Goals for everyday tasks and activities

A good way to start identifying your child's abilities and strengths, as well as the tasks that are causing difficulties, is to think about all the tasks and activities encountered in a routine day.

Below is a list of goal statements that cover the common daily activities. A good goal statement describes what a child should be able to do and how well and under what circumstances they can perform the activity. 

Use the list to identify goals you would like to work on with your child. You will also find links to resources that will help you implement training activities to achieve these goals. 

Morning routines

Get up out of bed when called, with no more than 2 reminders. 

Children should wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. Some children take a little while to surface and emerge from under the covers, other jump smartly out of bed.  It helps to set out some ground rules that allow for your child's individual style, but still sets some limits on the time taken to get up. 

If your child is still tired on waking he/she may suffer from sleep apnea caused by a blocked airways resulting in daytime sleepiness and behavior and concentration difficulties.

Get dressed independently - when clothes are set out - in good time with minimum of prompting.

By the age of 5-6 young children are able to get dressed without help: underclothes, shirt or T-shirt, trousers, jersey or jacket, socks, shoes. They may still need help with buttons and laces.

Note which items of clothing your child does not manage well and take time to practice these task at another time in the day when you are not rushed for time.  

Go to the bathroom/toilet independently and wash their hands effectively.

Pulling down trousers and underwear is usually not a problem, but some children need some special training to pull them up again. Pulling trousers up requires a strong "key" grip which may need work in children with joint hypermobility. 

Wiping may need difficult - you may need to set aside time to practice this skill. 

All children need to be trained to wash and dry their hands effectively. Create a routine, with verbal prompts and put aside time to teach your child how to wash the hands. 

Brush teeth - some supervision may be needed. 

Young children need supervision when brushing teeth to ensure that the job is well done. Verbal or picture prompts, as well as rhymes are useful to ensure that the job is well done. 

Eat breakfast in good time - with minimum of prompting. 

It is best to have a structured morning routine and to insist that your child sits down at a table or counter to eat breakfast.  

You need to decide the amount of time you allow for this task. 

Checks school bag and puts lunch box in. 

Depending on your child's age and tendency to get distracted you may need to provide some verbal prompting, or for an older child provide a written list of the contents of the school bag to jog the memory. 

Get into motor car and fasten seat belt. 

Older children can usually faster their own seatbelt. 

Younger children who are still sitting in a car seat may need some help. 

Walk to school at a brisk pace carrying own school back pack.

Walking to school provides a great opportunity for improving walking fitness.

Say goodbye to parent/caregiver with no fuss at school gate or classroom door.

Fearful children who have separation anxiety may find this difficult. Teachers often have good suggestions for how to help your child make this transition, 

Have the strength, flexibility and coordination to perform exercises and balance tasks at the same level as classmates/peers. 

  • Can hang from a bar, climb or slide down a pole. 
  • Do push-ups and sit-ups at an age appropriate level. 
  • Keeps up with class mates in running activities. 

Check with your child's PE teacher to find out if there are particular tasks your child finds difficult. 

Training resources: How do I know if my child is weak or has tight muscles?

Pack up school bag at end of the day - making sure that everything is packed in. 

Packing up and checking requires good organizational skills: the child to  stop and think about what needs to be done, make a mental checklist and then keep this in mind until the task is completed. 

Training resources: Mindfulness based attention training. 

Manage a school day without getting excessively tired: 

Training resources: Training tips for improving stamina and endurance  

Afternoon and weekend activities 

These will differ for different families - but should include some outdoor activities that promote general fitness.

Ride a  bicycle - uphill and downhill and over rough terrain. 

Run in the park, play ball games, have good endurance.

Play on playground equipment  with confidence.

Sit down and becomes engaged in indoor activities.

Games, puzzles, construction toys and activities or drawing either on own or with a friend or sibling 

Get self a snack and a drink.

Help with chores around the house. 

Complete homework with standby assistance. 

Makes sure all assignments are completed, keeps school items together, repacks school bag.

Evening routines

Help to prepare evening meal, set the table.

Helping to prepare the evening meal provides many opportunities for training attention, working memory  and hand skills.

Sit at dinner table for evening meal, eats with a spoon and fork, finish food without prompting. 

Sitting down for an evening family meal should be a very important part of a family's daily routine.  The time together with your children provides opportunities for learning a host of social skills. 

Bath or shower with some help. 

Get into night clothes. 

Listen to a story with good attention and sitting relatively still.

Check that everything is ready for next day. 

Go to bed and to sleep independently.