Importance of teaching life skills to special needs children
As parents of special needs children, you might be overprotective and cautious in dealing with them. However, you’re not likely to be around your child, all their life and sooner or later, they might need to learn basic life skills.
For many children with special needs, these life skills don’t come automatically. It is important for parents to teach them these skills and give them room to do things on their own. This will help them get a sense of independence and build their self-esteem.
Here are some of the reasons why it is important to teach life skills to special needs children:
- As much as possible, involve children with special needs to take part in household chores. They are a necessary part of our daily life and when you involve special needs children, it helps them gain more appreciation for this work, as well as builds their confidence.
- Teaching life skills to children with special needs provides them with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
- It also acts as a precursor to employment. Helping your kids do chores can give you an opportunity to find out what your child excels at and could pursue later on in life.
- Help your kids to help yourself. When you teach life skills to special needs children, you help them become more independent and as a result, you are relieved of certain responsibilities.
- Life skills help develop and build gross motor abilities and encourage planning. Tasks like opening a clothes pin, filling watering can etc. act like a workout for the body and brain, and provide practical ways to flex muscles.
- Teaching personal skills like hygiene, exercise, nutrition, showering, brushing and using the toilet etc. can help special needs children cope with their daily lives, on their own.
- Another important life skill to teach children is personal safety. Children with special needs should be taught about what risks are and how to avoid unsafe situations. It is necessary for them to know about boundaries and implementing them when needed.
- Teaching life skills may also help special needs children develop their social skills. They will be able to ask for help, make friends, and hold conversations with family and friends.
Last, but not the least, teaching life skills promotes self-advocacy in special needs children. It helps them communicate more effectively to have their needs met, give their opinion and learn how to say no.