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By Linda Broatch, M.A.
In order to stay in college or keep a job, young adults must master hundreds of practical daily living skills, such as sticking to a schedule, paying bills, and going to the doctor or dentist as needed. According to Arlyn Roffman, an expert on daily living skills for young people with learning difficulties, a lack of such skills is common. "The National Longitudinal Study (on Transition)6 has given us a lot of data over the years that really support the need for training in daily living skills."
The study looked at adults three to five years out of high school, in relation to three factors:
Only 27 percent of the adults with learning disabilities were independent in all three of these areas. About 50 percent were independent in two of these areas. Dr. Roffman notes that this represents a significant lag behind non-learning disabled adults. "And what's happening with the other 50 percent?" she asks, noting a common concern.
Although young people with learning difficulties face some particular challenges in making the transition to adulthood, some advance planning, flexibility, and perseverance on the part of parents can provide important guidance and support. In the coming months, we'll be exploring several specific transition topics in greater depth and offering strategies and resources to help you help your child.
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