Friday, October 7, 2011

Phillips or Flat Head?

I’ve written many times before about my worries for my children with significant disabiltiies as they move to adulthood. It seems that each year older that I get, the more I worry. Go figure!

The school system, with enough prodding, will do a passable job of preparing children with significant disabilities for the workforce. I’m not sure they do enough, but I believe there is only so far they can be pushed (the school system, not my children). The school system also concentrates a lot on things they label ‘life skills’. That usually means cooking and cleaning up but not much more.

A lot of the preparation for true life skills comes from parents. And with my children, I have concentrated on some of the more common skills – being able to do laundry, make a bed, set a table, run the vacuum. But there are so many other things – absolutely critical things, in my opinion – that we often forget. So here is the start of my list of those other things, and I would like to know if you have things that should be added to the list.

I want my children to:

  • Know how to use a plunger to unstop a toilet

  • Know that if the water to the house if unavailable (which has happened to us during hurricanes), a toilet can be flushed by dumping a bucket of water into the toilet bowl

  • Be able to flip a blown circuit breaker and maybe even replace a fuse

  • Know how to make a good friend and how to keep that friend

  • Know how to be a good host or hostess when people visit

  • Understand what a plumber does, what an electrician does, and what a handyman does

  • Know how to hang wet laundry to dry (in case the dryer breaks), hang a picture, and hang up clothes

  • Understand how to kill a bug rather than drowning it in pesticide

  • Know the purpose of a door’s peephole and how to work the home alarm system

  • Know how and how often to change the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors

  • Know how to sign for a package

  • Know how to locate a pharmacy, drop off a prescription, and then pick up and pay for that prescription

  • Know how to use bleach appropriately and know which cleaning solutions to never ever mix

  • Understand when and how to use a PERS (Personal Emergency Response System)

  • Know what to do if they are in a car accident or witness a car accident

  • Know how, when and who to ask for help

  • Understand how to dress and act in a courtroom, at the theatre, and in church

  • Know that they can challenge what a doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider tells them

  • Know how to plant flowers and a vegetable garden, and then how to harvest those things

  • Know how to paint a picture, a wall and their nails

  • Know what to do if they get a small cut or scrape

  • Know what things they want in a lifetime spouse or partner, or even a roommate

  • Understand that having a pet requires attention and responsibility on a daily basis

  • Know how to use a screwdriver and the difference between the types of screwdrivers

OK, I’ll stop there for now. Please add as you see fit!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How to turn the water off if the toilet or washing machine starts to overflow. That's one that I wish I'd learned a little earlier.