Life Skills Checklist for Special Needs Teens and Young Adults

Life Skills Checklist for Special Needs Teens and Young Adults

This is a list we started working on for all of our kids to set goals for attempting to learn these life skills. Of course each individual living with special needs has different capacities and levels of comprehension. Our special needs son will need help in many areas to achieve this, so in some ways it’s a list for us now – caregivers in the future.

  • Maintain relationships – faith in God, home, church, family, friends, co-workers, community
  • Maintain good hygiene
  • Sexual health
  • Caring for clothes – what you wear (washing, drying, ironing, storing, organizing)
  • Using technology for communication (smartphone, email, tablets, desktops)
  • Tie a necktie
  • Self protection (call for help, hand-to-hand, weapon safety)
  • Vaccinations
  • House cleaning, maintenance and organization
  • House emergency prep
  • Kitchen use
  • Technology maintainence
  • Car maintainence
  • Auto emergency prep
  • Personal finance management (accounts, investing, saving, taxes, budgeting, credit score, protection)
  • Personal insurances
  • Personal document management (certificates, passport, records, social security)
  • Career and Work (interviews, job search)
  • Life Learning and Education
  • Travel – air, land, sea
  • How to comparison shop and find discounts for anything (small and big purchases)
  • Personal etiquette – thank yous, greetings, hand-shakes, courtesies, respect
Context of Play

Context of Play

When our son was diagnosed with autism and behavior & intellectual challenges several years ago, one of the main points the doctor (who had 20+ years experience of working with children) made to us was that everything we wanted our son to truly and meaningfully understand should be wrapped in the context of “play”.

That advice has proved consistently true as our son has grown. Successful communication with a special needs child, preteen, teen, young adult, or adult who deals with autism and behavior & intellectual challenges is naturally and sincerely playful. It receives the most notable response.

I believe it makes the strongest connections and gains trust with the child you love and you want he or she to know that you love them.