How can I help my child with autism to become self sufficient?

Ronald Leaf

Watch as licensed psychologist and autism specialist Dr. Ronald Leaf discusses how parents can help their child with autism to become self sufficient.

Chantal Sicile-Kira
Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities
For a child with autism, becoming self sufficient may take longer than expected. Parents of children with autism must realize and accept that they will be parenting for a lot longer than parents of neurotypical children. As parents, we hear about the “windows of opportunity” in terms of age and can become discouraged by our own inner cynics and other well-meaning doubters, but often, skill acquisition comes later in life, and many adults with autism are still improving themselves and their essential skills.

For many children with autism, the greatest challenges to independence are executive functioning (being able to get and stay organized) and sensory processing. Doing chores and establishing routines may help some children to learn organizational skills and responsibility -- two essential foundations for self-sufficiency.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.