication due to social challenges. So, it’s important to teach them how to communicate effectively through verbal and nonverbal cues. This includes learning to listen actively, using appropriate terms, and understanding body language. You can learn more about social skills here and get a free social skills checklist.

2. Time Management Skills

Autistic individuals may struggle with time management due to executive functional challenges. That’s why you should teach them how to prioritize tasks, set goals, and manage time effectively. You can learn more about executive function challenges and help with task initiation here.

3. Money Management Skills

People on the autism spectrum may struggle with managing money because they typically have to deal with challenges in executive function and decision-making. Teaching them basic financial skills like budgeting, saving, and responsible spending goes a long way. 

4. Organizational Skills

Organizational skills are important for any job as they can help improve productivity and efficiency. For autistic youth, organizing their workload is a challenge within itself, mostly due to their executive function challenges. It’s important to teach them how to plan, prioritize, and organize their tasks. 

5. Following Instructions

Autistic individuals usually struggle with processing verbal information, which is why following instructions can be a daunting task. As a caregiver, you should teach them how to listen actively and ask for clarification when necessary. 

6. Problem-Solving Skills

Teenagers and young adults may struggle with problem-solving because of their difficulties in flexible thinking and executive functioning. That’s why it’s important to teach them how to break problems down into smaller parts, brainstorm solutions, and evaluate them accordingly. 

7. Social Skills

Social skills help people build relationships with co-workers and customers, so they’re a vital part of any job. It’s safe to say that communication and social interaction don’t come easy for autistic youth, which is why they may need an extra nudge in this direction. It’s important to teach them how to read social cues, manage emotions, and navigate social situations. 

8. Self-Advocacy Skills

Self-advocacy is crucial for individuals with autism, so they can advocate for themselves in the workplace and other settings. Autistic individuals may have a hard time asserting themselves, which is why they need help with identifying their needs, expressing themselves clearly, and negotiating effectively. 

By developing these essential pre-vocational skills, autistic teenagers and young adults can gain independence, confidence, and self-reliance. 

Sensory Processing and Pre-Vocational Skills

Many people with autism struggle with sensory processing, which can affect their ability to develop pre-vocational skills. For example, an individual hypersensitive to touch may struggle with using tools necessary for a certain job. 

On the other hand, someone who’s hypersensitive to touch may have difficulty recognizing when they’re holding a tool too tightly, which can also lead to injury. 

If you need help with that, you can check out the Teen Sensory Processing Guide eBook, an incredibly beneficial resource with a wide range of sensory activities. These activities can help improve pre-vocational skills and overall sensory processing abilities, helping your kid achieve greater independence in their future career. 

Functional Life Skills and Pre-Vocational Skills

Functional life skills are a crucial part of pre-vocational skill development for autistic youth. These skills help people perform everyday activities like managing finances and preparing meals, which are vital for independent living. By learning functional life skills, autistic teens can gain confidence and become better equipped to face the challenges of adulthood. 

Examples of functional life skills that can help with pre-vocational skills include cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and managing money. These skills not only help individuals become more independent but also provide valuable experience for future employment opportunities. 

To assist in learning these skills, you can explore my Mega Bundle of Functional Life Skills Resources for Teens and Adults. This excellent resource includes step-by-step guides for various activities that will build and enforce learning. 

By incorporating functional life skills into pre-vocational skill development, you can help your autistic youth gain the necessary skills for a long and fulfilling life. 

Helping Autistic Students Succeed With Pre-Vocational Skills

Wrapping Up

There are many success stories of autistic individuals who have developed pre-vocational skills and achieved independence, which should serve as an inspiration for you to continue supporting the development of these skills for your loved one. 

Remember that sensory processing difficulties can impact pre-vocational skill development, so try to be patient with your teen or adult. Break down tasks and use visual aids for them, and always remember to motivate your autistic teen to learn these skills as slowly as they need. 

If you need more help with teaching pre-vocational skills, make sure to check out the sensory guide ebook and functional life skills bundle, as they have been life savers for many parents out there. With the right attitude, support, and guidance, your teen can successfully acquire the pre-vocational skills they need and make a fantastic transition into the workforce.

8 Vocational Activities for Autistic Students

8 Vocational Activities for Autistic Students

In this post you will learn about vocational activities you can do to help your students learn valuable job skills.

Vocational activities can make all the difference for people on the spectrum. They prepare autistic students for life post-graduation, help them choose a career path, and help them professionally use their functional life skills.

If you’re wondering what activities to choose and approaches to take while training an autistic student vocationally, I’m here to help!

I’ll give you a list of activities you can try with your students to prepare them for their careers, so follow along!

What Are Vocational Activities?

Vocational activities are tasks meant to prepare students for their careers after graduation. They’re primarily associated with hands-on jobs.

While all students can benefit from vocational activities, autistic students, in particular, need them because they naturally struggle more with the expectations of a working environment. If you are looking for help with writing vocational goals you can check out this post.

8 Vocational Activities for Autistic Students

Here’s a list of vocational activities you can attempt with your autistic students to prepare them for a successful career! If you are looking for ready-made resources already done for you, check out the Work Etiquette Task Cards Bundle Here!

Job Application

Most jobs nowadays require applications before getting employed, including hands-on ones. That's why training your student to complete a job application correctly is a monumental step to guarantee acceptance in future jobs.

For the activity, you can prepare a fake job application and encourage them to correctly fill out all their personal details. Then, go over the applications and highlight points for improvement. You can repeat the activity as many times as needed to reach the desired result.

Writing Resumes

Another important vocational activity for students on the spectrum is writing a resume. While it’ll be challenging at first for the students to write their information in a presentable manner, it’ll help organize their thoughts.

Ideally, you should help them recognize the most sought-after skills in the work field and include them in the resume.

For this activity, you can encourage your students to write their skills, education, strength points, and hobbies on a piece of paper. Then, give them a paper with the layout of a resume, and tell them to fill it using the information they just laid out on the other paper.

Work Etiquette Task Cards Bundle product image

Job Interview

The biggest challenge that autistic students face while joining the workforce is communicating correctly with people outside their comfort zone. That’s why a job interview can be a tall order for someone who hasn’t trained enough for it.

To try this activity, encourage your student to dress formally and prepare their resume beforehand. Then, interview them while asking generic questions about their strengths and weaknesses, their hopes for the job, and more.

Public Transportation

Starting a career for autistic students means moving independently, which requires public transportation. Since it’s something every student faces, I couldn’t make this list without including it as an essential vocational activity.

The activity can be as simple as teaching your student to read bus schedules or as detailed as taking them out to ride it in person. You should also boost their awareness about safety measures in public and how much transportation costs to and from their workplace daily.

Reading Maps

A fair share of everyday life situations includes using a road map. Suppose your student misses the bus and has to take a different route to work. Also, some jobs involve moving a lot, like delivery personnel. That’s why map reading is an essential skill to have, and you can easily incorporate it into your student’s vocational training.

For the activity, you can take your students out on a field day. Print maps of the neighborhood you’re in, mark where you’re standing and where you’re going, and hand them out to your students.

Then, encourage your students to go to the marked place by reading the map. Of course, they won’t get it right the first time. However, with your help, they can ace it before they’re employed.

Sending Mail

Nowadays, all jobs use mail to communicate important news, be it the acceptance of the job, structural changes to the company, or others. Sometimes, autistic people might be asked to send emails in response to their employers, which is an important skill to learn.

As part of your vocational training program, you can teach your students how to send professional emails with the appropriate response. You can act as their employer and send them emails, then wait for their responses.

Sorting Items

Many hands-on jobs include sorting items according to sensory processing, like folding clothes, arranging stationery, and more. Luckily, training your students to sort items is an easy activity you can attempt quickly with minimal materials.

All you have to do is provide items that are widely available in your home or workplace, like pens, pencils, and erasers. Then, put all of them in a large box and shake it so that the items mix together.

Give your students smaller boxes and tell them to sort the items separately, then leave them for a few minutes until they attempt it.

Addressing Envelopes

The last vocational activity I’ll discuss is envelope addressing. Although snail mail took a huge step back because of the rise of emails, it’s still used by many employers in various fields. 

Ideally, you should train your autistic students to address and send envelopes to different people. This way, if they work in a place that works by snail mail, they won’t face a communication issue.

For this activity, hand out formatted envelopes to your students, and encourage them to write the delivery address and the return address, then add the stamp.

Vocational Activities for Autistic Students

To Wrap Up

Vocational activities prepare autistic students for joining the workforce, and they can be easy to organize. All you have to do is check the above list, choose the activity that appeals to you and your students’ needs the most, and get to work!

Additional Vocational Skills Resources you will Love

Vocational Goals: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Promote Emotional Self-Regulation Among Autistic Teens and Young Adults

How to Promote Emotional Self-Regulation Among Autistic Teens and Young Adults

In this post you will learn helpful strategies for encouraging emotional self-regulation in autistic teens and young adults to improve their well-being and daily functioning.

Traversing the complex world of emotions requires self-regulation. However, young adults on the autism spectrum take a unique approach to controlling their sensory input, regulating emotions in a capacity different from others. 

As a parent or caregiver, you must understand the unique experiences and needs of an autistic teen to build an effective support system. 

To help you, I’ll discuss the value of focused interventions and approaches when addressing such demands. I’ll also explore evidence-based strategies and helpful tools that support emotional self-regulation in this demographic. 

Understanding Emotional Self-Regulation in Autism 

Self-regulation is essential in autism because it can help people overcome their daily difficulties. It requires mental, emotional, and behavioral control to support flexibility and well-being. 

We can empower young adults to thrive and realize their full potential by understanding emotional regulation in autism and helping them self-regulate. 

What Is Self-Regulation?

Self-regulation refers to the ​ability to control emotions and behaviors​, which helps people adapt and fulfill the demands of various situations. 

It is particularly relevant for people with autism, as it helps them manage sensory sensitivity, emotional fluctuations, and social interactions. It entails identifying internal states, using tactics to modify them, and adjusting behavior.  

Common Self-Regulation Difficulties Faced by Autistic Individuals

As a parent or caretaker, you may identify behavioral patterns in your autistic teens that point to problems with self-control. 

These actions could include meltdowns or tantrums due to sensory overload and struggles in switching between tasks. They could also be impulsivity or acting without carefully considering the consequences or difficulty regulating anger or frustration. 

For some people, a crowded place with loud noises can be overstimulating, whereas, for others, a shift in their usual patterns or daily activities may result in emotional dysregulation. 

Social interactions can be tough. Challenges with self-regulation can include the inability to read nonverbal cues or acting without thinking about the implications.

Impact of Self-Regulation on the Independence and Quality of Life

What may seem like a basic skill plays a transformative role in enhancing the well-being and independence of autistic children. 

Besides promoting independence and autonomy, self-regulation positively impacts their daily activities, social relationships, mental health, problem-solving, and decision-making. 

Young adults who are in control of their emotions, behaviors, and sensory sensitivity can live comfortably, form meaningful relationships, and constructively cope with their feelings. 

These benefits help teens make thoughtful decisions and develop the self-assurance to achieve personal goals. 

Strategies for Effective Self-Regulation 

Young adults must have a fundamental grasp of emotions and functional life skills to develop self-regulation abilities. These abilities include distinguishing between various emotions and how each feeling appears both externally and internally.  

Effective self-regulation strategies are essential tools for developing this foundation. They work in real-world situations and can help improve self-awareness, emotional control, and impulse management. 


Co-regulation from a loving and trustworthy parent or caregiver can do wonders for an autistic child or young adult. The adults must stay calm and reinforce the self-regulatory exercises through example, serving as role models. 

You can help your teens regulate their overwhelming emotions through emotional support and demonstrations of regulation techniques. Focus on their needs. Provide guidance at the right time and help them develop effective regulation skills. 

Provide Sensory Support 

Catering the sensory sensitivities of your teens or kids can have a huge impact on their development. 

Create a relaxing and sensory-friendly environment for your teens. Make it a place where they can thrive and explore their potential. 

Sensory support can be providing noise-canceling earphones if you live in a noisy neighborhood and playing their preferred music. It can also be offering fidget toys or other sensory tools to increase focus and self-regulation.

You can also use smartwatches as a sensory tool if they have sensory tracking and calming apps with features that can help people regulate their emotions. 

Use of Visual Support

Some people learn new information easier with visual aid. If your teens are the same, use visual support such as social stories, visual cues, flashcards, and practical demonstrations when teaching them self-regulation. 

Visual support will help them understand expectations and social protocols better. For example, emotion charts can depict different levels of emotions, helping your teens identify how they feel in certain situations.

Communicate Clearly 

Giving direct instructions and leaving no room for confusion is crucial in self-regulation. Make sure you don’t confuse your teens when you ask them to do tasks. The best way to do this is to simplify your language when communicating with them. 

Reduce the number of directions and break it down into manageable steps. Also, remember to keep your tone calm and understanding. 

Do Calming Activities 

When confronted with an outburst or an intrusive situation, teens and young adults with autism could benefit from soothing activities. 

Deep breathing exercises and calming activities are all beneficial under trying circumstances. These acts can distract teens from the issue and help them relax. 

Let your teens decide which calming activity they prefer, and help them practice it regularly. Soothing activities can be anything from using stress-relief items like a fidget spinner or stress ball to listening to music.

Engage in Physical Activities 

Many sports require team coordination and high-level communication, which might not be an autistic young adult’s strong suit. However, regular exercise, such as yoga or dancing, can help release tension.  

Swimming is a great sport for autistic teens because it involves water play and fundamental strokes. Such activities can improve self-control, increase bodily awareness, and release endorphins, improving their mood. 


Providing for the needs of autistic teenagers and young adults can be challenging and overwhelming. But remember that it’s normal to feel that way. It doesn’t devalue who you are as a person or parent. 

Be patient. Remember that you have been blessed with a child with needs that are a bit different from others, and you must adjust accordingly. Help them self-regulate to improve their overall well-being.

self regulation autism
5 Engaging and Meaningful Activities for Autistic Adults

5 Engaging and Meaningful Activities for Autistic Adults

Are you searching for fun activities for autistic adults to establish a new routine, promote sensory and processing abilities, and learn life skills?

If the answer’s yes, then this guide is for you. 

Encouraging adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to engage in educational, recreational, and social activities will have lasting benefits. In other words, these activities aim to help autistic adults lead a whole and more fulfilling life. 

So, for those interested in learning specific autism-friendly activities, make sure you check below.

Why Activities and Hobbies are Important

To maintain overall physical and mental wellness, you need to have adequate activities and hobbies. That applies to all people.

Through music, dancing, cooking, and even walking, autistic adults will experience an increased quality of life. It’s important to know that activities don’t stop at a certain age. On the contrary, they should be constantly promoted.

Hence, through activities, autistic adults will have a chance to:

  • Improve communication skills
  • Increase independence
  • Feel joy and fulfillment
  • Promote fine motor skills
  • Feel accepted as a member of the community 

However, it's crucial to plan all activities according to the interests, abilities, and strengths of the adult. So, let’s jump to it. 

5 Fun but Practical Activities for Autistic Adults

1. Music Classes

Music is a broad medium that surpasses all abilities and disabilities. And considering that sound, or, in this case, music, is a primary human response, many autistic adults have a positive reaction to it.  

Through music activities – repeating particular rhythmic patterns, repeating the melody, trying to remember a song, and eventually playing an instrument with or without someone – you’ll address behavioral, sensory-motor, social, communicative, physical, psychological, and cognitive functioning.

What's great about music is that you can adapt all the activities related to it to meet the needs of each individual since sound is flexible and malleable. 

The most common musical instruments used for autism are percussion instruments, ukulele, keyboard/piano, and guitar. 

2. Dance Classes

The aim of each dance is to raise awareness of body movement so that you can communicate through that movement. Note that the only universal language is the one transmitted through our bodies and moving patterns. 

Therefore, your goal is to join the moving pattern of the autistic individual through dance therapy or any dance-related activities so you can then modify, improve and grow that pattern. In other words, you’re communicating with them by moving with them. 

And, there’s no need to say that you’re improving sensory-motor skills, or in other words, increasing body awareness in the process. 

3. Arts and Crafts

A great tool for nonverbal expression is art. Painting, drawing, building, assembling, sculpting, and writing are therapeutic, calming, and, most of all, fun.

Autistic adults will have the opportunity to explore different mediums and learn how to express themselves by using those mediums. Art and autism complete each other, and by creating any piece of art, the person will improve his motor skills, increase self-esteem, develop social skills, and fulfill sensory needs.

Here are some fun arts and crafts ideas: 

  • Finger painting
  • Sensory bottles
  • Bubble wrap abstract painting
  • Sand art projects

4. Outdoor Activities/Sports

You don’t have to go to fancy gyms or sports halls; a simple walk in the park or the neighborhood can also do wonders for adults.

Spending time outdoors is healthy for both the mind and body, so it’s crucial to have regular outdoor recreational activities (adapted to the person's abilities). It’ll improve the person’s mood and help improve their attention span and motor skills. 

All the following activities are a great way to spend time with the autistic adult in your life:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Biking
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Gardening

If we’re talking about a group of autistic adults, you can prepare simple obstacle games. They would need to interact with each other and be active all the time during the activity.

5. Cooking

Cooking activities are not only fun, interactive, and great for bonding but also essential for life in general.

Learning how to cook is fundamental to life. And, when you’re preparing the food together, you’re giving the autistic adult a sense of teamwork and connection. 

Before you start cooking or baking, make sure you’ve got the right recipe. Choose according to the autistic individual because they can be quite picky when it comes to the smell and texture of the food. 

Easy and quick meals would be:

  • Pancakes
  • Gluten-free pizzas
  • Smoothies
  • Sandwiches
  • Homemade chicken nuggets
  • Sugar-free blueberry muffins


Helping autistic adults learn new challenges and skills is not an easy task, but through certain activities, the process of learning can become, if not easier, more fun. 

The most important thing is to create a safe and supportive environment where autistic individuals have the freedom to engage. Try various activities, be creative, and pay attention to what the autistic adult finds most pleasing. And most of all, enjoy!

Let me know if you try any of these activities for autistic adults, and if you have more interesting ideas, don't hesitate to share them with me.

Benefits of Life Skills to Help Improve your Quality of Life

Benefits of Life Skills to Help Improve your Quality of Life

In this post you will learn about the benefits of life skills and how they can improve your quality of life.

Life skills are a cornerstone in today’s fast-paced world. They enable us to manage and accomplish complex tasks in many settings and navigate our personal and professional lives effectively. Since they impact every aspect of our lives, it’s best to develop them to ensure a happy and productive life.

In this article, we’ll tell you what life skills are, how they impact everyday life, and how to develop them. So, read on to learn more!

Understanding Life Skills

The term ‘Life Skills' refers to the skills you need to make the most out of life. Any skill that is useful in your life can be considered a life skill.

Life skills can be functional abilities individuals use to navigate their daily lives. These skills can refer to passive skills, such as self-awareness, emotional regulation, empathy, and resilience, and active skills, such as goal-setting, communication, organization, and time management.

Why Is It Important to Develop Life Skills?

It should be your mission to hone your life skills, as they’ll help you overcome any challenge you face in your everyday life. Let’s explain the impact they have on three main fields to give you a better picture of what we’re talking about.

Personal Development

Developing your skills will help you become more self-aware, resilient, and a better communicator and decision-maker.

For example, developing self-discipline, focus, open-mindedness, and self-attribution will help you become more self-aware. This allows you to make informed decisions, take actions that align with your values, and understand their impact on yourself and others.

Similarly, developing your empathy, communication, and listening skills will enable you to communicate more effectively, maintain healthy relationships, express yourself more confidently, and set proper boundaries with others.

Finally, skills such as patience, anger, stress, and money management help you become more adaptable and flexible to challenges. This way, you’ll remain motivated and continue striving for what you want, ensuring your success and happiness.

Benefits of life skills

Professional Development

Some key professional skills, including critical thinking, teamwork, organizing, planning, and communication, will help you thrive professionally. 

For example, hard work, perseverance, excellent communication skills, and punctuality make you a desirable employee to many employers. By developing them, you’ll have better chances of landing a job you’re interested in.

Again, by developing your empathy, leadership, and management skills, you can become an outstanding leader to your co-workers and successfully carry out any managerial duties, whether you’re an employee or a business owner.

Finally, professional lives revolve around teamwork and collaboration. Most of the time, you’ll be working alongside many individuals to carry out everyday tasks. Having great teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills will help smooth out any potential frustrations and ensure a hassle-free work experience.

Social Development

Having healthy social relationships with others directly affects your mental health. You can potentially jeopardize your standing with others if you skimp out on important social skills, such as empathy, listening, compromising, and caring.

Developing these skills will help you understand yourself better and ensure deeper and more meaningful relationships with your family, friends, and partners. These skills also extend to your standing in society since you’ll be able to find your purpose and contribute to your community further.

You can get your Free Life Skills Checklist to Help Autistic Teens Transition into Adulthood

You can get your free life skills checklist to help autistic teens transition into adulthood and help improve their quality of life. Just CLICK HERE to get your free life skills checklist, or click on the image below.

life skills checklist

How Can I Develop Life Skills?

There are countless ways to develop life skills. Initially, you need to learn what skills you want to improve and acquire. This will allow you to plan accordingly and set realistic goals. It’s best to break down your tasks to improve a skill into smaller, more manageable steps to not get overwhelmed.

Read and Watch

One way to go about learning life skills is by reading or watching videos about them. You can check articles, books, websites, and blogs. They contain a great deal of information about a large selection of skills. Nowadays, it’s easy to learn something as difficult as playing an instrument by following online courses!

Attend Workshops and Communicate

However, you’re not limited to teaching yourself. Some life skills, such as anger and stress management, are best improved through workshops and group gatherings that help you learn more about yourself and express yourself better. 

Practice and Seek Feedback

Another piece of advice: the best way to develop life skills is to practice them regularly. Stepping out of your comfort zone, although terrifying at first, will help you build self-confidence and overcome your fears. You should also seek feedback as much as possible from knowledgeable others or relevant people to monitor your progress.

Be Patient

Developing your life skills is a lengthy process, so be patient! Don’t expect to become great at something you struggle with after reading a single article or book – it takes months, if not years, of practice!


Life skills play an important role in enabling us to navigate the challenges we face in everyday life, whether in a professional, social, or academic context. It should be your mission to improve your life skills to lead a happy and fulfilling life!

Our Best Functional Life Skills cover the most critical skills everyone should have, so check it out!

Similarly, our Social Skills for Teens guide covers many skills necessary to improve your relationships with others!

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