Daily Living Skills

Daily Living Skills

I had an interesting conversation with a parent of a child with special needs yesterday. We’d been discussing the issues her son was having in the classroom and she commented that even if some of the daily confrontations at home were a little less complicated, it would make those school issues just that bit easier to deal with.
Everyday living skills such as trips to the hairdresser and washing hair can be difficult so this week’s article is dedicated to those nitty-gritty, practical, everyday things parents of children with special needs learn to navigate.
The hairdressers
–          Schedule the appointment for a time of the day when they’re at their best (not tired or hungry)
–          Ask your hairdresser to explain what she’s going to do before she does it e.g. “I’m going to spray your hair with water now, then I’ll comb it”
–          Perhaps they could demonstrate on a doll first what they are about to do
Eating out and Special Occasions
–          Preparation is the key!
–          Keep your expectations realistic
–          If noise, crowds and flashing lights are too much for your child, don’t force the issue
–          If possible, visit the restaurant/venue beforehand and take a photo to refer to later
–          Before a holiday, start talking about related language and vocabulary
–          Give warnings before you are about to leave to avoid a meltdown
–          Practice the behaviours that will be expected of them e.g. lining up at a buffet, sitting quietly during a ceremony
–          Dress your child in the clothes they will wear so as to avoid last minute refusals e.g. “this is too itchy/tight/scratchy”
–          Your child may feel more comfortable if their feet can touch the floor or footrest
–          Buy plates and cups that have heavy, non-slip bases for those with poor fine motor skills
–          Keep in mind that sensory issues can lead to food refusal e.g. food that is too runny/hard/chewy
On a side note, just a quick thank you to those who stopped in to say hello at the Moggill School Fete yesterday. The school has a wonderful new library and hall, thanks to money from the BER. Whatever else you say about the scheme and the way it was run, ultimately it means that kids in schools have new resources and facilities.
Jiselle Simpson is Director of Chilled Kids, an educational support service specialising in creating programs for children with additional learning or behavioural needs.  For more information on how Chilled Kids can help your child visit our website at www.chilledkids.com, phone 0408 716 350 or email jiselle@chilledkids.com

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