When you think about the future for your teen what scares you the most?

Essential Life Skills to help Teenagers with Autism Transition into Adulthood

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What are things you feel that your child excels at and what are things you feel that your child needs to improve upon as they transition into adulthood?

The future is coming and time continues to pass us by. Do you feel like you are able to help your teenager with autism with every day life skills?

Our family is working on finding strategies to help my brother to reach his highest potential. He is 15 years old and the future is vastly approaching. What direction in life is he going to take? These are all questions we take one day at a time. We work on these skills one day at a time to help him reach his dreams and desires.

Life Skills

We wanted to share with you all a list of essential life skills to help you have an understanding of skills your teenager may need to work on.

You can download the entire checklist below by helping to answer some of our questions!

life skills checklist

We would LOVE your help! Fill out a couple questions with honest answers to help us best be able to serve you and your family on your journey to helping your teenager with autism as they start this transition phase into adulthood. We went to provide you with amazing resources and content that will best serve you! Check it out here and then you can download our FREE Checklist!

Click Here!

Personal Hygiene Skills

Cleanliness and personal hygiene skills are important for your teen to be able to take care of themselves and to keep their bodies clean. Check out the Everyday Life Skills Personal Hygiene Skills in the Bathroom Ebook!

  • Shower and bathe appropriately
  • Brush Teeth
  • Groom Hair
  • Wash Face
  • Floss Teeth
  • Toileting Cares and Hygiene
  • Shaving
  • Girls understanding their menstrual cycle
  • How to care for their bodies

Dressing Skills

Wearing clothes and picking out the proper clothes to wear each day is an important skill for teens to understand. Being able to dress oneself and taking care of our clothes are good skills to know.

  • Understanding how to dress for a specific occasion, whether it be an every day task, going swimming, going to a fancy party, or going to bed.
  • Understanding how to dress for specific weather conditions (cold and snowy vs hot and sunny outside)
  • Being able to do the laundry
  • Folding clothes and putting them away in their appropriate place
  • Basic sewing skills for sewing on a button or fixing a slight tear would be good skills to know
  • Packing a suitcase
  • Reading and understanding fabric labels to understand how to appropriately wash and dry the clothes

Cooking Skills or Food Skills

We need to be able to feed ourselves food every day to keep our bodies healthy and strong. Having a basic understanding of cooking and food skills are essentials for teenagers.

  • Making simple meals for daily nutrition
  • Using a microwave
  • Using an oven
  • How to prepare meats and foods safely so they do not get sick or food poisoning
  • How to go grocery shopping
  • How to follow a recipe
  • Kitchen Safety with hot pots and fire safety
  • How to store food
  • Reading and understanding food labels

Health Skills

Understanding how to take care of oneself is vital for teens as they transition into adulthood. Things from every day tasks to taking care or our bodies to a basic understanding or what to do in a medical emergency.

  • Understanding basic first aid
  • How to go to the doctor and when to go to the doctor
  • How to take over the counter medications safely for common illness such as cold or headache
  • Understanding health insurance and how this works for them
  • How to handle medical emergencies, what number to call
  • Safe sex education

Money or Budgeting Skills

Taking care of their own money and finances is a great skill for your teen to understand to better be able to care for themselves.

  • Creating a budget and how to stay on track with your budget
  • How to manage a checking account, savings account, use ATM, write a check
  • How to pay with dollar bills
  • How to pay with debit card/credit card
  • Understand how credit works
  • How to save money
  • How to pay bills

Transportation Safety

Safety around transportation are good skills for your teen to understand to help keep them safe.

  • Use a bus route to get to their destination
  • Safety get in and out of the car
  • Safely cross a busy street and parking lot
  • Safely walk around the neighborhood on the sidewalk or road

Organization Skills

Organization skills are great for your teen to understand to help keep them on track and understand how to complete tasks on their own.

  • Get up in time and ready for their day on their own to go to school or work
  • Take care of their things and know where they are
  • How to clean a house, apartment, or room
  • Basic home repair skills or who to call for repairs

Social Skills and Manners

Socializing with others and understanding how to be nice to people is a good skill to have for communication skills.

  • Have manners when talking/socializing with others
  • Develop and maintain relationships
  • Explore hobbies and interests and meet like minded people
  • Healthy family relationships
  • Respect others and their views/opinions

Driving and Auto Maintenance Skills

Driving Skills may be important depending on where you live. We live in rural Iowa and we do not have a bus system that can take my brother from point A to point B. These skills may be important to you as well.

  • Potentially get a drivers license
  • Take care of a car
  • Car insurance
  • How to maintain car (gas, oil, tires)
  • Road safety when driving
  • What to do if in an accident

Navigational Skills

Navigational skills are important to help your teen not to get lost. Do they understand how get back home if they were out in the community or can they understand how to use an app to read a map to give them directions.

  • Understands how to get from point A to point B
  • Can understand how to read road signs
  • Ask for directions
  • Able to use an app or electronic device for directions
  • Understand directions (North, South, East, and West)

Communication Skills

We communicate with the outside world every day whether it be in person or through online social media. Does your teen understand safe communication skills in person and online?

  • Can ask people questions to get information they need
  • Understanding potentially different forms of communication from (different languages, non-verbal gestures, sign language)
  • How to read non verbal language
  • Using different modes of communication: phone call, text, email, or writing letters
  • Understanding safe social media guidelines
  • Listening to others

Safety Skills

Understanding safety in our every day life is a huge skill for us to know so that we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

  • They can call 911
  • Know what to do in a fire
  • Know what to do in an emergency situation
  • Can identify an emergency situation
  • Can call for help
  • Knows own address and phone number
  • Knows basic medical information about themselves
  • Stranger safety

Behavioral Skills

We can exhibit many different interactions with others and with ourselves during the day. How we respond in those situations can either help us or hurt use in our every day life.

  • Can they accept a mistake that they made
  • They are polite with other people
  • How to stay true to themselves
  • How to ask for help when they need it
  • How to accept criticism
  • How to apologize
  • Moral behaviors

Coping with Emotions

We all have different emotions every day and throughout our day. Being able to control your emotions so they do not take over your day to day life activities is an important skill to learn.

  • They can self manage or self regulate their own emotions
  • Avoid impulsive behaviors
  • Manage stress
  • Manage fear, anxiety, loneliness
  • Manage feelings/emotions in a healthy way

Problem Solving Skills

Being able to understand how to solve problems within your life is  a good skill to have as we transition into adulthood. Being able to identify problems in our lives and figure out solutions that will work for us can help make our lives a little easier.

  • Can they identify problems
  • Create a possible solution to solve the problem
  • Analyze each situation to come up with the best solution to the problem
  • Go back and analyze the problem to see if they made a good decision
  • They can learn from the decisions they make

Time Management Skills

Managing our time is vital when we have to meet deadlines or be somewhere at a specific time. Teaching teens good time management skills will help set them up for success as they get older.

  • Can they organize their day to accomplish tasks that need to get done
  • Can they prioritize their time during the day to meet their responsibilities
  • They can identify important vs. non important tasks
  • Can meet deadlines
  • Can develop a routine that works for them

Work/Employability Skills

If your teen hopes to find a job these would be great work related skills to help teach them.

  • Can accept criticism
  • Can learn from mistakes
  • They are willing to learn something new
  • They can evaluate their own skills and identify their strengths and weaknesses

Decision Making Skills

Being able to make a decision is an important skill for teens to be able to do in order to move forward in their lives. Understanding the  decisions they are making and what the possible outcomes of their decisions might be are vital.

  • Can the child make their own choices
  • Can they learn from the choices that they make
  • Can they understand that a choice may come with a consequence

We understand that this list can be daunting and feel overwhelming, depending on where you and your teen are at in their transition process. Every person grows and develops at their own rate and everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. When we are able to focus on our strengths and find ways to incorporate those strengths into our adult life, that will really help us to sore and reach our greatest potential. We are here to help you find your child's strengths and to help your family along your own journey.

We would LOVE your help! Fill out a couple questions with honest answers to help us best be able to serve you and your family on your journey to helping your teenager with autism as they start this transition phase into adulthood. We went to provide you with amazing resources and content that will best serve you! Check it out here! 

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