Learning self-help skills and daily living skills are important tools for becoming more independent. Teaching self-help skills and daily living skills is essential. Making things “visual” can be its own “self-help” for some children. Visual supports for daily living skills and self-help skills of several types are needed to help children with autism understand the world around them. Visual supports include any visual item that helps a child to understand or express language.
Augmentative Communication Methods used for Mealtimes are another type of visual support that can assist with self-help skills. To accomplish this, try having either food logos, the food wrapper, the actual food items or drink items, photos or picture icons, of the food, that the child can choose from. Have them point to, give you, or tell you, the food or drink item before consuming it (even if they can get the item themselves.) At first, you may find that he or she may protest (heavily). However, if you are consistent during mealtimes, your child will learn to use symbolic forms of communication more often, whether it be handing a picture icon, using sign language or using words. Velcro ™ to make the pictures detachable, if you need to.
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