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.

The Great Need Within The Great Need

The Great Need Within The Great Need

Disabled Special Needs Children Developing Countries“Not only is there a lack of resources, many cultures in developing countries marginalize disabled children from society, making them extremely vulnerable and more likely to experience discrimination. Children with special needs are more susceptible to abuse, neglect and exploitation than children without disabilities.” Caroline Logan. Borgen Magazine, August 2014.

Within the poverty of developing countries there are millions of children who are in need of health, sanitation and nutrition.  Further down in their population is a group who are often cast aside and forgotten – those with disabilities and special needs.  They can’t be sold or worked for profit, so developing countries have no use for them.

As a parent of a child with special needs, I understand how challenging it can be for a child to live with disabilities and special needs in the United States. How much more extremely difficult it must be in developing areas like Congo, Guinea, Bosnia, Haiti, etc…?

“The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has found that 10 percent of the world is living with special needs and 80 percent of the disabled live in developing countries. The World Bank estimates that, of the 58 million children who do not attend primary school, one-third have a disability.” Kelsey Lay. Borgen Magazine, February 2016.

If you were orphaned and disabled or orphaned and had special needs in a developing country, what chance of survival would you have compared to fellow orphans who weren’t disabled or living with special needs?

For those disabled and special needs children in developing countries who do have parents, what resources do they have to help their child grow and live a production life?

There is a great need within the great need. As programs work to develop better health care systems, better schools, better ways to bring water and electricity to people, it seems they are bringing hope for advocacy and social aid to specifically help disabled and special needs children.

This is the first time in my life that I’ve deeply considered and thought about this plight. I want to learn more, meet those who are helping and find ways to fill this need for disabled and special needs children in developing countries. Below are links where I have started research:

Global Partnership for Education: Children with Disabilities

World Vision

Able Child Africa

Borgen Magazine – The Borgen Project

Unicef