Occupations: Self-Care

Learning to look after yourself is the first step to developing independence. Self-Care needs are often related to the care of one’s own body and include: washing, bowel and bladder management, dressing, eating, personal hygiene, grooming, and sleep (Rodger and Zivanni). As a parent/carer you spend the first few years feeding, cleaning and caring for your children. Occupational Therapists can offer advice and support to parents and carers on how they can support their children in developing their self-care skills and independence. The page below outlines the self-care areas that Occupational Therapists can support.


Toilet training is a complex task. It includes knowing when your child is ready for toilet training and learning all the skills they need to be successful. It is also important for children to learn to wipe themselves clean after they have gone to the toilet.


Learning to dress independently is an important life skill. It gives your child a sense of achievement to master  a new skill.

Eating & Drinking

Mealtimes are an important aspect of family life. Making sure you and your family are eating healthy meals can be stressful for lots of different reasons.

Managing Period Hygiene

Starting her period can be a challenging time for any girl particularly if she has a learning disability.


Becoming independent in personal care is an important life skill that can give a young person a sense of pride and achievement. Even becoming independent in parts of the task can help a young person to feel engaged and confident in their developing self.

Teeth Brushing

Brushing your teeth is an essential part of oral hygiene and good habits should be established in earliest childhood.


Sleep is vital to children and young people’s health, wellbeing, learning and development. It is important to make sure children and young people have the right amount of sleep so they have enough energy for the next day’s activities.

Self-Care Advice Sheets

We have created advice sheets to help parent and carers support their children to develop their self-care skills and independence. Please click each button to download the advice sheet…

Adaptive Clothing

Below you will find a range of adaptive clothing ranges that are available in the UK. We have included a variety of ranges that aim to better suit children with motor difficulties, wheelchair users, who wear splints or have sensory needs.

*Disclaimer: These are just a few of the shops that provide adaptive clothing. Other shops, brands and websites are available.*

Helpful Websites and Links

Page Last Reviewed: 27/03/2024

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