Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts a wide range of problematic behaviors, including poor verbal, perceptual, and motor development, inaccurate reality evaluation, and issues with social communication.
The propensity to see oneself as the centre of the universe and to imagine that other circumstances somehow communicate with oneself is known as Autistic thinking.
The DSM-5 classifies autism, formerly known as autistic disorder, under the more inclusive diagnostic heading of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which includes a number of autism- related disorders that vary in severity.
According to DSM-5, Autism is distinguished from other mental illnesses by a common collection of behaviors that includes restricted or fixated interests, repetitive acts, and persistent difficulties in communication and social relationships.
How to help an adult with autism develop soft skills includes the following:
- Improve communication: If an adult lacks effective communication skills, improving that person’s capacity to communicate through the development of tools and abilities for expressing preferences, desires, and feelings is a crucial first step in boosting independence.
- Introduce a visual timetable: A visual schedule can make it easier for an adult with autism to go from one task to another with minimal prompting.
- Discuss each time on the itinerary with the person, and remind them to double-check it before each transfer. He or she will eventually be able to do this work with growing independence, practice making decisions, and pursue the pursuit of interests. Work on self-care skills: introduce self-care activities to the person’s routine. Brushing teeth, combing hair, and other activities of daily life.
- Help the person learn how to request a break. Make sure the adult has a mechanism to do so by adding a “Break” button to his or her communication device. Determine a quiet location where the person can go if they are feeling overwhelmed. Instead, think about providing headphones or other instruments to assist control sensory input.
- A person can reclaim control over themselves and their environment by learning how to ask for a break, even though it may seem like a small thing.
- Work on Household Chores:
- Having the person accomplish chores around the house can instil in him a sense of responsibility, get him involved in family activities, and teach him valuable life skills.
- If you think that the individual may have trouble understanding how to complete a whole chore, you can consider using task analysis.
- This technique involves breaking down larger tasks into smaller tasks and doing step by step.
- Be sure to model the steps yourself or provide prompts if the person has trouble at first.
- Practice financial literacy: Being able to manage his finances is a crucial skill that can help him become independent while he is out and about in the community.
- There are ways for him or her to start learning money skills, regardless of the capabilities they now possess.
- Consider including financial literacy in the individual’s Integrated Education Plan(IEP) while they are in school, college, or the community, and when you are with them in a store or supermarket, let them both give the money to the cashier.
- Each stage of this procedure can be taught one at a time.
- Once this is done, the individual can start applying these abilities in various contexts within the neighborhood.
- Teach community safety skills:
Many families are quite concerned about safety, especially as a person gains more independence.
- Teach and practice travel safety lessons, such as how to read signs and other crucial safety indicators and how to use public transit.
- Numerous helpful hints are included in the GET Going pocket handbook to assist people with autism in using public transit. Consider letting your child carry an ID card that has his or her name, a succinct description of their disease, and a contact number.
- Examples of ID cards and other excellent safety materials are available.
- Develop Leisure Skills: The patient will benefit from being able to enjoy autonomous leisure and recreation throughout his or her life.
- It can be helpful to adapt specific interests that many persons with autism have in one or two topics into age-appropriate recreational activities.
- Activities that the person can participate in in your neighborhood are listed in the Autism Speaks Resource Guide.
- These activities include team sports, swim lessons, martial arts, music groups, and more.
- Work on Vocational Skills: As part of a personalized transition plan, the patient’s IEP should contain a section on vocational skills.
- Make a list of the person’s abilities, interests, and talents and use it to inform the kind of career-related activities that are included as objectives.
- Think about all the ways you have helped the person become more independent up to this point, including communication skills, self-care, interests, and future plans.
- Interpersonal Relationships: One-on-one coaching is another option for tackling the problem of how to develop soft skills.
- To see how the person would act in various social circumstances, consider creating some sample scenarios and role-playing.
- This can range from straightforward encounters, like saying hello to co-workers or peers in the morning and striking up a conversation at lunch, to more complex ones, like settling problems.
- Teaching Life Skills at Home: By using a standard three-step methodology, you can test out a variety of teaching methods at home:
- A. Evaluate the skills (i.e., identify the person’s challenges and strengths): Having a list of strengths and potential improvement areas will help you define the objectives you’ve established as well as offer encouraging feedback and assistance along the way.
- B. Supportively teach new skills: When working on new skills, using visual aids like charts and checklists can be a terrific method to offer support.
- C. Put these new skills to use: Keep in mind that you must practice in real-world situations to master a new skill properly. This would entail teaching financial literacy using real money at home, but for practice, you would visit a nearby shop and make a purchase.
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