4 Practical Tips for Integrating Life Skills into Academic Curriculum in Your SEN Classroom

18th April 2024

Children with special needs in general, face physical difficulties and cognitive challenges throughout their life. These challenges make special needs students' lives difficult in both academic and personal lives.

However, if we want to see every special needs children to thrive in their lives then we need to prepare them not only to perform well in their academics but also in their personal lives, especially after completing their academic journey.

Did you know according to survey, it’s been found that life skills like- communication skills, are more important than academic skills for children to get ahead in this fast-paced world?

communication skills are more important than academic skills

The best way to prepare them and make them self-independent to perform well in every aspect of their lives is by integrating life skills into their academic curriculum.

In this blog post, we will be sharing some of the best ways to integrate life skills into special needs student's academic learning journey, which will prepare them for a bright future.

So, without any further delay, let’s get started.

4 Effective Strategies To Integrate Life Skills Into Academic Curriculum:

1. Integration in Curriculum

One of the best ways to teach essential life skills is to integrate them into the academic curriculum. You can teach specific life skills like- empathy, decision-making, teamwork, critical thinking, and empathy and abilities through subject’s like- science, Maths, Social science, History, etc.

For example- You can consider teaching teamwork skills by instructing students to form a group to complete a science project.

2. Upgrade Physical Learning Environment

As a special needs teacher it’s your responsibility to make a positive learning environment for your special needs students where feel heard and valued. Make the learning environment flexible for your special needs students where their learning is not just limited to the physical classroom. You must consider promoting the ideology of experiential learning by facilitating experiential learning experiences for your special needs students.

For example- creating dedicated space for cooking activities, creating dedicated space for interacting with manipulative objects or blocks to learn numeric’s, etc.

3. Collaborative Learning Environment:

By creating a collaborative learning environment for your special needs students, you can ensure that your students learn many essential life skills that can serve them in their life-long journey.

You can instruct or you can take the liberty to form a group of 3-4 students each and give them a task or instruct them to work on an idea together. This will give your special needs students the liberty to learn, discuss, and evaluate an idea by actively listening and learning from each other. They also get to learn to respect other's opinions, respectfully disagree with other points of view, critically think, and communicate their opinion clearly.

This leads every special needs student to become an empathetic individual with improved cognitive development.

4. Include Parents

Every child’s learning starts at home and parents are their first teachers. By keeping this in mind, you must engage every special needs parent in their children’s learning journey. Encourage children’s parents to form a strong bond with their children and initiate projects with real-life examples that help students learn life skills like- problem-solving, communication skills, and critical thinking.

For example- To make children independent parents can assign them to do household chores like room cleaning, how to react in certain emergency situations, etc.

Integrating Life Skills In Academic Curriculum Is The Key to Special Needs Students Success

Special needs children face various challenges at the cognitive and physical level that can create hindrances in both academic and personal lives. However, as a responsible special education teacher you can make them prepared for a bright future by integrating life skills in their academic curriculum. You can consider the above-mentioned easy-to-implement four strategies that help your special needs students to thrive academically and in their personal lives as well.

If you want to learn more effective strategies to help your children with special needs thrive in every aspect of their lives then consider pursuing courses like Master of Arts in Education with Special Educational Needs, where you will get guidance from a top expert trainer who will also guide you to become an effective special education teacher.

We believe education should be accessible for everyone. That’s why we don’t charge for our blogs. Find the right course that will help you in your career with us, contact us at 91-6292150868. You can mail us at

Written By: Sonal Agrawal      

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