Activities of Daily Living

Activities of daily living include the things we do in our everyday lives, such as eating, dressing, washing and sleeping. Developing the skills to carry out these activities are vital to building independence. Many autistic children and young people will benefit from tailored support to develop skills in these areas.

Independence in activities of daily living can be an area of support need. For a child to dress independently, they don’t just need the motor skills, they also need motivation, understanding of why they are doing it; and might be assisted by, for example, laying out clothes in the order they will be put on, a visual sequencer or physical prompts (handing items to them).

For example, sensory processing differences, difficulties in social understanding and motor issues may all impact together negatively for the task of being able to dress independently.

The Toolbox highlights that each learner is an individual and effective communication between practitioners and the family can support the autistic learner.

This section of the Toolbox contains some general guidance which can be helpful to consider if support is needed in some of these areas.  In any case, effective communication between parents and educators should inform approaches which are personalised to the individual’s needs.  With parental consent, an Occupational Psychologist may offer advice and guidance in these areas.  

Further information and resources

KIDS – Kids Independently Developing Skills | NHS GGC