Autism Spectrum


leaving school and leading your own life

Around the house


There are so many things we need to know to live independently.  Luckily, there are many resources to help teach your son or daughter how to do simple things.

To work out where to get started, you might want to have a look at the Adolescent Autonomy checklist which we mentioned on the page Where you’re at.


Video Modelling

Video modeling is a practical and effective technique for teaching these sorts of skills. Here are some resources that use video modelling.


Everyday Skills

This is an app for iPad, a there is a pocket edition for iPod and iPhone. This app will be most appropriate for young people with higher support needs.

Have a look at the Everyday Skills website here  and you can find the app on the Apple App store.

It has the following topics:

Personal skills

  • Expressions
  • Going out on a Date
  • Indoor Chores
  • Washing Dishes
  • Outdoor Chores
  • Lawn Care
  • Preparing a Meal
  • Renting a Movie
  • Taking Care of Pets
  • Recycling and Garbage
  • Visit to the Dentist’s Office
  • Visit to the Doctor’s Office

Community skills

  • Stores
  • Barbershops
  • Restaurants
  • Fire Departments
  • Grocery Stores
  • Hardware Stores
  • Hotels
  • Laundromats
  • Libraries
  • Trip to the Zoo 


Living Safely

This is an app for iPad with a pocket version for iPhone and iPod. It is also aimed at young people with higher support needs.

Living Safely website is here and you can find the app on the Apple App store.

Topics covered include:

Home Safety

  • Fire Safety
  • Bathroom Safety
  • Medicine Cabinet Safety
  • Kitchen/Dinning Room Safety
  • Mealtime
  • Putting Food Away/Doing Dishes
  • Doing Dishes by Hand
  • Dishwasher Safety
  • Clothes Washer/ Dryer Safety
  • Garbage Disposal Safety
  • Strangers at Home
  • Hand/Power Tool Safety
  • Electrical Safety


Personal Safety

  • Swimming Safety
  • Sun Safety
  • Cold Weather Safety
  • Sports Safety
  • Bug Safety
  • Free Time Safety
  • Relationship Safety
  • Internet Safety
  • Pet Safety
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Bicycle Safety
  • Getting Lost
  • Work Safety


Conover Online Functional Skills System

This is a cloud and mobile device system which teaches functional skills using video modelling. 

Conover website here

Conover on Youtube here

All of the skills outlined above are covered, organised in three levels of difficulty. 

There are 4500 videos in the Conover Online Functional System library.  There are printed educational materials that go along with the video modelling examples.

To learn more about using this system, check out the training videos on this page:

You can read a PDF brochure about Functional Skills System,  find it here.

This system is very comprehensive and could be used well by Transition To Work and Community Participation programs.


Together We Cook n’ Learn

This is a cookbook by Sue Larkey, you can find it on her website here.

Click here to see an extract from the book.



Your Special Chef

Occupational therapist Holly Smith has created a series of recipes using visual cues.

These are based around US measurements and ingredients but can give great ideas on ways to teach young people. 

On her Youtube channel, Holly also has some clever ways of teaching the skills needed for cooking.


Look and Cook Cookbook

This is a very basic, visual step by step guide to basics of cooking. There are over 60 recipes plus nutrition information and safety techniques.

Read more here


Visual Recipes

This is a book for non-readers which uses visual to teach simple recipes.

Find more here

 There are also many videos available on Youtube and Howcast, have a look at the Young people page.



How To Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger’s by Jennifer McIlwee Myers

This is a useful ebook from the publisher Future Horizons which has lists of skills and ideas on how to teach them.

Find out more here


Independent Living Skills Initiative

On our Housing page there is information about the NSW Independent Living Skills Initiative which helps people learns the skills they need to live in their own homes.

Click on Our Stories on the right hand side of the page or click here for personal stories.