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Everyday Living Skills

What are they?

Everyday Living Skills (ELS) refer to the abilities we need to take care of ourselves. ELS include: being able to get dressed (including buttons and zips and shoelaces), feed ourselves (hold cutlery), toilet independently, hold a pencil, clean ourselves and get to sleep at night. 

How are difficulties with Everyday Living Skills a problem?

A child struggling with everyday living skills may not be able to dress and feed himself independently, may wet himself unintentionally, may avoid self-care actiiviteis such as wiping himself or brushing his teeth and may struggle to fall asleep.

Every day living skill diffiulties normally point to underlying motor skill or sensory problems.

How can OT help?

Difficulties wih feeding and dressing are normally managed by working on a child's fine motor skills and motor planning abilities and balance. If their problems are from chonic poor organsation, we might work on attention and bring in visuals, clear simple instructions, charts and rewards. If a child is having problems with toileting we might look at sensory issues, toileting charts, anxiety, visuals and rule out any underlying physical problems (such as constipation causing bladder problems). Sleep problems are addressed though deep pressure, calming techniques and addressing anxiety. 

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