Everyday living skills – such as cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene – are often considered basic abilities that most people acquire as they transition into adulthood. However, for some individuals, mastering these tasks can present significant challenges.
Why It’s Challenging
For someone with sensory sensitivities, the texture of certain foods or the sensation of water during a shower can be overwhelming. Motor coordination difficulties might make tasks like tying shoe laces or buttoning a shirt hard. Moreover, the sequence of activities, like planning a meal and then cooking it, can also be intricate and non-intuitive.
Supporting Ourselves and Others
Being aware and patient is the first step. Everyone’s pace of learning is different, and offering guidance, reassurance, self compassion and space for practice can make a world of difference.
Practical Steps to Enhance Living Skills
- Step-by-Step Guides: Breaking down tasks into smaller steps with clear instructions can make them more manageable. For those who find organisation challenging, this can be especially beneficial.
- Visual Aids: Using charts or pictorial representations can be a great way to visually explain and remind of daily tasks. This is especially beneficial for those who struggle with processing visual information in busy environments.
- Practice Sessions: Designated times for practicing these skills in a low-pressure environment can help in gradual mastery.
- Adaptive Tools: Using tools designed for easier grip or visual timers can assist in making tasks less daunting.
- Mock Setups: Create a mock setup of a kitchen or laundry area to practice without the actual stakes.
- Technology Assistance: Apps or alarms to remind of tasks like taking medicine or even brushing teeth can be very helpful.
- Interactive Learning: Engaging in group classes or workshops focusing on cooking, sewing, or other living skills can not only teach but also promote social interaction.