Guest Author - Celestine A. Jones
Adaptive behavior skills are essential to surviving everyday living. The ability to care for oneself can make the difference between depending on yourself for daily living or the need to be supported by others. Skills necessary for living independently include ten skill areas.
Self-Care and communication skills are essential. Self-care includes the ability to take care of the necessary needs of oneself. They include bathing, self-feeding, and grooming. Communication skills are necessary. This skill can be verbal or nonverbal.
Self-direction and social skills can make or break adaptive behavior. The ability to make sound decisions and have good judgment is essential to daily living. Social skills are also necessary because we do not live in a world alone. There are rules to follow in society. The inability to follow these rules can result in incarceration.
Leisure skills are a must to independent living. Participating in community activities can make adjustments to living alone more rewarding. Understanding emotions and maintaining interpersonal relationships can add to the standard of living.
Home living includes housekeeping, clothing care, and cooking. The ability to cook or provide healthy meals for oneself is very important. Unhealthy foods can result in health related problems in the future. Some people, especially the younger generation, would prefer to eat at fast food restaurants on a daily basis for every meal. This unhealthy lifestyle will definitely have repercussions. This is where health and safety comes in. Responding to health issues in a timely fashion can prevent problems from getting worse. Preventive health is preferred. Regular check-ups can decrease huge medical bills.
Everyday living will require certain functional skills that are learned in school. These are reading, writing, and math. Assistive technology can be used to overcome disabilities. The use of a calculator can be used to compute math problems. A word processor or computer can be used in place of writing, and a mobile app can be used for reading.
Access to the community independently can open doors to work, shopping, and community services. Public transportation can be used if a personal vehicle is not within reach. Public transportation can be complicated if more than one bus route is needed to reach a particular destination. As a safety precaution, it would be a good idea to utilize public transportation with a friend or relative until the route is learned.
Work is a necessary for survival for most citizens. An income is provided for services rendered. In some cases, sheltered employment can be sought to learn needed skills. Work is also a learning experience because skills obtained, such as cooperation and punctuality can be used in other situations.
Adequate adaptive behavior skills are essential for everyone that wants to be independent. Any behavior can be learned. Skills that are lacking can be learned through practice and patience.