Source: Myrna Remus

Teaching these skills must begin with tasks that are small and relatively quick to carry out, as attending skills will be minimal.  Instructions should be short and direct, with immediate positive reinforcement given to the child after each successful attempt.  At the onset, it may be necessary for the assistant to actually place the object in the child's hands and guide them through each step of the task using a hand-over-hand manual method of instruction. Many strategies currently used to teach the low-functioning autistic child self-help skills are similar to occupational therapy techniques used to teach mentally retarded children.  Before teaching a particular skill, it is particularly helpful to do a task analysis, in other words, write down and number all steps involved from the onset to completion of a given task.  The assistant should endeavor to use key words and phrases while children use specific items or perform a task.  Accompanying photographs for activities may be laminated and placed nearby, or compiled in a photo album labelled with a short phrase. Continue reading for additional living skills on eating, toileting, dressing, grooming and hygiene. Also, you can watch the clip below on Raising an Autistic Child.  When doctors told former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete and his wife, actress Holly Robinson Peete, that their son RJ had autism, their lives changed forever.