The Essential Skills That Are Often Ignored
are the ‘real world’ skills an individual needs to successfully navigate the community and live independently. Most people that live independently have to complete daily household chores, cook their own meals and manage a budget. They have to be able to buy things like groceries or lightbulbs. They must also have the ability to use some type of transportation to get to the store or to their job. These tasks require them to communicate with others, regulate their emotions, and display appropriate behavior in public.
Often overlooked in a school environment, these are the practical skills that can change the course of an individual’s life. Research indicates those with higher adaptive skills have better lifetime outcomes when compared to peers with significantly higher IQ scores but score lower in this area. Knowing individuals who score higher on adaptive skills assessments have higher rates of employment and independent living arrangements lead us to believe that adaptive skills training is an essential piece of an intervention package.
Leisure skills are also included under the adaptive behavior umbrella. Some people have difficulty managing ‘down time’ because they have not learned enjoyable leisure skills. For most of us, leisure skills come naturally. Some are inclined to spend time doing crafts, making music, or playing sports. These are the things that make life enjoyable. For individuals without leisure skills, depression, anxiety, and behavior issues are common.
At Oh,Hi! we believe that these skills can be taught to all learners by using evidence-based practices. We incorporate traditional behavior analytic practices with video modeling, visual cues, social scripts, and repeated practice to teach skills that can last a lifetime. These skills are taught in our small group classes or individually, based on the family and individual’s need/preference. We also offer community-based instruction to teach individuals a variety of skills needed to live independently including; grocery shopping, ordering a meal in a restaurant, going to a movie, etc.