Teach Money Management to Your Autistic Child for Self-Independence

Teach Money Management to Your Autistic Child for Self-Independence

Having the financial brilliance to maintain independence is a significant challenge.

Many people, including those who do not have autism, struggle with money management and responsible spending, which negatively affects their independence and quality of life.

Early intervention for autistic children typically focuses on teaching them to communicate verbally or through writing, as well as normalizing their behaviors through therapy for autism.

Most children never get any kind of financial education.

Planning for your child's development of a wide range of abilities throughout the course of his or her life is essential if he or she is to succeed as an adult with an autism spectrum disorder.

You can contribute to your child's financial education by talking to them about money as early as possible, just like they would with any other important life skill.

Starting financial education early is crucial for an autistic child.

Exposing them to real-life situations of purchasing items is another way to teach money management to your autistic child.

When they understand how money works, that lays the foundation for their money management skills.

More information on how to teach money management to your autistic child is provided below. 

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Olivia Woodring, LPCC, NCC

Olivia Woodring, LPCC, NCC

(719) 345-2424
Maria Roncalli, LPC

Maria Roncalli, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Paitton Callery, LPC, ATR-P

Paitton Callery, LPC, ATR-P

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Holly Bradbury, LPC

Holly Bradbury, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joshua Goldberg, LPCC

Joshua Goldberg, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Bethany Cantrell, LPC

Bethany Cantrell, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

(719) 345-2424
Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Jessica Titone, LPCC

Jessica Titone, LPCC

(720) 437-9089

Start Teaching Them From an Early Age

Just as you would teach your child a new skill or implant a new habit, etc., the better the result, the earlier and more consistently you begin.

Learning the fundamentals of personal finance is the first step.

These involve learning to recognize different denominations of currency before moving on to more complex topics like adding and saving.

How you can start out with money Identification is as easy as showing them coins and bills and asking them to name each type.

Start out with small amounts and work your way up. First, nickels, then dimes, and finally, quarters.

One of the simplest methods to begin to teach money management to your autistic child is through discrete trials.

Typically, you begin by teaching penny, then penny and nickel, then penny, nickel and dime, and finally, all three plus the quarter.

Allow Them Make Purchases in the Store

Without a school-based curriculum, young autistic children can still acquire budgeting knowledge and practice at home.

One way to teach money management to your autistic child is by allowing them to pay for purchases at the store.

If you need to go on a quick errand, this can be an excellent opportunity to let your child practice by purchasing a few items of their own groceries.

Before you go to the store, you can give them a certain amount of money and explain to them that they are to shop within the budget available.

It's best to go to a store where your kid is already familiar and comfortable, preferably with a cashier your kid already knows.

Find a time of day when the store is less crowded so that you and other customers won't be frustrated by your child.

Give Them an Allowance 

Establishing an allowance for your child is also a method you can use to teach money management to your autistic child.

When you inform them that you will give them only 50 dollars every month, and that is all they have to buy anything else they will need, you are teaching them money management.

Also, when you give your child some money and coins, have them]\ save some of it in a piggy bank.

To help older children understand the significance of saving, you can have them classify their money into different denominations, total the amounts, and discuss the topic.

Take part in some at-home "store" play and practice counting skills by exchanging money for pretend goods.

If you've taken the allowance recommendation, let him or her use the money to buy whatever they desire.

This is a fantastic chance to explain the limits of his or her budget.

Talking about deals, coupons, and the value of thrifty purchasing is also appropriate here.

Be Consistent With Your Teaching 

Achieving proficiency requires repeated effort.

Teaching children with special needs requires more time and attention in order to ensure that they fully understand the material.

Even if it seems pointless to practice coin identification over and over again, for instance, the payoff might be substantial if your child finally grasps the concept.

It is also important that you teach them with real money.

Fake money does not have the same weight, feel, or smell as real currency.

It is crucial that your autistic child be able to make connections between what they are learning and the outside world.

If the currency you're using in to repeatedly teach them doesn't match the actual bills they will spend, they may become confused and frustrated when applying what they've learned.

Set Up a Bank Account for Them

Look for financial institutions that accommodate people with ASD.

Since more people are learning about autism spectrum disorder, certain financial institutions have begun implementing autism-friendly policies and procedures.

With your help, a child can open a bank account at a young age and have many years to get used to managing their money in this way.

Kids can open up free or discounted accounts at several different banks.

Even though many of us now do our banking online, it's still important to introduce your child to the banking system early on.

This way, they learn to navigate the space and interact with the bank processes one at a time.

Once a savings account has been opened, it can be used as a teaching tool to discuss the merits of long-term vs. short-term objectives and the value of delaying gratification.

Establish savings targets for your kid, for whatever gadget or device they wish to buy.


Handing your child the gift of financial literacy is like giving them the key to the world, as it will allow them to become more self-reliant in the years to come.

It's important to remember that it isn't only therapy for autism that should be the focus; your child also requires basic life skills to enable them to navigate life.

You can teach money management to your autistic child by starting early, allowing your child to pay for purchases at the store, helping your child learn the value of money by establishing an allowance and encouraging them to save, repeating the process, and by setting up a bank account for them. 


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July 14th, 2024

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