Most individuals with a disability need extra support to undertake daily activities. The important factor is to have realistic expectations and understand the specific support the individual requires as each person is different. Adults with intellectual disability may require step by step methods to help learn tasks. Some of the functional living skills that can be carried out independently are: cooking a meal, vacuuming the floor, starting a washing machine, handling money, grocery shopping etc.
There are a variety of teaching techniques for each activities. Each person is different and therefore some may find it easier to learn if they: watch a video, have a family member helping with the task, joining a local community group, and or having step by step photo sequences of the activity.
Backward chaining is a technique that teaches the individual the task in reverse order. This method helps the person receive instant success and therefore likely to increase their motivation and confidence.
Schedules helps individuals to be remember activities to be carried out, therefore bringing routine and predictability to their day. It is also recommended that using pictures will help them to learn the routines and therefore promoting independence.
There are ways to make the activity easier, for example, changing the environment or using different techniques.
- Purchasing scourers and sponges with thicker handles and finger gloves for ease of use
- Sitting down for tasks that do not require the individual to be standing
- taking breaks and rests in between each task.
Government of South Australia 2013 , Disability Information, <https://www.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/17359/intellectual-disability-promoting-daily-skills-adults.pdf >