TIP of the WEEK: Learning ADL Skills

Being able to perform activities of daily living without support is a crucial part of growing up and working towards independence. Even if your child will always require some degree of support it is important for their self esteem and long term placement options to be able to care for themselves as much as possible. Showering, dressing, brushing teeth, cleaning their room, laundry, and toileting hygiene are skills that can and should be taught at an early age. The more dependent your child is on someone else for these tasks the harder it will be to teach them later in life when resources will likely be fewer.

The OT and/or PT at your child’s school will be able to give you individualized assistance in how to best create a program that will suit you and your child. Picture boards, assistance rods or wands and slow speed videos are examples of tangible tools that can help. Using these tools is a great start and often very effective but the most important thing to remember is to encourage your child to do as much as possible for themselves without your help. This will take time and lots of patience but the pay off will be a stronger and more independent child.

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager PWS Services

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“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” 
 ~Michel de Montaigne

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