Life Skills Education: Teaching Independence

helicopter-quote

Developing independence in basic routines and life skills is important for any student in order to decrease the need for adult prompting and increase dignity and self-sufficiency. When planning life skills tasks, I look YEARS into my students’ futures to envision where they may be as adults. From there, I decide on tasks they can learn now to demonstrate responsibility. Life skills are cross-curricular, and are linked with other skills my students are learning; such as matching, sorting, patterning and Social Skills.

2014-10-01 15.19.54
Our Life Skills area
Our Life Skills Program is…
1. Consistent
We practise Life Skills on a daily basis for 20 minutes. I find that repetitive practise allows the students to learn tasks quicker and allows for expanding and generalizing concepts sooner. Pick a time of day and make life skills part of your everyday routine.
2014-10-01 09.50.46
Level 1: Transferring from basket to basket
2014-10-01 09.54.51
Level 2: Sorting by type
2014-10-01 09.55.09
Level 3: Sorting by attribute

2. Realistic

Speak with parents about what their biggest life skills priorities are – perhaps it would make their lives easier if their child could dress or feed themselves, or simple learn to clean up their toys. If students are approaching the end of high school, start thinking about what skills they will need to be successful in a post-secondary education, vocational program or group home.
2014-09-26 10.45.51
We don’t ask students to put things away on shelves – 1 bin for easy clean up
20140422_162342
Task Analysis for putting on shoes
2014-09-15 10.00.58
Fine Motor: buttons, zippers, folding
2014-10-01 15.18.38
Table Setting: Practice in Patterning
3. Purposeful
Life Skills tasks are a great way to provide meaningful work for students and to include them in the school community. Think of tasks they can do that require them to move around the school, such as: delivery, attendance, photocopying, social rounds, etc.
2014-10-01 15.18.16
Delivery Job: Helps to incorporate social skills and greetings
20131129_155820
Paper and Plastic: Sorting on Recycling Day
2014-10-01 15.19.05
Simple Visuals to show “To Do” and “Done”
3. Measurable
Track life skills successes by breaking down a task into steps (this is called TASK ANALYSIS). This makes it very easy to track and steps can be taught in isolation first and then added into the routine later, such as hand washing.
daa
Task Analysis Data Sheet for Hand Washing
20140516_152444
Visual Picture Sequence for Hand Washing

2 thoughts on “Life Skills Education: Teaching Independence

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s