10 Tips to Teach Children Self Help Skills

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[Source: Your Therapy Source]

Here are 10 tips to help teach children to be independent with self help skills and everyday routines:

1.  Make sure you have time to give the child your undivided attention when you are first teaching a new skill or routine.  Likewise, make sure that the child is paying attention when learning the skill.  Minimize distractions and create a quiet environment at first.

2.  Break down the skill into simple steps.  Give specific directions on how to complete each step.  For example with washing hands break the skill into several steps: wet hands, put soap on hands, rub hands together and wash for 20-30 seconds, rinse hands, dry hands and turn off water.

4.  Demonstrate each step as you move through the sequence.  Check if the child understands fully before you move to the next step.

5.  Try to use the same wording on each step by step direction for consistency. As the child becomes more independent, reduce the verbal cues until they can be discontinued completely.

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