Self Help Skills

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Why are self help skills a challenge in the home environment

Self Help Skills

The goal of most interventions in the treatment of autism and related pervasive developmental disorders is to help the individual gain independence. Self care can be challenging for some people with autism for a number of reasons. Many individuals with autism need help with activities that require fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are necessary to complete everyday activities like buttoning a shirt or closing a zipper. These tasks require hand-eye coordination, attention and some patience. Many individuals who have autism attend occupational therapy sessions that are designed to develop fine motor skills and gross motor skills. However, families can encourage fine motor activities throughout the day. There are plenty of options that promote these skills. Play Doh(R) is a wonderful tool for developing fine motor skills. The activity is often rewarding in itself and it can also be used as a tool for interaction as well as communication. Other fine motor activities include drawing, typing, lacing string and anything that requires some dexterity. Self help skills also face another great obstacle that many individuals with autism have. Sensory issues can be detrimental to the efforts of completing self care activities. For example, a child may not tolerate the feeling of a brush or comb in his hair. The intolerance is not due to non-compliance. It is often due to sensory issues.



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