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Baby with Teddy Bear

self-care skills     

(Daily Living Skills)

Self care skills are the everyday tasks undertaken to be ready to participate in

life activities (including dressing, eating, cleaning teeth and more). They are often

referred to as the activities of daily living (ADL’s).

Little cute boy in pajamas reading a toy

How can you tell if my child has problems with self care skills?


If a child has self care difficulties, they might:


  • Be unable to feed themselves independently.

  • Require more help than others of their age to get dressed  or undressed.

  • Find it difficult to tolerate wearing certain clothes.

  • Struggle to use silverware.

  • Need adults to open food packaging in their lunch box.

  • Refuse to eat certain foods.

  • Be unable to coordinate movements to brush teeth.

  • Require extensive help to fall asleep.

  • Choose to toilet only at home where there is adult support.


Why should I seek therapy if I notice difficulties with self care skills in my child?

Therapeutic intervention to help a child with self care difficulties is important as:



  • Self care skills are the every day practice of the foundations skills for academic performance not just life skills.

Getting a Haircut
Child Eating from Bowl

What other problems can occur when you see difficulties with self care skills?

When a child has self care difficulties, they might also have difficulties with:


  • Following instructions: The ability to understand and be able to initiate the tasks to be done as per requested by others.

  • Receptive language: Comprehension of language.

  • Eating: The physical skill of using cutlery in an age appropriate manner as well as eating a good range of food.

  • Sleeping: Being able to independently settle and resettle to get to sleep.

  • Dressing and undressing: or assisting with dressing to an  age appropriate level.

  • Organization: The ability to know what a task involves, the materials required, how to collate them such as packing the bag for preschool or even getting dressed.

  • Executive functioning: Higher order reasoning and thinking skills.

Our team of professional pediatric therapists will evaluate your child’s current abilities and create a plan of care to help your family achieve your goals.

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