Teaching life skills to teenagers with autism is crucial for their independence and overall well-being. Here are five important life skills you can focus on:

1. Communication Skills: Help your teenager develop effective communication skills, including verbal and non-verbal communication. Encourage them to express their needs, thoughts, and emotions clearly, and provide them with tools like social stories or visual aids to aid their communication. Even though Chef Justin is verbal we really have to work on making eye contact and speaking clearly. He also has a problem regulating volume.



2. Daily Living Skills: Teach your teenager essential daily living skills such as personal hygiene, dressing, meal preparation, and household chores. Chef Justin can only handle two step directions. If it gets over that he forgets the third one. Break down tasks into smaller steps and use visual schedules or checklists to help them understand and follow routines.


3. Social Skills: Social skills are vital for building relationships and navigating social situations. Help your teenager develop skills like making eye contact, taking turns, initiating conversations, and understanding social cues. Role-playing, social stories, and social skills groups can be beneficial in this regard. We often practice things such as what we are ordering before we get to the restaurant. I pull up a menu on line and he decides before we get there so he is confident to order.



4. Time Management and Organization: Teach your teenager how to manage their time effectively and stay organized. Introduce them to tools like calendars, planners, and alarms to help them plan and prioritize tasks.Justin loves calendars  He gets a new one every Christmas. He will hang it on the wall and X out each day  We also use timers and believe it or not a 15 minute hourglass for short task.  Breaking down tasks into manageable chunks and establishing routines can also be helpful.5. Problem-Solving and Decision-Making: Encourage your teenager to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills. Teach them how to identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and evaluate the pros and cons of different options. This is the one we struggle the most with. He only likes the roles and places he knows. He doesn’t like decisions without guidance. Role-playing scenarios and providing guidance during decision-making processes can aid their development in this area.



Remember, every individual with autism is unique, so it’s important to tailor your approach to their specific needs and abilities. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key when teaching life skills to teenagers with autism.