Personal Hygiene IEP Goals

Personal hygiene skills is something that many of us take for granted. If you do not pick up on social cues, and your interoception is different because of your neurodivergence, you may not notice these things.

But, others will! That’s for sure. And some things, like managing your medication, can be complete barriers to independent living if you cannot do this yourself.

toothbrushes in a cup

Originally, I had this giant article with a list of over 300 independent living skills. Many of you, teachers and parents, said it was too overwhelming. So, I’m breaking it down. This way, teachers and parents can use it as a guide for what their child needs to be independent in this area.

Teachers and Staff
28 Free PDF Pages of IEP Data Collection Sheets 
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IEP goal formula for special education
To make any skill an IEP goal, plug into the formula.

Or, how to know what supports they may need as an adult. Of course no IEP can have 40 or 50 goals, and certainly not that many transition IEP goals. But, I think most of us would agree that if you are going to live independently, you need these skills.

Personal Hygiene and ADLs for Independent Living

  1. Can dress self (including underwear, socks, and tied shoes) in a reasonably acceptable fashion.
  2. Can bathe self
  3. Knows how to use soap, shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, other common personal products appropriate to sex.
  4. Brushes teeth regularly.
  5. Showers or bathes regularly.
  6. Keeps hair clean and neat.
  7. Dresses in reasonably clean clothing.
  8. Can read clothing labels and determine which clothes are to be dry cleaned, hand-washed, and machine-washed.
  9. Can sort and machine-wash clothes at a Laundromat using appropriate temperatures, amounts of soap, bleach, etc.
  10. Can dry clothes in a dryer using appropriate settings.
  11. Knows the cost of and can budget money for special hair and nail care (i.e., permanents, braiding, manicures, etc.).
  12. Can iron clothes (does anyone still do this? I left it in anyway)
  13. Can sew on buttons and make minor clothing repairs (or knows not to wear torn/damaged clothes)
  14. Can hand wash items following the instructions on the label.
  15. Knows appropriate clothing to wear for almost all occasions.
  16. Knows approximate cost of dry cleaning and can arrange for dry cleaning.

Personal Health and Medications Living Skills

Managing medication is a big one! I would make that a priority if independent living is a goal on your IEP.

  1. Can open childproof container.
  2. Knows not to take someone else’s medication.
  3. Knows that drugs, alcohol, and tobacco may be harmful to your health.
  4. Knows parts of the body and sexual functioning.
  5. Knows how pregnancy occurs.
  6. Knows how and where to get emergency health care.
  7. Can recognize and describe symptoms of colds, flu, and other common health problems.
  8. Knows what to do for a minor cut, a minor burn, a splinter.
  9. Understands the risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
  10. Understands the risks of drug and alcohol abuse.
  11. Can take own temperature using a thermometer. 
  12. Can nurse self through cold or flu.
  13. Recognizes/makes correct use of “over the counter” drugs for pain, stomach upset, diarrhea, fever, cold/allergy.
  14. Can call a doctor or dentist and schedule an appointment.
  15. Can read a prescription label correctly and follow the instructions.
  16. Can take medication without supervision.
  17. Knows how to dispose of drugs in a safe manner.
  18. Knows how to use what is included in a First Aid Kit.
  19. Knows how to obtain a copy of personal immunization records and medical history.
  20. Knows methods of birth control and how to obtain birth control devices.
  21. Knows how to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
  22. Has selected a doctor, dentist or clinic for regular health care.
  23. Understands the importance of medical insurance.
  24. Is conscious of diet, exercise, good eating habits, and other preventative health measures.
  25. Can determine when to go to an emergency room and when to make an appointment with the family doctor or clinic.
  26. Has obtained medical insurance, understands concept and how to use

Menstruation IEP Goals

  1. Can use sanitary napkins or tampons appropriately and in a timely manner
  2. Understands period “accidents” and what to do
  3. Can manage menstruation “prep” and awareness, as in, has tampons or pads in her backpack most of the time, so as not to get caught off guard
  4. Understands OTC and Rx medications related to menstruation and how to use

Printable List of Independent Living Skills

Here is the printable list of Independent Living Skills. It is a work in progress, so check back often. But I didn’t want to delay in getting it out there for you.