Individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities often need additional help to learn daily life skills.  The more skills they can master, the more independent they will be in society and that gives them more options for living arrangements, jobs and community inclusion.  It is important to start teaching these skills when they are young, and continually adapting them as needed as they grow older.

There are five daily living skills that are most important to teach to improve self-worth and to allow the IDD individual to lead their life to the fullest:

  1. Self-Care
    This includes creating and practicing daily routines such as personal hygiene, healthy eating, exercise, getting dressed, and more.
  2. Vocational Skills
    Whenever possible, encourage the individual to be a contributing member of society through employment. It’s important to teach them to create positive work habits such as being punctual, following directions, and working as a team.
  3. Daily Living Skills
    Encouraging individuals to develop practical living skills such as safety, using transportation, basic computer skills, housecleaning, and money skills.
  4. Shopping Skills
    Creating a shopping list, understanding a budget, and how to use money to make healthy choices at the grocery store.
  5. Cooking and Laundry Skills
    Learning how to cook safely and how to do their own laundry. 

Each skill mastered affords the IDD individual more and more independence and freedom.  It can dictate if they can work, live alone, what type of group home they live in and what day programs they can attend. 

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