What Is Your Autistic Child Learning When Practicing Life Skills?

“Education that helps young people develop [ life skills ] has transformative potential.” -UNISEF

Life skills are important. Learning life skills for an autistic child is even more important. They will help them learn independence and how to navigate life.

Ever wonder what your child is learning while learning life skills?

The life skills I’m suggesting are something 9-11-year-old may be able to do. Of course please consider what your child is capable of. Create your own list. Your child’s life skill list should be based on their developmental level and their physical abilities. I’m just giving you ideas on what life skills your child can practice and what they will be learning.

Most of what I write about is about my son C and our adventures with Autism and ADHD (read our full story here). Because I am his mom I learn a lot. And I love to pass on that knowledge to other moms that my use what I learned to make life easier for them. 

Life skills

Dish washing

Wiping table


Folding laundry

Putting away laundry

Clearing table

Setting table

Basic cooking 

Washing ones body

Teeth brushing

Getting yourself water/drink

Microwaveable meals

Putting on shoes

Wiping yourself

Putting on clothes

Making bed

Cleaning up room

This list of life skills seems quite simple. These are everyday things that we do without even thinking about it. But to a child and especially a child with autism, these life skills can seem overwhelming. 

But they are so important.

What else your child is learning while learning life skills?

Dishwashing –

Your child will learn about the different temperatures of water. They will learn how different food leftovers interact with water.

Wiping table –

Your child will learn before and afters. They will learn how much pressure to use on the washcloth (paper towel, sponge) to get things off the table to get it clean.

Sweeping –

You child will practice hand/eye coordination, cause and effect and gross motor skills.

life skills

Folding laundry –

When folding towels your child is learning fractions. They also feel with their hands the different textures that clothing has. They will learn grouping things by categories.  Your child will practice gross motor skills.

Putting away laundry –

Your child will learn organizing and sorting. They will practice following one and twostep directions.

Clearing table –

Your child will learn fine and gross motor skills, balancing, patience, how to be super careful.

Setting table –

Your child will learn numbers (counting the number of people, plate, utensils, etc).

Basic cooking  –

Your child learns how to follow steps to achieve a result, as well as science and math skills.

Washing ones body –

Your child will learn that hygiene is important. Your child will learn how water and different temperatures feel. They will learn different smells (from stinky to great smelling).

Teeth brushing –

Your child will learn following directions and using your arms and hands. 

Getting yourself water/drink –

Your child will learn where water comes from before it gets into the glass, how to help themselves.

Microwaveable meals –

Your child will learn time, how long some things take to heat up, numbers, patience.

Putting on shoes –

Your child will learn right and left sides. How to tie shoes. They will practice fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination.

Wiping yourself –

Your child will learn hygiene, fine and gross motor skills, coordination without looking.

Putting on clothes – 

Your child will learn the order of how clothes are put on. Your child will practice fine and gross motor skills. Math skills-front, back of clothing. They will learn body parts. Sizes of things such as big, small. They will experience different textures. 

Making bed –

Your child will learn routine, independence. They will learn math (long and short sides).

Cleaning up room –

Your child will learn cause and effect, actions and consequences (clean your room and you can play again, get a reward), teamwork (if cleaning up with a parent or sibling). They will learn about sorting and organizing. They will practice using their body in different ways.

autism, life skills

These life skills are important for your child to learn and become independent. But through this process, they also learn so much more!

I bet you’ll never think about folding laundry the same way again.

Next week I will explore how you can actually implement thesis skills in your daily routine without overwhelming your autistic child.

Remember, you got this, mama!

I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. – Proverbs 4:21

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