How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger's

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Jennifer McIlwee Myers

How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger's
322 pages
2010
ISBN: 9781935274131

In the real world, people on the autism spectrum need the same kinds of day-to-day skills everyone else needs to be functional! It's true. No matter how high-functioning children with autism or Asperger's may be or may become, they function better as adults if they’ve had the chance to learn basic skills, from being on time to good personal hygiene. But many reach adulthood without those skills.

Enter Jennifer McIlwee Myers, Aspie at Large. Co-author of the groundbreaking book Asperger's and Girls, Jennifer's personal experience with Asperger's Syndrome and having a brother with autism makes her perspective doubly insightful. Jennifer can show you how to:

  • Create opportunities for children to learn in natural settings and situations
  • Teach vital skills such as everyday domestic tasks, choosing appropriate attire, and being polite
  • Help individuals on the spectrum develop good habits that will help them be more fit and healthy
  • Improve time management skills such as punctuality and task-switching
  • And much more!

Jennifer's straightforward and humorous delivery will keep you eagerly turning the page for her next creative solution!

Table of Contents

Foreword by Temple Grandin ix

Acknowledgements xv

Introduction xix

Section I - Read Me First

  1. Why Me? Why You? Why Life Skills? 3
  2. Frames of Reference 9
  3. Success Comes from Life Skills 17
  4. The Wacky World of Autism Terminology 23

Section II - Teaching Life Skills to the Spectrum Child: Ideas and Examples

  1. Learning How We Can Learn 29
  2. Say What You Need to Say 39
  3. Transmit Information in More than One Way 47
  4. Information in Translation: Speak the Language Your Child Understands 57
  5. Repetition and Persistence 67
  6. Opportunities to Teach, Opportunities for Success 77
  7. Tap into Your Child's Interests! 89
  8. Attitudes That Win (and One That Doesn't) 97

Section III - Specific Life Skills

  1. Intro to the Specific Skills 109
  2. Chores and More 115
  3. Chores Part Deux - How to Tell Your Child What to Do 121
  4. Chores Part Tres - More on Teaching Chores 129
  5. Punctuality 139
  6. Appropriate Attire 153
  7. Manners, Manners, Manners 169
  8. Kindness Is a Life Skill 181
  9. Teach the Specifics of Kindness 187
  10. Outings Teach Life Skills 197
  11. Teach Special Skills Needed by People with Autism 205
  12. Life Skills for the Spectrum: Task Switching 213
  13. Learning to Spend Time 223
  14. Coping with Sensory Issues 229

Section IV - Really. Really Big Skills That Everyone Needs

  1. The First Really Big Skill: Exercise for Mental and Physical Health 239
  2. The Second Really Big Skill: Good Sleep Habits 253
  3. The Third Really Big Skill: Dealing with Mistakes and Failures 267
  4. The Fourth and Final Really Big Skill: Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Concepts 285

Postscript 299

A Mini-Glossary 301

Recommended Resources 307

Index 313