Disability Resource Center

Essential Independent Life Skills For Young People Living With Disabilities

It's never too early to start thinking about life skills for young people living with disabilities. Even though each person's needs may be different, there are some essential skills that everyone should learn. Here are two of the most important ones.

Personal Hygiene and Self Care

Practicing good personal hygiene and self care is important for everyone, but it can be especially beneficial for young people with disabilities. These activities can help to improve physical health, mental well-being, and social interactions.

Basic personal hygiene often includes things like showering, brushing teeth, and using the toilet. If you can manage these activities independently, it can make a big difference in your overall health and confidence.

However, even if you need assistance with some of these tasks, it's still important to be involved in the process as much as possible. Try and do as much as you can independently, and only involve your carer or support worker in decision-making about your care.

Self-care activities go beyond just personal hygiene. They also include things like maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and managing stress levels. Everyone's self-care needs will be different, but it's important to find activities that work for you and help you to relax.

Some young people with disabilities might find that yoga, aromatherapy, or listening to music help manage stress. Others might prefer more active forms of self care, such as simple target-specific exercises. Experiment and find what works best for you.

Remember that putting yourself first isn't selfish. It's actually essential for maintaining your health and well-being. For example, good hygiene habits can help prevent the spread of illness, while self-care practices such as simple exercise and healthy eating can boost your energy levels and mood.

Furthermore, taking care of your appearance can make a positive impression on others and promote greater social inclusion. If you can strike a balance, you are already halfway there on your journey to a healthier, happier life.

Daily Living Activities

There are many daily living activities that young people with disabilities need to be able to do to live independently. These can include things like cooking, cleaning, budgeting, and using public transport.

While some young people might need assistance with these tasks, it's important to learn as much as possible so you can eventually do them independently. For example, if you're living in supported accommodation, your support workers might help you cook and clean.

However, you can still try and make a few meals yourself. Start with simple recipes and then gradually move on to more complicated ones. The same goes for cleaning –– start with small tasks like making your bed or doing the dishes, and then move on to bigger jobs like vacuuming or mopping the floor. This way, you'll be able to manage on your own if you ever need to.

Budgeting is another essential skill for young people with disabilities. You need to know how to manage your money so you can pay bills and buy groceries and still have enough money left over for leisure activities.

Contact a professional for more information about resources for young adults with disabilities living independently.