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Independent living skills taught to autistic children and young people in an education setting

Charlotte Smith

ABSTRACT: This case study discusses the similarities and differences between the independent living skills that are taught to the youngest age group in the BeyondAutism primary school (6-7 years old) and to the oldest age group of BeyondAutism learners in the Post-19 service (19-25 years old). All the learners’ current independent education and learning plans were reviewed in order to identify the targeted skills relating to independent living. The functionality of these skills within their plans is emphasised so that their learning time is being taken advantage of while at school and to encourage opportunities to learn at home as well. These skills are chosen to be developed based on their use in everyday life and according to age appropriateness. There is some crossover in the types of independent living skills taught between the age groups such as hygiene related targets and community-based targets. However, there are some differences such as more focus on clothing related skills in the younger cohort which is likely to do with age limitations that involve motor development. This case study concludes that independent living skills are vital to be taught within education settings and at home to allow for multiple learning opportunities, and that these skills can continue to be taught and developed throughout life, especially when engaged in education services. 

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