When we work with students on our Lifeskills Programme, we work on a lot of everyday skills that we take for granted. Often we focus on teaching them the steps and how things progress in an expected situation. But of course that is not always the case. We have collated some simple experiences that we have encountered to help when things do not quite go to plan.
Using The Elevator
For independence, we teach our kids how to use the elevator. That's a really simple task, right? Or not..... do they know what they should do if they get trapped? Or even simpler, what if the elevator is simply UNDER MAINTENANCE? Do they know what to do next and how to deal with the situation? It may seem like a really simple problem but for some of our kids with rigidity, this may seem like the end of the world.
Using the vending machine
We work with many of our students on buying a drink for themselves from the vending machine. We teach them the steps to buy a drink, which after some practical sessions, they can do independently. Then, one day, we head down to the vending machine, and it is OUT OF ORDER. This happened to one of our students, he did not know what that meant so he just went ahead and completed all the steps anyway. After completing the last step, the machine did not dispense a drink and of course, he ended up getting really frustrated. This was definitely a learning experience for the both of us and from that day onwards, we started introducing the term OUT OF ORDER and the expected steps in this situation.
Purchasing items from the shops
We also teach our kids how to buy items or food from shops. We usually begin with money skills like how to pay the correct amount or collect the right change. However, what happens when they do not have enough money? Once, a parent raised their concern to us that their child was not aware of what to do if he did not have enough cash to purchase an item. She was worried that one day, when he was in this situation, he may just pick the item up and leave the shop, leading to unpleasant consequences .
So, if you have not thought about it, then do not forget to teach your kids what to do in emergencies or simply unexpected situations as well.
We may think that these are inconsequential details but for our kids, it may be much bigger than that!