Reach For The Stars Pediatric Therapy Blog

Reach For The Stars with this pediatric therapy and autism services blog by the national early intervention company Achieve Beyond serving CA, CT, FL, MD, NJ, NY and VA continuing to expand. This blog features stories about special needs children, professional therapists and editorials for special needs parents.

Promoting Independence

Independent Child

Independence is a valuable part of our daily routines and significantly enhances the quality of life. Even at young ages, a child should be encouraged to develop independent living skills . As a children’s motor and cognitive skills increase, their ability to complete these tasks also increases. By fostering independence in a child’s early years, parents can help make daily living skills become part of a routine rather than a difficult chore. To accomplish this goal, parents can encourage their children by creating opportunities, providing choices, and reinforcing behavior.

How to promote:

  • Create opportunities by not completing an entire task for the child.
  • Pause to allow time for the child to continue while completing the task.
  • Give simple choices throughout the day.
    • Do you want to wear the truck shirt or the shark shirt?
    • Do you want to use a spoon or a fork to eat your corn?

Types of skills:

  • Using a fork and spoon to eat.
  • Dressing skills.
  • Putting plate/bowl in the sink.
  • Hanging up coat/jacket.

How to teach:

  • Reinforce! Provide praise for completing tasks.
  • Even if the task is not completed perfectly, provide praise for the attempt.
    • If the child puts his/her shirt on backwards, first praise he/she completed the task independently.
    • If the child drops his plate while taking it to the sink, provide praise for the effort.
  • Provide prompts as needed.
    • Help your child through the task if he/she unable to complete.
      • For example, when putting on his/her shirt, you may put it over his/her head, then pause for him/her to place his/her arms through the holes. If he/she has difficulty finding the armholes, provide assistance and then see if he/she can push all the way through.
      • Completing tasks should be enjoyable, not frustrating.

Teaching tools:

  • Visual schedules can be very helpful to remove yourself and allow independent completion of tasks.
    • Create a list of pictures that indicate what needs to be done.
  • Sticker charts
    • Provide stars or stickers when tasks are completed.
    • This will provide a sense of accomplishment and create motivation to repeat the task.

By: Brittany Beaver, MA, BCBA, LBA, Clinical Supervisor

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Clothespin Painting


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Monday, 30 November 2020

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