For adults with intellectual differing abilities, such as Autism, life skills training is key to helping them become more independent. Each day habilitation facility has its own curriculum for life skills training, and we think that each opportunity is a worthy avenue to explore. However, we feel that these are 5 especially important life skills for adults with special needs.
1. Telling Time
Routines can be comforting to those with special needs, but they’re also important to learn to navigate daily life in our society. Schools, grocery stores, public transportation – all have routines and specific hours of operation. In order to become an independent adult, one must learn to operate within these parameters, which is why telling time is such an important life skill.
2. Counting Money
The more you understand how to earn and keep money, the more independent you can be. However, before an adult with special needs can learn these skills, they must first learn to count money. Not only will they need this skill to purchase items that they need and want, but they, unfortunately, also have to be careful that people aren’t taking advantage of them. Say, by giving them back less change than they’re owed during a transaction.
3. Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene is the first step in taking care of yourself. If an action item isn’t part of a routine – such as brushing your teeth at the same time every night – it’s easy to forget. But keeping up with one’s personal hygiene helps build self-confidence and self-reliability. It also makes people more approachable. This last part is essential to making new friends and gaining new opportunities, such as landing a job interview.
Learning to share and find common ground are skills we wish were taught beyond Kindergarten for the general population. Adults with special needs have a unique opportunity through day habilitation facilities to continue learning this important skill. It can help them make lasting relationships and develop respect for their mentors and peers.
5. Physical Fitness
This skill is something that evades the special needs population, particularly because caregivers do not set an example or stress the importance of physical fitness. Listen, we get it. Working a full-time job and then coming home to your second full-time job as a caregiver can be just as tiring as it is rewarding.
Establishing a routine of physical fitness, however, not only lowers the risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It also builds confidence, strengthens focus, and improves brain activity, which can help adults with special needs – and all adults, for that matter – learn even more life skills.
By signing your child up for personal training sessions or local group classes with Special Strong, you’re empowering him or her with the ability to gain strength, physically as well as mentally. With this strength comes the longevity of life and more time and energy to pursue the path toward greater independence. Start your journey today and “unleash the Special Strong within.”
Special Strong provides fitness and nutrition for special needs children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other disabilities. Through our online training platform, we also provide special needs fitness certification courses for personal trainers and service providers who want to work autism and other disabilities.