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Over summer, my son and I will start cooking more together, as it is helpful to teach him how to cook two dishes each at least, (for breakfast, lunch and dinner). Likewise, there is no time limit for this, as it is all about going at my son’s pace and tailoring cooking to his needs. Together, we will then comprise a list of his favourite food and develop the dishes from here. (You can check out my other post: What’s Your Flavour? to see what my son’s food preferences, and flavour combinations are at the moment).
After that, I will be looking into kitchen utensils with adapted grips and research into what is out there on the market in terms of accessible kitchen equipment that my son can confidently use independently.
2. Personal Hygiene.
My son is being encouraged to take care of his appearance as an independent skill, Also, to check how he looks in the mirror before going out. Just making sure that the bottom of his trousers isn’t tucked into his socks and that he brushes/styles his hair. There are a lot of hairbrushes that he isn’t too keen on using because of sensory sensitivity, so he usually uses his fingers with a bit of gel.
He has his own bag to put his toiletries in. My son is in control of choosing his own roll-on deodorant, face wash and shower gel. Likewise, I’m including him as much as possible with the decision making to create independency. I am hoping that this will encourage him to get into a routine of using the products and taking care of himself.
3. Food Shopping.
Firstly, it is useful for my son to be able to understand how to go food shopping as an independent skill. Secondly, I will be going through a social story with my son to start off with, and will either purchase or make a visual shopping list with symbols.
Another independent skill to learn about with food shopping is money handling and money denominations.
I’ll encourage my son to look at the signs in the shops too. Additionally, for him to be able to pay more attention to the signs. It is only as my son gets older that I look at things differently. I will also be seeing if the signs are readable and what other resources shops have that will make shopping more accessible for my son.
My son has shown an interest in gardening. Likewise, gardening nurtures independent skills; so my dad will also be showing my son how to be responsible in taking care of the vegetables in my parents’ garden. He won’t be responsible for the whole garden, but will have his own project. This will help give him confidence as well as understanding how to be patient, watching the vegetables grow over time.
5. Packing Your Own Bag.
Lastly, it is a good idea for my son to get into a routine of packing his own bag when staying at his dad’s place. I am thinking of creating a visual checklist so that he can go through it while packing.
These are five of our skills to be independent. What’s yours?