It is vital that our young people have many opportunities every day to try to do things for themselves. Learning to do something independently can help give your young person the confidence to do other things. Being able to complete day-to-day activities at home is key to preparing the skills required for future employment. A reward system can help motivate your child to try new tasks.
Please explore the ideas below to support your young person with self-care.
- Set an alarm for the morning
- Get undressed
- Use the toilet
- Wash your hands
- Wash your hair
- Wash your body
- Wash your face
- Get dressed
- Put on your shoes
- Tie your shoelaces
- Brush your teeth
- Pack your school bag
- Pack your lunchbox
- Organise your medication
Resources and Strategies:
Visual Schedules and Reminder Strips
Our young people benefit from using picture cards to build schedules that organize and structure daily activities. For home use, a picture card schedule can portray a whole day's activities, or detail the mini steps of one activity, such as brushing teeth. Your young person is less likely to need help if they are using a visual schedule or reminder.
General strategies for teaching self-care skills to young people with SEN
This website takes you through three practical strategies for teaching skills to your young person with SEN:
- Instructions: teaching by telling
- Modelling: teaching by showing
- Teaching step by step – backwards chaining
Backwards chaining is a great way to break down self-care tasks into small achievable steps. You teach your child the last step first, working backward from the goal. This Information sheet gives excellent tips on how to help your young person become more independent with self-care.
Aids and Adaptations:
AskSARA is an online self-help with expert advice and information on products and equipment to help with daily activities. Aids and adaptations to help with self-care can include:
- alarms that use light instead of noise
- dressing aids
- toileting aids
- washing and showering aids