autism and Life skills
Build an IEP that sets your child up for success in adulthood
If you’re anything like I am, you’re thinking about your child’s adulthood and how you can optimize their abilities to to prepare them for a meaningful, happy and productive adult life. It all starts with your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and your understanding of life skills.
Functional skills are the skills that are necessary for daily living and for establishing quality of life. These are the skills that if not done by an individual him or herself, others will have to do. They are skills that are useful and can be immediately applied to the individual’s environment.
A well rounded foundation of life skills is known to improve quality of life. As parents, we may not realize That’s why I created The Life Skills Lady, because I’m on a mission to help parents, and school teams start teaching students with autism foundational skills in all ten domains of life skills EARLY.
What are Adaptive Skills?
(Also Known as Life Skills)
Life skills, activities of daily living, functional skills, adaptive skills or adaptive behavior, it can get confusing that all of these terms are used to describe the skills we need for everyday living.
Adaptive skills are defined as practical, everyday skills needed to function and meet the demands of one’s environment, including the skills necessary to effectively and independently take care of oneself and to interact with other people. You might hear the term life skills referring to all three categories of adaptive skills, which are conceptual, social and practical life skills.
The terms life skills and adaptive skills are used interchangeably on this site.
Why are Adaptive Skills so Important?
Research shows that increasing adaptive skills can increase adult outcomes and the ability to have the skills we need for day-to-day living.
This is important to consider when ninety percent of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed. While employment is certainly not the only criterion on which we should measure success, it’s hard to ignore the statistics.
Adaptive Skills can be Underestimated by Parents and School Teams?
Teaching life skills marks the beginning of aiming low on their child’s future and teaching them would be demeaning.
Lagging adaptive skills are masked by the supports that family and teachers provide.
A student’s life skills are always in keeping with their intelligence, so if a student on the spectrum has above average intelligence, they won’t need them.
Or, life skills are only reserved for people with autism who are more severely impacted with lower IQs and overall functioning.