The #1 Self-Care Tool you Need to Teach Children with Autism

In this episode, I explore teaching self-care skills to children with autism. We will discuss the one tool you need to teach everything from hand washing, toothbrushing, and more! I will share how we use my four step Turn Autism Around® approach, to teach self-care skills.  I discuss the importance of breaking down complex tasks into simpler steps through task analysis. Throughout the episode, I emphasize the significance of consistent practice and positive reinforcement to work through the task analysis. I also touch on the necessity of tailoring teaching methods to the unique needs of each child. This episode is a comprehensive guide for anyone looking to support the development of self-care skills in children with autism or toddlers showing signs. Don’t miss the one tool you need for building self-care skills!


  • How to teach self-care skills using the Turn Autism Around Approach®
  • Importance of self-care skills
  • Using a task analysis
  • Samples of a task analysis
  • The benefits of practice and reinforcement

Importance of Self-Care Skills

This podcast episode brings to light the crucial role self-care skills play in the lives of children with autism or toddlers showing signs. Self-care, encompassing basic activities like dressing, grooming, eating, and potty training forms the foundation of a child’s independence and self-esteem. I stress how mastering these skills not only improves the quality of life for these children but also instills a sense of accomplishment and autonomy, essential for their overall development.

Using the Turn Autism Around® Approach

Using the 4-step Turn Autism Around® approach is crucial for being successful when teaching self-care skills. I go through each step in the episode. First, we start with an assessment, like a self-care checklist available for free with my book resources,  followed by making a plan. We then move into teaching and taking easy data.  It stands out for its structured yet flexible framework, enabling a tailored approach to each child’s learning needs. This methodological approach ensures that the teaching process is as effective as possible.

Using a Task Analysis

A key component of the episode is the explanation of task analysis. Using a task analysis is the one tool you need to teach self-care skills.  What is a task analysis?  This method involves breaking down complex self-care tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. By doing so, it becomes easier for children with autism to understand and learn each step, gradually building up to the complete task. I emphasize the effectiveness of this approach, as it aligns with the cognitive processing capabilities of these children, making learning less overwhelming and more achievable. We will also go over how you can easily create a task analysis to teach any self-care skills.

Reinforcement and Practice

The importance of consistent practice and positive reinforcement in teaching self-care skills is another major point in the episode. I explain how regular practice helps solidify these skills, while positive reinforcement motivates and encourages the child. This combination is a powerful tool in ensuring that children with autism not only learn these essential skills but also feel supported and motivated throughout their learning journey.

Adapting Teaching Methods

Finally, the episode covers the importance of adapting teaching methods to suit the individual needs of each child with autism. I discuss how every child is unique, with their own set of strengths and challenges. Therefore, it’s crucial to customize teaching approaches, tools, and strategies to align with each child’s specific needs and learning style. This personalized approach fosters a more inclusive and effective learning environment.