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Most important skills you need to teach your child With Autism to be an independent adult

You need to start thinking about how your child’s adult life will be when your child is around 7 years of age. You need to think about sending your child out into the world to function like everyone else. A good transition plan should include short term and long-term goals. 'While making these goals you have to keep in mind the supports your child may require. Be specific and mindful to his/her interest and abilities.

It can be extremely overwhelming to dive into this process when he/she is an adult. So, if you start early, you will be able to take smaller, manageable steps to reach goals more effectively and with less stress.

A parent/ caregiver needs to play the role of a primary advocate to the needs of the child. Try and make sure the transition of your child into an adult and performing adult activities is meaningful, useful and practical. Promote and encourage independence and decision making early on to make this period easier. (2)

The most important skill to teach your child is self-care skills/personal hygiene early on so that by the time your child becomes an adult, he/she can carry out daily living self-care activities as independently as possible. Some ways to do this can be:

  • Breaking down activities into smaller steps:

Forward chaining

Backward chaining

  • Using prompts and reinforcers

  • Using picture symbols

Apart from teaching your child, Speech/Communication, Social Skills, Cognitive Skills and Managing Challenging Behaviours, you also need to focus on teaching Executive Function Skills. The following are the 10 Executive Functions that you can teach:

1. Time – Management

2. Flexibility

3. Working memory

4. Emotional control

5. Response inhibition

6. Planning and prioritization

7. Organization

8. Self-regulation

9. Focus

10.Task initiation





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