Step By Step’s 8th Street Lodge is based on the Fairweather Lodge concept of supported living. It provides permanent, supported housing for up to eight gainfully employed adults with mental health disorders who work together to manage all aspects of their home and lives. The next step is to make an inner commitment to accept reality as it is. In other words, go inside yourself and turn your mind toward acceptance. The inner commitment isn’t accepting. You don’t have to accept right away. You just have to make the commitment. What is turning the mind? Turning the mind is choosing to accept.
Step By Step’s 8th Street Lodge is a shared residence based on the Fairweather Lodge concept of supported living.
8th Street Lodge is not literally a physical lodge. It is a large home in Allentown that blends into the surrounding neighborhood. It provides permanent, supported housing for up to eight gainfully employed adults with mental health disorders who work together to manage all aspects of their home and lives.
Lodge residents support their fellow Lodge members’ wellness and recovery journeys. Members meet regularly to develop skills and make decisions relating to their shared lodging. 8th St. Lodge members’ employment is based on personal choice and is recognized as an essential component of Lodge living.
Lodge members receive support from a Lodge Coordinator, Employment Specialist and Mental Health Recovery Specialist who act in advisory capacities, facilitating skill building, providing wellness and recovery resources and offering employment assistance as needed.
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During the last 20 years, a variety of terms have been coined to describe those life skills that allow individuals to self-care and function independently in society. Amongst these terms, you will find independent living skills, daily living skills, functional curriculum, functional skills, life skills and survival skills.
Although they may not describe the exact same set of skills, they all describe sets of skills that empower us to become independent adults successfully functioning in our communities. Stallions hengstebig valley ranch country club.
Kids learn many of those skills through observation and imitation. But the reality for children with disabilities (cognitive, developmental, physical, sensory) may be different.
Life skills training is vital for them. Skills that most kids learn through observation may need to be specifically trained in kids with disabilities.
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Activities of daily living (ADLs) are those things we normally do in daily living including any daily activity we perform for self-care such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, and leisure. The ability or inability to perform ADLs can be used as a very practical measure of ability/disability in many disorders.
The concept of ADLs was coined by Sidney Katz, the American scientist and educator who developed the Index of Independence of Activities for Daily Living.
ADLs can may be split in two categories: Basic ADLs and Instrumental ADLs.
Basic ADLs are the self-care skills that are fundamental for your everyday life functioning.
These activities would include:
IADLS are skills that are not necessary for fundamental functioning but empower you to function independently in the community.
Examples of activities that would fall in this category would be the ones related to:
Activities of daily living:
Why is it important to trained kids with autism or learning disabilities in independent living skills?
Skills that most kids learn through observation may need to be specifically trained in kids with disabilities.
Even autistic teens with good cognitive abilities present in approximately 50% of cases a daily living skills deficit.
Research on life skills training and intervention for students with learning disabilities suggests that:
Source: Life Skills Curricula for Students with Learning Disabilities: A Review of the Literature – Mary E. Cronin
What may be interfering with the development of those independent living skills?
Some of the reasons behind this reality may be:
Some other times, us parents are unintentionally depriving them of learning opportunities by:
Kids with learning disabilities or autism may need to be specifically trained to learn new skills. Chaining is an instructional method very appropriate to teaching life skills.
A new skill can be looked at as a chain of individual tasks or steps in a sequence Each step of the sequence will be reinforced and trained individually. There are several types of chaining methods depending on what step of the routine you start training.
Every step in the chain is taught in the naturally occurring order. Success on the first step is reinforced (for example, praised), and training proceeds to the next step only when the first step has been successfully trained.
This is a variation of the previous method. In this method, the complete chain is taught in every session
The training starts with the last step of the sequence. It only moves to the next step once the last step has been successfully trained.
If you wish to read more on Chaining Methods (step-by-step examples) please, check my post: Teaching Life Skills in Special Education: Chaining
In order to train each step of the chain we may need to use different promoting strategies (listed from most invasive to less invasive):
When using prompts to support instruction it is important to:
If you are looking for inspiration on what life skills you could be considering teaching to your child, you are welcome to download our own checklist that includes 100+ life skills.
This is not a checklist by age. I find those checklists a bit overwhelming as they remind me of all the milestones that we have missed. Instead, it is a general list of skills that are important and that we need to keep in mind when we choose what skills to target.
For us, parents of kids with special needs, our choices will be influenced by factors like:
Download your Independent Life Skills Checklist below: