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By Arlyn Roffman, Ph.D.
Even young adults with LD and/or AD/HD who have supportive parents experience challenges in daily living, often directly related to the specific characteristics of their disability. Their challenges continue to ebb and flow throughout their adult years. Consider these examples:
If challenges in daily living are predictable and persistent as youth with LD and AD/HD move out of their family homes into the community, why don't schools include more life skills goals in students' transition planning? Middle and high school students with LD and AD/HD would clearly benefit from direct instruction in such practical daily living skills as housekeeping and money management. However, in these days of high-stakes testing, schools tend to be reluctant to commit valuable teaching time to these less academic — though certainly not less essential — areas.
What are the specific challenges teens with LD and AD/HD face as they move into life beyond the care of their parents, particularly in terms of meal preparation, money management, housekeeping, self-care, leisure planning, and getting around (transportation)? And what can parents do to help them prepare for this major transition? The next articles in this series will focus on essential life skills needed for successful transition to an independent life and will suggest strategies parents can use during their children's middle and high school years to ease them toward that goal.
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