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

Posts tagged ‘transition to adulthood’

Independent Living: Going Shopping Today?

A picture of a wallet.

A picture of a wallet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being active in the community usually means that, if you’re going to be out for a few hours, you’re probably going to want something to eat or drink while you’re out. Here are a few ideas to consider before walking out the door:

Before Leaving Home

Fill a water bottle to keep hydrated while you’re away from home. Put it with your backpack or purse so you’ll remember it on the way out the door.

Put a nutrition bar, apple, or other healthy snack in your backpack or purse.

Check your wallet. Do you have a few dollars? It’s a good idea to have a little bit of money even if you are going for a short trip. If you are away from home  longer than you planned, you might want something to eat. If an unexpected problem arises, you may need to make a small purchase.

  • Some people like to fold their bills in half separately. This keeps the bills from sticking together when counting them out for a purchase.

If you’re planning to eat at a certain restaurant, look up the menu online and plan your meal purchase. Be sure to add tax. If you’re eating at a sit-down restaurant, add enough money for a tip. Is the total too high? Yes, those prices can add up fast. You might have to remove one item from your list.

  • Try not to spend all of your money on one meal. Order less food and then you’ll have money for a drink or other treat later in the day.
  • One rule of thumb I like to use is to order water at a sit-down restaurant in order to have enough money for a tip. It’s healthier, too.
  • Not a big appetite or short on cash? Don’t be shy about ordering from the children’s menu.  In my experience, restaurants are usually flexible in allowing anyone to order the smaller meals.

Have a great day shopping! It’s part of independent living.

(c) 2013 Smart Steps, LLC

Disabilities and Transition After High School: Developing Independence at the Community College, Even If I’m Not Taking Classes

English: Austin Community College Northridge C...

English: Austin Community College Northridge Campus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, new graduate. You’ve finished high school, and your classmates, at least most of them, are going on to college.

You say to yourself, I want to go to college! Of course, you want to do what your friends are doing, right? It’s understandable that you don’t want to stay at home while everyone else is having a life. You want to see and be seen… BUT you’re not sure if you’re ready for homework again, and honestly, maybe you’re a little nervous about college classes.

Many graduates attend the local community college to get their start. Even if you’re not quite ready to take academic classes, there are lots of things you can do on campus to see your high school buddies and to find out whether you want to continue your education. You might even make some new friends.

Here are some ideas that you might consider doing:

1. To get started, walk around the campus. You can check with the Admissions Office about scheduling a formal tour, or you can grab a map and walk around at your own pace. Start with the Student Center because this is where a lot of students will be hanging out between classes. Go around lunchtime and plan to eat there. You might see students on laptops, watching the news, or even playing chess.

2. Use the campus map to see what buildings you might want to check out.

• Are you an artist? Find out where the art classes are. You might see student work on display or a quiet hangout spot that you like.
• Do you like to walk? Maybe there is a track or fitness center.
• Do you like libraries? There’s probably one available. You might not be able to use the computers there unless you have a student ID card, but you can still look at magazines and work on your own laptop that you bring.
• Do you like plants? See if your college has a greenhouse. You might be able to volunteer to wash pots, pick off dead leaves from plants, water plants, or sweep up leaves. Ask if there is a volunteer program or community gardening club at the college.
• Do you want to buy a shirt or cap from the college? Visit the bookstore. They’ll help you out. First, though, set aside money for lunch, the bus, or other things you might have already planned to buy. Put it in another pocket so that you won’t accidentally spend it on the wrong thing. Then see if you have money to spend. If you didn’t bring enough money, you can always come back later to buy something that you like.

3. Check out the bulletin boards or other notices that are posted.

• What student events are coming up? Movies? Bake sales? Student organization fair? The community can often attend.
• There may be a theater performance, musical group, or speaker that interests you, though these will probably cost money.

4. If you’re going to return to campus on your own, make sure you know how to be safe.

• If you use an elevator, know where the button is in case the elevator gets stuck.
• Study the signs that tell where to go in case of a weather emergency or how to call for help if you get nervous or lost.
• If you’re walking across a parking lot or roadway, use crosswalks and watch for cars. Drivers may be texting even though they’re not supposed to do that, so you have to watch out for yourself.
• Walk in the well-travelled areas. If you are around several people, you’ll be able to ask for help more easily if you are confused or nervous.
• Know where the emergency phones are if you need help.
• It’s okay to say hi to someone your age. After all, part of college is meeting people. Just say hi and then keep walking or doing what you were doing. That’s what people do when they don’t know each other well but they want to be friendly. If they invite you to play ping pong or start up a conversation in the coffeeshop, that’s fine, too. Just don’t go with them when they leave. They are probably going to class or home, and that’s not where you are scheduled, so say goodbye.
• Don’t ever go with someone to their car or to a private room unless you know them and unless you’ve told someone else where you are going beforehand. If it’s on your schedule and your parents or staff person knows where you are, it’s okay.

See, there are lots of things that you can do on a college campus without ever signing up for a class. Community colleges have a lot to offer the community, and you are part of the community, so join in!

Also, see:  https://smartsteps4me.com/can-my-young-adult-attend-college/

(c) 2013 Smart Steps, LLC

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 http://www.ocali.org/project/transition_to_adulthood_guidelines

or this article from Easter Seals: www.easterseals.com/explore-resources/living-with-autism/autism-after-age-21

Smart Steps(TM), LLC (c)2013

http://www.smartsteps4me.com

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