Autism and Life Skills including Relationships and Sexuality Education
Life skills are the skills needed daily for independent functioning. Often a young autistic people need explicit modelling and teaching of these skills to develop them as they grow and progress through life. Whilst life skills involve practical skills, it is important to include executive function and thinking skills in the list.
This session will explore practical strategies to support the development of daily living skills including understanding of the changes that occur to the body during the teenage years. Effective teaching of life skills, including relationship and sexuality education, involves close partnership and collaboration between school and parents/carers to ensure teaching is clear and consistent between settings for the autistic teenager.
Have a greater understanding of how autism impacts on the development of life skills during the teenage years.
• Explore methods effective in assessing and teaching life skills to autistic teenagers in the school and home environment.
• Explore strategies that are effective in supporting autistic teenagers develop life skills including relationship and sexuality skills.
• Have increased understanding of how to optimise opportunities to improve and develop autistic teenagers’ life skills within the school and home environments.
• What are life skills.
• How does autism affect the development of these skills for autistic teenagers?
• Explore categories of life skills, including the changes that occur to the body during the teenage years.
• Explore some resources effective for developing and delivering life skills including relationship and sexuality education (RSE) to autistic teenagers.
Life skills are regarded as independent living skills or daily living skills. It is also important to include executive function or thinking skills such as organising, planning, prioritising and decision making.
Categories of life skills include:
• Personal finance
• Transport and community involvement
• Leisure and recreation opportunities and activities
• Home living skills
• Career path and employment.
• Relationships and Sexuality Education, including friendships
Effective teaching of issues around life skills and sexuality education involves close collaboration between schools and parents to ensure messages are clear for autistic students. This session will examine the impact of adolescence on young autistic people and examine the broad definition of life skills, within the contexts of work, leisure, and personal care, and how difficulties may directly affect the development of life skills. Participants will be shown how to incorporate behavioural interventions with visual strategies to help autistic teenagers cope with some of the typical issues of adolescence and the acquisition of life skills.
It will also focus on the delivery of relationships and sexuality education for autistic students.
• Have a greater understanding of how difficulties may affect the development of life skills in work, leisure, and personal care.
• Learn and develop methods to assess and teach life skills in the School and family environment.
• Be more able to facilitate students to achieve greater independence in relevant daily activities such as play, work tasks, personal hygiene, toileting, and organisational skills.
• Have an increased understanding of the opportunities available to improve and develop students’ life skills within the school and home environment.
• Understand the impact of adolescence on autistic students.
• Learn some strategies involving behavioural and visual strategies that will provide supports to autistic adolescents.
• Provide strategies for the delivery of sex and relationships education to autistic students.