Remember the sense of accomplishment you felt when you first learned how to tie your shoes? Or ride a bike? Or cook your own meals? Adults with developmental disabilities can feel the same way every time they learn a new skill. Every person learns differently, and that is no different when teaching someone how to do something with a developmental disability.
When a developmentally disabled adult is learning a new skill, the teacher must take in consideration the person’s age, mental capacity, physical capabilities, preferences, and the kinds of skills that are most appropriate for their individual circumstances. Teaching new skills to individuals with developmental disabilities takes time, patience and persistence. It begins with the development of a structured teaching strategy. Similar to a school curriculum, a teaching strategy describes the overall goal of the instruction and also identifies smaller, more easily attainable objectives the individual can reach on the way to mastering the overall goal. When an adult with a developmental disability learns something, treat that as an accomplishment and use positive reinforcement to encourage the individual to continue to learn!
Teaching strategies should always focus around the individual’s personal preferences, as well as skills that can benefit them in their day-to-day activities. Adults with developmental disabilities can learn a variety of life-enhancing skills. They can learn to complete household tasks, make financial transactions, tend to their personal hygiene, and interact with others. Doing laundry, loading a dishwasher, cashing a check, preparing a meal, shaving, painting a picture or making a telephone call to a friend or loved one are just a few examples of skills an adult learner may be able to acquire.
At Shining Star Residential Services, we believe in bringing the best out of the individual. We make every situation a TEACHABLE MOMENT. We teach them how to be successful. We strive to foster INDEPENDENCE.