Developing Independent Living Skills

ECTS Value: 3 ECTS

Contact Hours: 15

Self Study Hours: 36

Assessment Hours: 24


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module is important for educators working with students with disabilities as it equips them with knowledge on the importance of developing daily skills in learners. It will enhance educators’ skills on how to achieve maximum functional independence in living skills of the learners they support. Developing learner’s independent skills is important since this will help in improving learners’ quality of life and vocational skills. A critique analysis will be provided regarding meaningful occupations in a client-centred approach.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Create opportunities in class which include daily living skills and hence improve the learner’s independence.

b. Carry out tasks analysis of activities of daily living skills.

c. Monitor the learner’s ability of skills to participate in these daily skills.

d. Guide the learners to achieve their maximal potential of independence in a daily skill through prompts, assistive technology and techniques.

e. Monitor the learner’s progress in the skill.


a. Develop an understanding of self-help skills;

b. Define the importance of independent self-help skills.

c. List the building blocks for self-help namely: Fine motor skills (hand manipulation, hand and finger strength, hand control); Gross motor skills (postural control and balancing); Eye-hand coordination; Sensory Processing (the environment and body awareness); Cognitive Skills (planning and sequencing) and Perceptual skills.

d. Describe the difficulties or other related problems which hinder the performance of self-help.

e. Identify the importance of activity analysis i.e. the breaking down of an activity (self-help skills) into smaller steps.

f. Identify the strategies or activities that can assist in improving daily living skills.

g. Analyse an activity such as feeding and skill required and explore different assist technology available in the market.

h. Analyse an activity such as dressing and undressing and different techniques and methods.

i. List prompts which can assist in achieving maximal independence and how to fade out prompts.

j. Outline the importance of generalisation of skill.


a. Critically reflect on meaningful occupations in everyday life.

b. Evaluate the learner’s skills in activities of daily living.

c. Analysis of an everyday function that can be broken down into smaller steps to achieve maximum independent skills.

d. Creatively evaluate ways of how to design a functional curriculum to improve independent living skills.

e. Use appropriate prompts and techniques required to learn daily living skills.

f. Create outdoor activities which will target daily living skills so learners learn to generalise skills.

g. Create opportunities within the curriculum that target daily living skills. 

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List

1. Bull, K., & Shannon, S. (2018). Everyday Life: A Guidebook for Teaching Independent Living Skills. Perkins: Loose Leaf

2. Case Smith, J. (2015). Occupational Therapy for Children and Adolecents. Mosby: Elsevier.

3. Hayton, J., & Dimitriou, D. (2019). What’s in a word? Distinguishing between Habilitation and Rehabilitation. International Journal of Orientation & Mobility, 10(1), 1-4. 2019-007

4. Kielhofner, G. (2012). Conceptual Foundations of Occupational Therapy Practice. F. A. Davis Company: United States of America.

Supplementary Reading List

1. Harris, A. (2004) Toilet Training children with learning difficulties: what the literature tells us. British Journal of Nursing, London, 13(13), 773-777.

2. Kemp, C. (2005). Identifying skills for promoting successful inclusion in kindergarten. Journal of intellectual & developmental disability (1366-8250), 30 (1), p. 31.

3. Unlu, E. (2020; 2019). Parent implemented program for teaching toileting skills for children with developmental disabilities. International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education, 11 (2), 92- 104.

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