Essential Life Skills For Children With Special Needs: Teaching Guide!

Life Skills For Children


With the assistance of parents and instructors, acquiring fundamental life skills is not too difficult for average pupils. When it comes to kids that have different types of special needs, though, the situation is quite different. Because of their differences, they also have various learning styles. Special needs educators with a B. Ed in Special Educationmay assist special needs students in growing in knowledge and ability by providing them with online SEN teacher training.

For kids with exceptional needs, life skills must be included in the curriculum as they are essential to autonomous functioning. Any parent wants their kids to be ready for any sort of transition, therefore one of their main goals should be helping them develop a feeling of independence.

What Are The Basic Life Skills For Special Needs Students?

Basic life skills are not traits; rather, they are often taught as an integral component of education for kids with special needs, helping them prepare for daily duties in the community, classroom, and career as well as for becoming more independent at home.

Special Needs Students


The three main domains of life skills that require attention are personal/social, occupational, and everyday living abilities:

1. Daily Living Skills

The abilities needed for daily living lie within the responsibility of special needs educators, parents, peers, parents, and general educators. A self-governing living strategy requires several daily living abilities, such as:

  • Appropriate eating habits
  • Identifying unaware sounds
  • Identifying various security signs
  • Counting money
  • Home maintenance and housekeeping tasks
  • Identifying dangers
  • Washing, packing clothes, and basic hygiene
  • Understanding healthcare
  • Avoiding substance abuse

2. Social Skills

Well, social skills enable children with special needs to interact with others and take part in society. This comprises:

  • Identifying Feelings
  • Self-awareness
  • Understanding own needs
  • Appropriate behaviour
  • Showing respect
  • Understanding challenges
  • Getting along with others
  • Asking for help as and when required
  • Communicating, speaking, and listening appropriately
  • Being aware of social etiquette
  • Making friends

3. Occupational Skills

There is certainly more work for educators and parents of children with special needs in this area. The following skill areas are included in this:

  • Maintaining attendance consistency
  • Understanding Protocols
  • Following directions
  • Vocational and job training
  • Working with others
  • identifying personal values
  • Interviewing for a job
  • Adjusting to the changing employment trends

The fundamental life skills are “hands-on” and “multi-sensory” activities that increase the likelihood that the teachings will be understood fully. These include a broad range of awareness as well as skills that enable children with special needs to do daily tasks independently. Many youngsters with special needs are not taught even the most fundamental life skills these days.

For these students to acquire these essential behaviors, they require both appropriate instruction and assistance. They must acquire proper table manners, groom themselves appropriately, and dress appropriately, among other requirements.

How To Teach Life Skills To Children With Special Needs?

Teachers, therapists, and parents can assist a kid with special needs in learning the fundamentals of life by using a variety of strategies. Regardless of the abilities or difficulties of the special needs children, these methods can be proportionally successful in their education.

Teach Life Skills


Task Analysis

In essence, the job analysis phase is a tool for dissecting any preset assignment into its component tiny modules. Using tooth brushing as an example, you may break the process down into smaller steps such as locating a toothbrush and toothpaste, applying toothpaste to the brush, brushing the bottom teeth, rinsing, rinsing again, cleaning the brush, and putting all the tools away in their proper places. This will facilitate the special needs child’s acquisition of the fundamental life skills necessary for survival.

Visual Guide

We are all aware of how appealing images can be, particularly for kids with special needs. Many educators and parents use various eye-catching visual aids to assist children with special needs in understanding, recalling, and settling in.? Visuals for each stage of the child’s allocated development can be images of the phase itself, clipart-style graphics, smart art, etc.


A youngster with special needs could initially require a lot of help to recall all the steps involved in finishing a task. You might be able to comprehend their wants by asking. Giving verbal cues may need both hands-on and physical help. By gradually making this a habit, the youngster will eventually begin to complete the job without the need for spoken reminders. We can declare that a youngster has mastered a job when they demonstrate that they don’t require any prompts.

In addition, certain additional teaching-learning resources could be beneficial based on the learning style of a specific child. Typically, these consist of a set of instructions, social narratives, video role models, various educational applications, etc. Furthermore, it should be noted that kids with special needs can get social skills training through a variety of unique and group activities, the neighborhood library, parks, supermarkets, and other public areas.

Why Teaching Life Skills To Children With Special Needs Can Be Challenging?

Compared to their classmates, some kids with special needs learn in different ways or more slowly. Some people might not be physically capable of doing certain tasks. Since each kid is different, the strategy for teaching life skills must be tailored to the individual student’s ability.

Some of the challenges include:

  • Impaired or slow cognitive development
  • Difficulty in following or understanding directions
  • Lack of awareness
  • Acting frustrated when things don’t work
  • Lack of focus for a prolonged period
  • No desire to accomplish or learn tasks
  • Sensory or cognitive challenges

Teach Life Skills To SEN Students With Ease

Keep in mind that not every child with special needs will master all of these life skills, therefore as a special needs teacher, you must become knowledgeable about all of these essential teaching techniques by pursuing a B.Ed. in Special Education. Encouraging children with special needs to acquire self-esteem and form good relationships will help them live more self-assured lives in society.

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