As a young man with an intellectual disability who has limited verbal communication skills, Adam relied on others for nearly all of his daily living activities throughout his life. However, with the support of his family and team, Adam has made incredible strides in increasing his level of independence over the last year.
One of Adam’s biggest barriers to gaining independence was his lack of independent life skills. Prior to 2015, Adam was completely dependent on his caretakers to feed him and assist with drinking. After many months of hard work, Adam is now able properly feed himself using forks and spoons, and is able to drink out of a cup independently. While he still needs assistance in prepping food and drinks, he is well on his way to mastering these tasks, as well. Additionally, with the support of his home and community habilitation aids, Adam has also learned how to fold laundry, wash dishes, and clean up after himself. As Adam began mastering new life skills, his team developed an innovative plan to help him adapt to changes in staff and new environments.
Adam’s social skills have improved so much over the last year that his parent’s enrolled him in the Wings for Autism program, which conducts mock airplane flights for individuals with Autism and their families. During this program, individuals and families experience all of the stress and demands of airport security, managing and checking luggage, and boarding a plane. Through conducting mock airplane flights, individuals with Autism and their families learn the skills necessary to manage airplane transportation. Adam was very calm during his first mock flight and behaved appropriately throughout the entire process. Given this positive experience, Adam’s parents’ dream of taking a family vacation to Florida is one step closer to becoming a reality.