Special Education Life Skills (page 2)

By — Educational Resource Information Center (U.S. Department of Education)
Updated on Dec 8, 2010

Raising, Preparing, and Consuming Food

  • Purchase food and plan meals. 
  • Clean food preparation areas. 
  • Store food properly. 
  • Prepare meals, read labels, and follow recipes. 
  • Demonstrate appropriate eating habits. 
  • Plan and eat balanced meals.   

Buying and Caring for Clothing

  • Wash clothing. 
  • Purchase clothing: Demonstrate knowledge of prices and sales. 
  • Iron, mend, and store clothing. 
  • Demonstrate use of dry cleaners and laundromat.   

Exhibiting Responsible Citizenship

  • Demonstrate knowledge of civil rights and responsibilities. 
  • Get legal aid. 
  • Report a crime. 
  • Register with Selective Service at age 18. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of local, state, and federal governments. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the law and ability to follow the law. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of citizen rights and responsibilities. 
  • Vote.  

Using Recreational Facilities and Engaging in Leisure Activities 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of available community resources. 
  • Choose and plan activities. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the value of recreation. 
  • Engage in group and individual activities. 
  • Plan vacation time. 
  • Plan a social event. 
  • Engage in hobbies, sports, music, arts and crafts.   

Getting Around the Community

Differentiate between right side and left side, front and back, to demonstrate location. Demonstrate knowledge of traffic rules and safety. Demonstrate knowledge and use of many means of transportation including carpools. Understand and use a map. Drive a car; obtain a learner's permit, then a driver's license. Obtain car insurance. 

What are Personal/Social Skills?

Personal and social skills are critical in keeping a job and maintaining friendships. Learning to get along with others is a challenge for everyone. Lack of appropriate personal and social skills is one of the most frequently cited causes of termination of employment. Students with learning problems often do not learn by observing. Skill instruction in this area should include the following: 

Achieving Self-Awareness

  • Identify physical and psychological needs. 
  • Identify interests and abilities. 
  • Identify emotions. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of physical self. 
  • Demonstrate proper care, use, and maintenance of prosthetic devices or sensory aids required. Use appropriate methods to cope with stress. 

Acquiring Self-Confidence

  • Express feelings of self-worth. 
  • Describe others' perception of self. 
  • Accept and give praise. 
  • Accept and give criticism. 
  • Develop confidence in self. 
  • Identify and distinguish the proper way to answer and use the telephone. Wear appropriate apparel, using clothes or uniforms to fit social and work situations. 

Achieving Sociallly Responsible Behavior

  • Develop respect for the rights and properties of others. 
  • Recognize authority and follow instructions. 
  • Demonstrate appropriate behavior and social etiquette in public places and when dating or eating out. Demonstrate knowledge of important character traits. Recognize personal roles. 
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