Autism Life Skills

life skills free printableI have watched with bated breath as Conor has changed from a little boy who has been floundering in our world trying his best to make sense of it all to finally flourishing. His little personality is emerging as he starts to explore his surroundings, trying to climb, taking chances (sometimes leading to me pulling him off the back of scooters as he hurtles towards a wall laughing his cute little head off). He is starting to spread his wings a little and “try out” the world around him.x

I see his growing confidence and independence emerging despite all the challenges he faces every day. A smile rises on his on his face as brightly as the morning sun when he “knows” he has done something for himself, he has challenged himself and has overcome a new obstacle. 

He may not have a super hero cape hidden on his back but he is my hero.x When you have a child who has special needs and they face obstacles at every turn you learn to appreciate progress, no matter how small the step, it is a giant leap forward for your child, another step in the right direction, that maybe previously had seemed insurmountable.

I have been known to help Conor with tasks that in reality he is more than capable of, if I just let him try. I have been making myself stop and wait now to see if he can do things for himself. There will of course be moments and tasks where he needs my input but in the future hopefully he will overcome those challenges as well.

life skills free printable

Conor asserting his independence and taking Jack’s car for a spin lol!

Conor like many children with Autism, is a visual learner and with that in mind coupled with life skills I have been busy creating many new Visuals Schedules for Conor, to help him learn to do as many things for himself as he can.

I decided to make Visuals that did not need separate “PECS” pics so that it was all contained on one Board that just needed to be laminated after printing and then displayed where ever was relevant. I did this for two reasons 1. Conor loves throwing his PECS pics everywhere 2. I don’t enjoy picking up all his PECS pics and/or having to make new ones every few days because I didn’t or couldn’t find all the ones he had thrown when my back was turned lol!.

“I want” Communication Board

The first one I made for Conor was a Communication Board for the items he requests most often at home.

life skills free printable

Conor’s new Communication “I want”  Board

I printed this off on very thick card and then laminated it. It is left on the kitchen table at all times for Conor to come and take as he pleases. If he wants something on his list he has learned to bring it over to me and point at the picture. Over time as his preferences change I will also change the images on his “I want” Communication Board.

Conor uses a PECS Book aswell of course but in the interest of me not picking up a million PECS pics all day long and also having exactly what Conor wants readily available for him to choose from, we will be using both from now on. Now Conor comes up to me with his board and points at what he wants. I then bring him to which ever item he wants and encourage him as much as possible to “fend” for himself where possible.x

As always I have created a FREE DOWNLOAD version of Conor’s “I want” Communication Board which you can find here.x

Life Skills free printable

I Want Communication Board – FREE Download

I have left it pretty much blank as each child has their own individual needs/wants. All you have to do now is print off the pdf download and laminate thereafter using your own PECS Pics (attaching them to your laminated Board using Velcro) for your child to choose from.x

I can make my own Drink

Conor was born with severe Acid Reflux so has always needed/wanted sips of water/juice through out the day. He usually brings his bottle over to me  to request a drink and of course I always make it for him. He is 6 years old now and when I consider what I “let” Hailey do when she was 6, I know it is high time I pushed Conor to do as much for himself as he can physically/intellectually.Life skills free printable

He asks me for a drink upwards of 20 times a day (he gets small amounts each time as he still potty training) so I knew this would be a great place to start when considering the creation of Life Skills Visuals for Conor. I created the Visual breaking it down into 4 easy steps. I could of course added even more steps to break it down further for him but I already know he is capable of much more than I give him credit for sometimes so I left it at 4 steps. His favorite drink of all time is Miwadi Orange mixed with water but I couldn’t find the exact Visual for the  “orange” juice drink we normally use so I went with what was available to me.

With my help Conor has been trying to make his own drink, I plan to lessen my participation in the process as Conor’s independence increases. As always there is a FREE DOWNLOAD version of Conor’s new “I can make my Juice” printable for you all, which you can find here.x

I can make Toast



life skills free printable

“I can make Toast” Printable

Conor has always been an incredibly picky eater, in fact when he was a toddler he went off food all together for months at a time and ended up having to have a specialist high nutrient meal replacement drink until he would eat again. There are times still over the years where he will refuse to eat point blank, I dread those times the most as he quiet literally “wastes away” before my eyes. He is very restrictive in what he will eat (if at all) so if I find something he will eat I make sure we always have heaps of it in stock here at home.

There is one old “reliable” that has never failed yet when Conor goes on one of his “Food refusal/aversions” and that is toast, the crunchier the better. I used his love of toast as another opportunity to help him to become more independent. I created this “I can make toast” life skills printable so he can learn to feed himself. It is a simple task for many but breaking it down into all the steps involved, together with the fact he hasn’t got great fine motor skills, it has been a challenge for Conor. His most favorite part of course is when the toast “pops” up lol! He can get a little side tracked at times watching the toast popping up so I remind him at that stage to go onto the next step on his Visual Schedule.

I keep this Visual laminated and taped to the kitchen tiles where we usually have the toaster kept so he can access it at all times. Here is the FREE DOWNLOAD for you to print off and laminate for your son or daughter.x

“Choice” Visuals

Life skills free printable

“Choice Visuals”

The final part of this weeks Life Skills Free Printables is the “Choice” Visuals download. I have been using these at home recently with Conor. As you will already know from my Blog Conor is non-verbal so I am always trying to find ways to encourage his independence and at the very same time helping him to find his “voice” in his own way. The Choice symbols I have created are quiet simple in nature but can be used in a great many situations for your son or daughter to indicate what they want, like, do not like and so on.

You can find your FREE DOWNLOAD here.x

life skills free printable

Drop by next week for more Free Printable Downloads.x

Thank you ever so much for stopping by The Little Puddins Blog, if you would like to find out what I and my Little Puddins get up to everyday pop over to our Facebook Page which you can find here.xx


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