At Functional Living Skills, our mission is to help teach children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities. Fostering the skills they need to gain independence is a unique road to travel, but the AFLS helps learners gain the skills they need for independence in everyday life.
That’s why in today’s post, we’d like to share a handful of great tips to help foster independence in adults with disabilities. The Assessment of Functional Living Skills is the best system for criterion-referenced skills, tracking, and curriculum. Therefore, the tips you’ll find in today’s post go hand in hand with what you’ll find in the AFLS. If you’re searching for practical daily living skills that you can teach to students with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder, this blog is for you. Keep reading to learn more!
5 Ways to Support Adults With Disabilities
As the saying goes, old habits die hard. The same is true whether those habits are negative or positive, so why not make it a point to practice repetition to foster positive habits? You’re probably well aware of the fact that change is a difficult thing to handle for most people. The reality is that the same is true of the person you’re working with. Start with a small daily living skills checklist. It can include any daily task that you feel is appropriate. Make a point to work with your learner each day to build this habit and you’ll find that repetition is the key to success.
For many adults with developmental disabilities, adapting to new situations is a challenge, as we mentioned above. Here’s the deal, however — if you can model adaptability, it will be much easier for the learner to get a grasp on it as well. One of our recommendations is to be honest with one another. Because all good relationships are a two-way street, the more you can demonstrate your ability to be vulnerable, the better the situation will be. Do your best to recognize when you need to adapt, be honest about it, and push forward together.
Take It Slow
One of the most crucial things you can recognize is that there will be times when you need to slow down. The reality is that it can take quite a bit of patience to work through independent living skills. As we mentioned earlier, working your way up a ladder of skills may be the way to go, and you can start with anything from helping put together a grocery list to helping you pick up around the house. In other words, starting small and taking it slow is often the biggest key to success.
Be a Part of the Community
As is true of pretty much every person, real growth comes from being exposed to new ideas. That’s why being a part of the community can make such a positive difference. For many parents of adults with learning disabilities, the impulse can be to provide shelter, but the reality is that being a part of a community can make a big impact. Whether that means volunteering at church, getting involved in sports, or taking part in an event at your local library, building a community to rally around can cause growth and encourage new interactions. Be sure to foster these interactions and draw back slowly to help reduce the amount of dependence.
Work Your Way Up
All learning experiences are built on working your way up the ladder. After all, learning means that you have to start somewhere. That’s why a daily living skills checklist is so vital. Starting with activities that are decidedly low risk means there’s nowhere to go but up and that’s the goal. As confidence increases, so do the actual skills that are learned. Creating a pathway to independence means helping learners gain the skills and confidence they need for independence in everyday life.
The AFLS Can Help With a Daily Living Skills Checklist
If creating a checklist of daily skills sounds daunting, don’t worry. Our Basic Living Skills Assessment Protocol is a perfect place to start. Curriculum includes help in the areas of self-management, basic communication, dressing, toileting, grooming, bathing, nighttime routines, health, safety, and first aid. This protocol serves as the basis for developing a curriculum or treatment plan in the areas that are most relevant and important to you.
A strong foundation for functional self-care skills is absolutely crucial, and in this protocol, you’ll find 225 different skills. Critical for learners of all ages, these skills can foster independence, especially in private areas of a learner’s day.
Regardless of your learner’s specific needs, we’re confident that the Assessment of Functional Living Skills can make a real, practical difference. Check out some success stories here to see for yourself, and be sure to contact us with any questions.