Unit IV: Teaching Pre-vocational & Vocational Skills

1. Daily living skills: routine, travel, creative, appropriate

2. Interpersonal relations, employer/co-worker.

3. Job related Behaviour – grooming skills, punctuality, regularity, suitable behaviour

4. Occupational skills: related to the job chosen (inclusive of functional academics), using structure to teach independent work skills, Health/safety skills – understanding danger – uses sharp objects, safety, uses household electrical items – First Aid.

5. Vocational rehabilitation: pre-vocational training and types of employment opportunities suitable for persons with ASD.


1. Daily living skills: routine, travel, creative, appropriate


Teach various community living skills by organizing following activities for students –

Parents can be instructed to follow a daily activity schedule for their child (with disability) at home. Depending on the improvement in various skills, the activities can be increased. This schedule will help to discipline the students behaviour and improve work habits in them. While selecting the activities for the students, the socio-cultural factors, socio-economic status, sex and abilities of the students need to be considered.

Under domestic skills the prevocational group of students can be taught housekeeping skills by involving them in the domestic activities like:

While involving the students in cooking proceed form simple to complex task.

Before teaching the students to light the stove they should be taught to switch off the stove. To begin training in cooking activities the mother/family members should be near the student throughout the training period and should give necessary physical and verbal assistance. Of course, for many of the cooking activities, (preparing idly, dosa, tea, coffee, etc.) the students need to learn functional academics (measurement) which is discussed in detail in part II of this unit.


Like us, persons with disabilities also require time for recreation. Many a time, they are unable to decide the activities for their recreation.

At school, fix a particular time for recreational activities when students can be given opportunity to participate in various activities like:

Family members can involve students in:

·       playing with siblings 


2. Interpersonal relations, employer/co-worker.

Many children and adults on the autism spectrum need help in learning how to act in different types of social situations. They often have the desire to interact with others, but may not know how to engage friends or may be overwhelmed by the idea of new experiences.

Building up social skills with practice can help enhance participation in the community and support outcomes like happiness and friendships. We have compiled social skills tips and information from experts, teachers, and families, along with useful tools to help enhance opportunities to be part of the community.

Practising play
Practise play skills with your child by using toys to act out a scene. For example, you could hug a teddy, then feed teddy and put it to bed, have a tea party with a few teddies, or create a story using a play set like a farm, petrol station or airport.

Playing games together helps your child practise turn-taking, coping with winning and losing, and following rules. Younger children might like movement games like red light/green light, Simon says, hide-and-seek or tag. Or you could just roll, bounce or kick a toy or ball between you. Older children might like to play table games like Connect Four, Jenga or card games.

Prompting your child to take turns and follow rules will help them learn. Praise for this behaviour also helps. For example, you can say ‘My turn’ and ‘Your turn’. When your child lets you have a turn or follows a rule, you could say ‘Good taking turns’ or ‘Well done for saying Uno!’

Practising a skill in different play situations will help your child learn to use the skill more broadly. For example, you can practise taking turns while kicking a ball to one another, feeding a teddy, putting pieces of a puzzle together, or playing a table game like Connect Four.

Role-play can help your child learn and practise skills for playing with others. For example, before another child comes to visit, you and your child could:

Practise talking about things like what your child has watched on TV or what your child did on the weekend.

For older children you could also try setting up situations that involve a social problem – for example, having one piece of cake left over for two people. Then you could role-play possible solutions, like both people sharing the cake. Other social problems could include not liking what has been cooked for dinner, not having a turn on the computer, or losing a brother’s toy.

Try taking videos of the social skills you want to teach. For example, you can teach turn-taking by videoing people taking turns playing a game. Pause the video and say things like ‘His turn’, ‘Her turn’. After watching the video, try playing the same game with your child and saying ‘My turn’, ‘Your turn’.

You can teach emotions by videoing people in social situations and asking your child how the people might be feeling. Pause the video and point out the tone of voice, facial expression and body cues that show how the people on the video might be feeling. You could do the same with TV programs.

You can also use this strategy to help your child feel more comfortable in new and difficult social situations. For example, before you go to the hairdressers you could video the building and what your child will see when they arrive, so your child knows what to expect.

Social Stories can help with explaining social rules. For example, you could use a Social Story to explain why it’s important to play with others.

Visual prompts
Visual prompts might help your child learn new skills or remember social skills they’ve already learned. Depending on your child’s learning needs, visual prompts might be pictures, words, checklists or prompt cards.

For example, you could use words or pictures as prompts for different conversation topics, like a picture of a cat to remind your child to talk to grandparents about their cat.

Or you could use picture prompts to help your child learn how to play a particular game. For example, pictures could represent different steps in a restaurant play sequence – take the order, cook the food, serve the food, clear the table, pay the bill.

Social skills training
Social skills training can help your child develop social skills in a structured way.

You might be able to get social skills training through your child’s preschool or school or in sessions with a psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist or other health professional.


3. Job related Behaviour – grooming skills, punctuality, regularity, suitable behaviour

Workplace Behavior

a)     Etiquettes and manners

a)    Respects supervisor

b)    Cooperates with coworkers

c)    Controls emotions

d)    Requests help if necessary

e)    Respects others belongings and takes care of personal belongings

b)     Communication and social behavior

a)    Maintains friendship

b)    Follows instructions

c)    Communicates needs

d)    Uses mobile phone

e)    Knows basic social dealings and greetings

f)     Accept criticism

g)    Joins social activities in the workplace

c)      Regularity and punctuality

a)    Comes to work regularly and on time

b)    If late, follows job site rules

c)    Informs when takes leave and provides reason

d)    Follows departure routine

d)      Quality and quantity of work

a)    Completes assigned work effectively and efficiently

b)    Allows improvement in quality of work

c)    Reports work problems

d)    Keeps work area clean

4. Occupational skills: related to the job chosen (inclusive of functional academics), using structure to teach independent work skills, Health/safety skills – understanding danger – uses sharp objects, safety, uses household electrical items – First Aid.

Occupational skills
At this level the children start helping parents/family members in many of the household activities. Performing these activities require application of functional reading, writing and arithmetic skills. For example, when the student is asked to measure two cups of rice, he should have learned counting as a part of number skills which he applies while performing the activity. In case of low ability children (Primary II – 7-14 years, Prevocational-II – 15-18 years) measuring of two cups of rice can be an activity for teaching counting. Identifying and reading labels on edible items/writing a shopping list are other examples. Similarly activities such as washing clothes, moping floor, wiping, storing, or packing requires knowledge of functional academics and fine motor skills.

As the name – “prevocational” indicates, this stage is most important for “preparing the students for suitable vocations”. Through the joint efforts of school and home, appropriate work habits (punctuality, regularity, sincerity, persistence), proper work behaviour, hand functioning, eye hand coordination, and required community living skills (travelling, shopping, banking skills) can be developed in the students.

Eye hand coordination and hand functioning which are important prerequisite skills for any vocation can be improved by:

In the school, engage the students in various simulated activities to assess the interests of the student.


5. Vocational rehabilitation: pre-vocational training and types of employment opportunities suitable for persons with ASD.



a)     Career preparation

a)    Preparation of bio data and portfolio

b)    Development of soft skills(interview skills- appearance, body language, confidence and fluent communication skills)

b)     Job exploration

a)    Visits job sites

b)    Maintains contacts

c)    Looks at advertisements and fixes interview independently

d)    Discusses with parents and friends

Persons with disability in India face many challenges when looking to develop employable skills and in gaining meaningful employment. While India has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with disability (UNCRPD), persons with disability continue to face many difficulties in the labour market.

According to census 2011, there are 2.68 Crore Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in India (1.50 crore male and 1.18 crore female PwDs). Even though, disabled people constitute a significant percentage of the population of India, their need for meaningful employment largely remains unmet, in spite of implementation of “The Persons with Disability Act, 1995”. In the overall population, the number of disabled is proportionately higher in rural areas, accentuated by general poverty considerations and poor access to health services. The rural disabled are significantly disconnected from skills and markets.

The Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India, simplifies and facilitates procedure for easy access to Govt. support for NGOs with the aim to widen the scope and range of programmes. It will address the unmet need of over 95 percent Indian citizens with disabilities who have not had access to services so far.

The existing Skill Training Landscape for PwDs 

·      National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).

·      Vocational training courses offered by National Institutes of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and its affiliate organisations like National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC), National Trust etc. 

·      Ministry of Labour and Employment supervising more than 20 Vocational Rehabilitation Centres for Handicapped (VRCHs), more than 10,000 ITIs and more than 1000 Employment Exchanges. 

·      Technical and Vocational courses, being offered through Community colleges, IITs and Universities, affiliated with Ministry of Human Resources Development. 

·      NGOs focusing on vocational training and skill development. 

·      Private sector training organizations: Under the CSR initiative, many organizations have done exemplary work. 

·      Public Sector Undertakings have also contributed substantially to vocational training of persons with disabilities. 

·      National Rural Livelihood Mission of Ministry of Rural Development.

·      National Urban Livelihood Mission of Ministry of Urban Development.

·      Vocational training / livelihood programs of other Central Govt. Ministries

The National Action Plan For Skill Training Of Pwds

A National Action Plan for Skilling the Persons with Disabilities has been prepared by the Department of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) with the following main components:-

A Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) to be set up in the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. The PMU would have the following components :

·      Training need assessment unit

·      Content Generation unit

·      Training Monitoring and Certification unit

·      Employer Connect unit

·      IT Unit to provide support for creation of E-learning modules, monitoring of training, Ecertification and training centres / creation and maintenance of a job portal.

The vocational / skill training would be provided by a network of skill training providers led by NGOs, private training institutions and Public Sector/Govt. Sector training institutions like VRCs. The vocational training would be provided by a cluster of training providers scattered over the country, having an established track record of providing skill training with high employability ratio. These training partners would be provided outcome based financial support by Deptt. Of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) and Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE). Synergistic support would be provided to these training providers by the National Institutes of DEPwD, training institutions of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, other Central Ministries and State Governments.

NSDC has already granted a provisional approval for creation of a Sector Skill Council for PwDs. Staffing and fully operationalising the Sector Skill Council is likely to take 5 to 6 months. Once, the Sector Skill Council is fully operational, it will through interactions with industry and other Sector Skill Councils, devise the job roles and occupational standards for PwDs, which will become a basis for deciding the training curricula for various skill training courses. Till the Sector Skill Council is fully operational, the Committee referred to above, will, while approving the training partners, also decide on the curriculum to be adopted by the training provider for the skill training of PwDs. Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) and National Institutes (NIs), associated with DEPwD will be associated by the Committee in creating a homogenous training curriculum for various jobs.