If you have a child with autism, you understand the challenges they face daily. One of the difficulties is learning how to become independent. A neurotypical child will begin to understand the importance as they grow, but autistic children struggle. There are ways you can help them grow in this area. This blog will explore how to help your autistic child become more independent.

Start With Household Chores

Working on household chores is a great place to start. They teach responsibility, help kids gain useful life skills and involve them in family routines. Consider using a task analysis if your child seems to have difficulty comprehending how to complete the entire chore. Task analysis is a technique where you’ll break down one large task into smaller ones. Provide prompts and model the steps yourself to show your child how to handle them.

Teach Community Safety Skills

As children become more independent, safety becomes a concern for parents. Help your autistic child become familiar with public transportation, safety signs, safety markers and pedestrian safety. These steps will ensure their safety when they’re walking around town.

Consider having your child carry an ID card that provides important information. This info includes their name, diagnosis and a contact person. This tip offers you peace of mind.

Use a Visual Schedule

Visual schedules are wonderful tools to use with children on the autism spectrum. Using one will help your child transition between tasks with less parental prompting because they can visually see each item they’ll need to complete. Over time, your child will gain confidence and independence.

Work on Self-Care Skills

Self-care activities are important for every child to learn, but a kid with autism may have difficulty understanding the importance of the skills. Introduce daily self-care activities, such as hair brushing, bathing and teeth brushing, to help them master the tasks. Include these items in their daily schedule to ensure they make them a habit.

Your child’s therapist can also help with this. That’s why choosing the right autism center is incredibly important. They’ll teach them the importance of self-care and hygiene.

Ensure Your Child Asks for Breaks

Autistic children can become overwhelmed quickly, so teaching them to ask for breaks when needed is important. Show them how to identify a safe space where they can take a few moments to calm down before continuing with tasks. This skill is useful for them to use as they get older.

Make sure your child has a way to communicate that they need a break. Not every autistic child is verbal, so add a “break” button to their communication device or a break picture in their picture exchange communication system (PECS) book. It may seem simple, but learning how to ask for a break can help your kid regain control over themselves and the environment.

Teaching an autistic child independence is challenging. Yes, all children need to learn these skills, but it’s more difficult for someone with autism spectrum disorder. Use the above tips to help your autistic child become independent. They’ll learn important life skills that they’ll use as they grow.