Learning to become independent is a very important skill for all people, but can sometimes be an even more complicated skill for individuals with special-isms. The one thing to remember is not to compare your child to other children, they are who they are. Let your child be as independent as they can or are willing to be.
When I am at Autism conferences, I enjoy walking from the convention center to my hotel, which is close to the convention center but separate. I enjoy the freedom of being able to come and go from the conference venue to the hotel when I want or need to. I notice with each conference I attend, that I gain increasingly more independence.
- My cell phone: Sometimes I am not very good with directions. I can get lost or disoriented easily. Always having my cell phone enables me to call or text my parents or a friend and ask them for help.
- Sensory Fidgets: I always carry many sensory fidgets. If one breaks, I always have a back up.
- Comfort items: I find comfort in my small figurines so I almost always carry some with me.
- Take sensory breaks: When I need a sensory break, I take one. I do not push myself and become too overwhelmed.
- Asking for Help: I am not be afraid to ask for help when and if I need it. We all need a little bit of help sometimes.
- Persevere: Even when things seem hard or scary, I will persevere and continue to try new things.
Ideas for Independence with Children
- Getting the mail
- Walking to their classroom from the bus or walking from the bus stop to home.
- Hanging up their coat
- Getting dressed
Independence is different for each and every individual. It is important that we remember not to compare people. Everyone is different. Different people accomplish things at different times and that is perfectly okay!
Also remember your child’s safety is most important. Always be sure that your child can do a task safely and has the proper supports in place to be successful in completing the task. Do not expect independence or progress to happen overnight. Things take time.