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Tuesday 21 Nov 2017

Teaching Leisure Skills

Of all the things we work on with individuals with autism and other developmental delays, some times teaching leisure skills is left out of the equation. When leisure skills are taught, many times the people teaching skills rely too much on verbal cues and prompts which leads to dependence on cues rather than independence. In the study below, Gregory MacDuff, Patricia Krantz and Lynn McClannahan studied the efficacy of using activity schedules to teach independent work, self-help and leisure skills. They showed that the use of picture schedules were effective in teaching independence across sixty minute sessions. Prior to intervention, the participants were extremely inconsistent in their ability to stay engaged in leisure, work and self-care skills independently. This study is very relevant to all families of individuals with autism. It is important to remember that in addition to all of the other highly functional skills we teach, it is vital not to forget to teach independent work and leisure skills. Not only is the important for the individuals, it is important to the family environment to teach them to engage in independent activities like any other child so the parent does not always have to be “on”.


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