Filter & Search



Curriculum area

Students age range


Developing personal autonomy


It is important to teach the children with autism the life skills to provide an independent life. Before starting self-service skills teaching program  you need to determine whether the basic behaviors needed to help the child learn each skill and the necessary steps are acquired or must be taught.

When setting goals, we must also take into account the average age at which typical developmental children manage to learn certain abilities. By the age of 6, a typical child should have acquired the majority of self-service skills, but each skill falls within a fairly wide chronological range, with environmental factors influencing the moment a child learns a particular ability.

Download attachments:


Additional Info

Independent/life skills
Students age range:
2, 14
Curriculum area:
Not related
Year period:
All year long
Step by step description, including actions to be developed for preparation and implementation:
Before starting self-service skills teaching program, you need to determine whether the basic behaviors needed to help the child learn each skill and the necessary steps are acquired or must be taught. The most important skills are: 1) attention and concentration of the child in pregnancy (5-10 min) 2) visual contact, name response, and "look" 3) to follow simple instructions 4) imitate the actions of others 5) to know how to choose The latter ability is important in order to identify the rewards he likes the most so that the effort is rewarded enough that the next time will put as much effort into carrying the task at the end. According to Dr Stephen R. Anderson, BCBA (Self-Serving Skills for Autistic People, 2013), the 5 steps are: 1. Clearly specify the learning objective 2. Sharing complex skills in intermediate stages 3. Systematic teaching method 4. Evaluation of progress (data collection and evaluation) 5. Modify the teaching method if this is necessary to achieve the desired goal A correctly established goal is to meet the four conditions: a. The instructional context that relates to establishing the expectations and the conditions in which the skill will be taught, including the prompt the child might receive (eg "after the clothes are arranged in bed order and the mother asks him to dress ", the baby dresses alone). So the context only represents the place where it will be taught, but also the way the child can learn or the adaptations that we must make to give the child the opportunity to work independently. b. Be observable and measurable, that is, the specification of what the child should learn (for example, we will not have the objective of "improving the ability to clothe", but "the child can put his own trousers down"). c. Can be taught within a few months. If we have a complex objective, we divide it into smaller steps that can be learned faster, thus forming a bigger goal than small steps. d. Mastery criteria are important to remember and share with others when you start the intervention so that you all have the same vision of the child's success. When referring to the mastery criteria, we must take into account the acquisition criteria, which refer to the number of rehearsals, the number of prompts from the therapist and the number of sessions to be made by the caretaker, which involve specifying the period of during which the child has to prove that he / she learned the item before considering it as master. For example: The purchase criterion is "8 out of 10 responses, 2 different sessions with 2 different therapists" and the maintenance criterion: "In at least 2 different days". At the beginning we are evaluate the level for each children and the abilities who must to learn. For each goal/activity we have to establish the number of the steps required for learning. After that we are choosing the pictures and the sequence for each skill. For each step we can learning progressive and regressive chaining. For the progressive chaining we are prompting the children for the first step and all the steps we are doing with prompt. We are continuing like this until all the steps are learning. The regressive chaining it is used more often than progressive. For the all sequence the children is prompting but at the final , at the last step the children trying to do itself. For an appropriate response he will receive the reinforcement. One of the two patterns will be used to teach abilities according to the abilities of each child. For children who do not support postponement of the reward, progressive chaining will be used, but if this approach is chosen, rewards that can be consumed quickly or food dishes) or that are not intrusive (tapping the palm) so you can get back to the learning session quickly. If a child encounters difficulties at a certain intermediate stage, this step will be worked out separately from the rest of the program in a mini-sessions. If the activity overlaps on tactile / auditory sensitivity, desensitization strategies will be attempted, and when the child learns to accept the subject / food, we can begin to teach it with a step-based work structure. Component analysis sheet : Wash the hand Component Analysis Sheet: Handwashing TARGET CAPABILITY: Wash your hands OBJECTIVE : to wash his hands alone by needing at most a prompt, for three consecutive occasions.
Resources to be used, including human resources, materials and spaces:
Resources : Time- 30 minutes in every day Teachers and familiy Pictures and sequences Materials : Different objects which are adapted for each children ( special toilet with sounds, the toothbrush, knife, the spoon, the tableware, clothes). Spaces : Toilets, kitchen- for the space depends of the type the goal
Difficulties found while implementing it:
Sensorial deficit and a low level of life skills. A big problem with this is the insufficient time . This chaining will be learning after some repetition. For this repetition we need time in the centre and also it is very important that the family do this and continue at home. For the children with autism we know that the generalization are learning so hard so we have to learning from the beginning with diffierent persons the same ability, in different places and with different objects.
The official webpage for the good practice:
Login to post comments



The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. 

No Internet Connection