Independent Living Skills and Cognitive Disabilities: Reduce Anxiety, Solve Problems

Archive for May, 2013

Independent Living Skills: What’s My No-Phone Backup Plan?

English: New Mobile Cell Phone Technology

Parents feel better when they know their children are safe and have some skills to solve problems independently. Developing independence means that we give up a little bit of control as children grow up and attend school, participate in sports or community activities, or spend the night away from home.

How do you feel about your child developing independence? Are you worried that they won’t be safe?There are several steps we can take to increase our sense of safety and a maturing child’s sense of self-sufficiency.

Here’s one:It seems that almost everyone has a cell phone now. This is indeed a safety device as it allows immediate contact. What happens if the phone runs out of battery or your child leaves it at home?

Suggestion: Help your child write important phone numbers on a small card to keep in his or her billfold or wallet in case your child needs to borrow someone else’s phone to make a call.

  1. Have at least three people on the list.
  2. Occasionally check to see if your son/daughter remembers that it’s there by asking for one of the person’s phone numbers without using his/her phone. See if he or she remembers that the number is written on the card and can locate it.

What are some tips that you have found to be useful to develop independence?

Smart Steps (TM), LLC  (c) 2013

Transition to Independent Living: What Happens After High School?

Students gather on the sidewalk in front of th...

Students gather on the sidewalk in front of the middle school after school on a Friday afternoon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Individuals with disabilities go through many transitions in their school career as they progress through elementary, middle school and high school. At each stage, teams discuss how to make the transition as smooth as possible. What is expected at the next level? Will teachers understand his or her needs? How can we make it less stressful?Even more worrisome to some families might be… What happens after high school?Transition Planning Begins Early

Beginning in the middle school years, the IEP team plans for adulthood by writing transition goals related to education, work, and independent living. Transition goals are meant to help the team focus on the big picture as they write IEP goals.

Often, however, IEP goals are written to target state assessment objectives or class schedules. This is to be expected because schools are accountable for student learning as measured by assessments and high school credits. There’s one saving grace, though…

If IEP goals, including transition goals, have not been met by the time the student graduates from high school, he or she can receive transition services from the school district.

Transition Services Offered in the Community 

When transition services are offered through community-based instruction, students have more opportunities to apply skills in community settings, which in turn develop independence and confidence. This is a rich time for learning.

For more information, see

or this article from Easter Seals:

Smart Steps(TM), LLC (c)2013

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