Life Skills Strategies for Children with Special Needs

Mealtime Strategies
Situation: 

I often hear about children having a limited number of foods they will eat. My son is starting to have some problems during meals. Are there some things I can do before I start having eating issues?

Visual Field Trip Follow Up Form
Situation: 

Our Life Skills class is fortunate enough to go on monthly field trips – to the grocery store, the zoo, the library, the museum, etc. We do prepare the students before we go so that they know what to expect, but I feel that I should do some follow-up activity afterwards. Any ideas?

Adaptive Feeding Equipment
Situation: 

What types of adaptive feeding equipment would allow my child to gain greater independence with her self-feeding skills?

Shoe Snapshot
Situation: 

I have a student in my special education classroom who continually wants to take off his shoes. I allow this in my room but I can’t have him walking through the school without his shoes. When it is time for an outside class, I try to explain this to him and start putting on his shoes. He will then throw them and cry or scream. What can I do?

Sitting at Supper
Situation: 

My child is 5 years old and cannot sit through dinner with the family. He will jump up, come back take a few bites, if any bites at all, bang on the table, and sometimes just leave and play with his toys. We never have a peaceful family meal. Any suggestions?

Beginning Scissoring Skills with a Mural
Situation: 

My child is in kindergarten and doesn’t like to cut. She just becomes frustrated. What can we do at home to help her become more skilled and to like cutting. Everything is cutting in kindergarten!

Toilet Training: How to Start
Situation: 

I teach students with a variety of disabilities including autism from ages 7 through 10. Some of my students are toilet trained and some are not, but I think a couple of the kids are ready to start training. How do I know if they are ready for a toilet training program?

Visual Cues Labeling: Dishwasher
Situation: 

I’ve tried teaching my son how to empty dishwasher. He does a good job when I talk him through it, but if I’m not standing right there, he just piles everything on the counter or puts stuff in the wrong place. I’m not sure if he is just being lazy or if he really doesn’t understand the task. How can I help him be more independent and accurate?

Physical Prompting “Think Abouts”
Situation: 

I am using a prompt hierarchy from most to least with a student to teach eating with a spoon. But whenever I do hand-over-hand he jerks his hand away – how can I teach him?

Center Engagement for Students with Challenges
Situation: 

I have some students in my classroom who have autism and other diagnosed disabilities. Two of my students are non-verbal and have difficulty staying with the centers I have for other students. In addition they are non-readers. What kind of centers can I have? They can match and we do many relevant life skill activities but I don’t know what to have for centers.