Interventions to Improve Personal Care Skills for Individuals with Autism: A Review of the Literature

Jennifer L. Wertalik, Richard M. Kubina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often experience learning challenges that impact their ability to navigate the social and vocational world of adults without disabilities. Lack of independent functioning correlates with poor postschool outcomes for many individuals with ASD. In order to improve social and vocational outcomes, instruction must focus on teaching personal care skills. Personal care skills (i.e., grooming/hygiene, dressing, eating) represent a foundational set of skills needed for individuals with ASD to achieve independence and improve quality of life. The present literature review examines and summarizes interventions to teach personal care skills to individuals with ASD. The interventions fall into four categories based on intervention components: (a) video-based instruction, (b) behavioral in vivo procedures, (c) audio cuing, and (d) social stories. The results of the reviewed studies indicated improved performance for all participants across intervention categories for a variety of personal care skills. Additional discussion includes limitations and suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalReview Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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