How are you doing today? As I was thinking today about this crazy world we are living in now I was also thinking about daily living skills and even more which living skills that we use everyday. There are a few that are essential but the ones that I came up with today are the simplest yet most important in daily life skills. As a mother of a special needs teen son, this crosses my mind quite often on the daily. So usually when I really get into it and ruminate this is sometimes where my mind takes me. Will he be able to live on his own without help? What if someone takes advantage of him? So without further adieu here are the daily living skills I felt were the most essential and that we all could not live without, especially if you have a loved one who is on the spectrum and/or has significant challenges, then this is definitely for you to check out.
This to me is of the utmost importance. Taking care of your teeth, body, hair and cleaning your crevices is essential and no matter how old your son/daughter is right now, it is a very important skill to teach them so that whenever they need to they can wash themselves properly. If your son or daughter is not able to do this , due to physical disabilities it would be wise to look for a caregiver on Care.com who specializes in helping to care for a loved one that has physical challenges, You could also be trained to become your loved one’s full time caregiver depending on your circumstances and background.
Learning how to cook is important so you don’t starve of course, but even if you know how to cook just two things, that is a good start. For people with significant disabilities, there are always subscription delivery services. Cooking is an art and if you don’t do it correctly you could make someone pretty sick. So invest in a good cooking class or a visual recipe book where you can see the step by step instructions. Visual recipe books are especially designed for individuals on the spectrum or visual learners.
Learning how to speak and keep a conversation going is hard, especially for those on the spectrum but I think everyone deals with some type of anxiety speaking to people in general. Keeping eye contact while you are talking with people is definitely a skill that may take time as anyone moves through their daily lives. This is especially true while we are on these zoom meetings from day to day with our colleagues, our teachers, our friends and clubs. Eventually the more you speak with people and interact you will get better. Practice makes perfect.
Do you ever remember being taught how to fill out a job application in high school? middle school? Me neither. It was only after I encountered my first job at 14 years old that I realized that I did not know how to fill out this form. Now it is so different because everything is online and now most of the applications are not even looked at by someone that is even human…well sometimes depending on what type of job you are applying for and location. I digress…if you don’t have any clue how to fill out a job application look on Google or YouTube or better yet just ask you parents. Although it is sometimes taught at the high school level in life skills courses, some students may choose to opt out of this elective class entirely for other more fun, interesting or easy courses. I highly encourage you to teach your kids how to fill out this form, just so that they are familiar with it and what types of information will be necessary or needed to fill the application form completely and correctly.
911 Emergency Call
This is probably the most important skill of all. Being able to call for help if you or a loved one is in danger or fighting for their lives at home or anywhere. Does your loved one know what to do in case of an emergency? Have you told them who to call in case they are ever lost or hurt? If you have to think about this, then it would be a good idea to write up an emergency plan in case this happens at home or another location. This could mean life or death, so make it a point to teach your loved one your home address, phone number, cell phone number and invest in a tracker or bracelet so that whomever comes in contact with him or her knows that they are autistic, has diabetes(Type 1 or 2), etc. The more the EMT’s know about their patient, then the less that they have to guess. Time is of the essence.