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Independent Living Skills

Independent Living Skills

Autism Independent Living Skills

Both children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) may need help with independent living skills: the ability to care for themselves at home, school, work, in the community and in other settings. Just as there are different expectations for people who are not on the autism spectrum based on chronological and developmental age, expectations for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) also vary. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy focuses on several elementary basic life skills. These include toileting, feeding oneself, dressing oneself and basic hygiene. As a child or adult with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) becomes more independent, the independent living component of an autism treatment program is often expanded to include cleaning up messes, snack/meal preparation, independent transitions between locations, executive functioning skills, etc. At Trumpet Behavioral Health, the ultimate goal for all children, adolescents or adults with autism is that they live as independently as possible as adults. Many of our young adults and adult clients work on independent living skills that include such advanced skills as using public transportation, managing a bank account, budgeting, job searching, vocational training, and driver’s education.

We believe in the importance of teaching independent living skills to children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) since these skills give them greater control over their lives and offer more choices for the future. These skills are key in developing a self-determined individual who can identify goals and systematically work toward them. Teaching independent living skills also relieves some of the time and cost burden for families with a child or adult on the autism spectrum.

Trumpet Behavioral Health uses several strategies in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to teach independent living skills, including:

  • Chaining
  • Shaping
  • Errorless Learning
  • Creating/Using Visual Schedules
  • Self-Monitoring
  • Differential Reinforcement
  • Visual Cues
  • Video Modeling/Feedback