Life Skills Strategies for Children with Special Needs

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?

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?

Toilet Training: Habit Training
Situation: 

I don’t think my students are ready to be toilet trained but I’d like to begin the process. Which students might be appropriate and when do you begin to try?

School Pen Pals: A Fun Way to Ease Transition to Middle School
Situation: 

I’m a special education teacher and a few of my 5th grade students are getting nervous about moving to the Middle School in the fall.  We always visit the new school towards the end of the year, but I don’t think it’s enough to calm their anxiety.  Any ideas to help make the transition smoother?

Growing Up: Preparing for Menstruation
Situation: 

I have a 4th grade student who is developing rapidly.  Her mother is not sure how to talk to her and teach her about menstruation and how her body is changing.  I’m not sure how to address this either.  Do you have any ideas to help?

In-School Community-Based Instruction
Situation: 

My older middle school Life Skills students need some community-based work experiences, but our school is located in a rural area without many opportunities nearby.  What can I do to help them learn some beneficial work skills?

School Store Social Skills
Situation: 

The students in my Life Skills class need more practice with social skills, but they always seem to clam up in those unstructured times like lunch and in between classes.  Is there something I can do to help them have more opportunities to interact?

Strategies Which Address Purposeful Spitting
Situation: 

I have a student who can not keep his spit in his mouth, but he will also purposely spit on his peers.  Do you have any suggestions?

Easing the Move to a New Home with Visual Supports & Choice Making
Situation: 

My son has autism and recently has be removed from his father’s house to go live with his grandmother. He may experience another change soon as I am hoping to get full custody of him.   In this case, he will move in with me. I realize this amount of change is difficult, and I would like some ideas to make his next move (hopefully with me) less stressful.   In addition, the move in with me would require a trip in a plane. How can I best prepare him for upcoming changes?

Toilet Training: Developing a Toileting Routine
Situation: 

I know there must be a way to help my son with his toileting. It becomes so chaotic sometimes as he runs into the bathroom to use the toilet. He doesn’t seem to know what to do first. Do you have any ideas to help?