What are life skills?
Life skills is a term used to describe the essential and practical skills required to function independently across a life time. They range from ‘basic, essential to life’ skills such as using the toilet or eating; to very complex skills such as accessing and using public transport. Life skills include a range of functions that improve, support or sustain living.
Most life skills require the following elements:
- Executive Functioning (e.g. problem solving; organising, planning and remembering; time management; safety awareness etc)
- Communication and Social Skills
- Motor Skills (e.g. planned and controlled movement patterns to complete tasks)
- Sensory Processing (e.g. understanding, interpreting and responding to the world around us)
- Community integration/participation
- Personal qualities e.g. self-esteem, confidence
All these elements can be difficult skills for individuals with autism to master…. but with a little imagination, support, task adaption and training, everyone can learn important skills for life!
Three broad areas of life skills
- Work e.g. schoolwork, homework, household chores, preparation for employment
- Self-care e.g. personal hygiene, personal safety, health, nutrition
- Leisure e.g. hobbies and interests, friendships, social skills
Read next: Assessment of Life Skills →