Doing Things By Herself

Encouraging self-help skills and independence is incredibly important for children of all ages. Of course, it’s much easier to just do things for your child. It’s quicker, gets the job done, and often results in less arguments. However, if you don’t teach your child to do things for herself, how will she ever learn?

Here are some important thoughts to keep in mind when it comes to fostering independence for your child with autism:

1. When teaching your child a new skill, don’t rush. Take a moment to give her time and space to accomplish the task. For example, if you are teaching her how to tie her shoes, don’t teach this skill as she is getting ready for school. You already know how chaotic mornings are, so why do that to yourself? Establish a time when you and your child are feeling calm, and then teach her this skill. It’s important for you to have a positive and patient attitude, so that your child can model this behavior.
2. Keep practicing. You know the ole saying, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again? This certainly applies when encouraging self-help skills. Let your child know that we learn from our mistakes, and with practice things will get easier.
3. Think about where you want your child to be five years from now. If you know longer want to be wiping her bottom in five years, start teaching her how to do this incredibly important life-skill right now. Of course, you need to keep in mind whether or not she is physically able to wipe herself. However, if you know that she is, teach her how to be successful.
4. Give yourself a break, you are trying the best you can. Teaching your child how to help herself isn’t easy. If you find yourself doing something for her, and you forgot that you are trying to focus on independence, no worries. Try again another day.
5. Encourage everyone in your home to foster independence. Let your whole family help you. Teaching your child how to be self-sufficient can be emotionally overwhelming for you. After all, this is your sweet baby that we are talking about. Ask for some support. Let your partner and your other kids know that you could use some gentle reminders if they catch you doing something for your child that she can do on her own.

Think about how great you feel when you do something all by yourself. It’s empowering and creates a sense of confidence in our souls. Let’s honor your child by giving her the same feeling.

When it comes to teaching your child independent skills, what holds you back? Please share below.


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1 Comment
  • leah wambete
    Posted at 00:10h, 03 October Reply

    She responds so slowly as if she does not want to do it. She simply lives out of time and is very discouraging!

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