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SKILLS CAPITAL
How investing time and hard work now in practicing
some of these overlooked skills areas will lead to
dignity and fulfilled lives when we’re gone (or
before, so we can enjoy watching them grow!).
• NORMALIZATION AS THE LITMUS TEST
• STARTING WITH US (THE CAREGIVERS)
• PHYSICAL DIGNITY
• BEST HOUSEMATE
• INTENTIONALLY COOL
• SOFT & SQUISHY
• OPENING DOORS
WWYD?
The Principle of
Normalization
Dr. Wolfensberger first gained prominence by his
teaching and promotion of the principle of
normalization. Normalization originated in the
Scandinavian countries in the late 1960s, and was
first applied only to mentally retarded people. Its
1969 formulation by the Swede Bengt Nirje called
for “making available to the <mentally retarded>
patterns and conditions of everyday life which are
as close as possible to the norms and patterns of
the mainstream of society.”
WWYD?
The Principle of
Normalization
This should be your guiding star: for
every question you have regarding
“how should I approach this?” The
answer should be “how would I
approach this with anyone else?”
CONQUER THE EMOTION
This has to begin with YOU
So many layers…
▹ Nurturing instinct that doesn’t mature
▹ Not enough time
▹ Guilt
▹ Survival
▹ Fear
▹ Lack of realization
▹ LOVE
(pssst: remember normalization!!)
(pssst: remember normalization!!)
Arm Yourself
• Commit to opening yourself up to vulnerability & truth, & to
preparing for change
• Reach out to others on the journey
• “Parent support groups which allow families to share advice,
provide support, and explore resources lessen the possibility of
maladjustment. These groups not only allow the families to have
a support group, but they also raise community awareness of the
needs of the persons with disabilities and their families.”*
• Consider therapy
• Get buy-in from the entire household
• Create a plan
INVEST IN PHYSICAL DIGNITY
Strive to reach the highest level of
independence possible in personal care
IF FOR NO OTHER REASON…
▹ Self esteem
▸ Living with low self-esteem can harm
your mental health and lead to problems
such as depression and anxiety.
▹ Vulnerability
▸ The more hands-on assistance your loved
one needs, the more vulnerable they are to
abuse & neglect.
1
1. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/raise-low-self-
esteem/#:~:text=Living%20with%20low%20self%2Desteem,as%20a%20way%20of%20coping.
BUT THERE ARE OTHER REASONS…
▹ Financial
▸ The more support a person requires, the
more costly their lifelong caregiving will be.
▹ System supports
▸ Folks who need higher levels of support will
be more limited in all areas: day or residential
opportunities, community access, skilled
care (vs respite or coaching).
1
▹ Visual Supports: Visual supports for self-care and
household activities and personal care. These
supports include both step-by-step written
directions and picture directions. There is a cost
for these visuals (downloadable, $25 for families;
additional prices for group homes and
organizations).
http://autismhousingpathways.org/visual-
supports/
▹ How Do I?: A list of useful links showing
techniques for performing basic living skills.
Includes basics of financial management,
community functions, body & health, household
and cooking.
http://autismhousingpathways.org/wpcontent
/uploads/2018/03/How-do-I-03-18.pdf
1
1. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/raise-low-self-
esteem/#:~:text=Living%20with%20low%20self%2Desteem,as%20a%20way%20of%20coping.
▹ Teen & Adult Behavioral Support with ABA: Sean
Daly, BCBA, runs Evolve ABA. Evolve ABA utilizes
the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to
reduce problem behavior and increase skills for
adults, college students or older teens on the
autism spectrum.
Email: sdaly@evolveaba.com
1
1. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/raise-low-self-
esteem/#:~:text=Living%20with%20low%20self%2Desteem,as%20a%20way%20of%20coping.
AND THE AWARD FOR THE
BEST HOUSEMATE GOES TO…
What kinds of things define an awesome
space sharer?
HUGE LEAP!
CHILD in the house → ADULT in the house
Whether in the family home or elsewhere!!!
(pssst: remember normalization!!)
▹ Same reasons we cite for physical dignity apply here:
▸ self esteem
▸ Vulnerability
▸ Financial
▸ Systems supports
Whether in the family home or elsewhere!!!
Article: 6 Independent Living Skills Kids Need
Before Moving Away From Home
(or even if they’re staying home!)
https://www.understood.org/en/school-
learning/choosing-starting-school/leaving-
high-school/6-independent-living-skills-kids-
need-before-moving-away-from-home
Article: Autistifying my habitat!: Written by an
autistic adult, this article has excellent tips for
organizing thoughts, creating communication
streams that work, and managing schedules,
chores, needs, etc.
http://timetolisten.blogspot.com/2012/08/auti
stifying-my-habitat.html
Article: How to be a great housemate: “While we
can’t force your housemates to behave, we can give
you some tips to make sure you aren’t the difficult
housemate that everyone else complains about.”
https://insiderguides.com.au/great-
housemate/
(pssst: remember normalization!!)
▹ Being a good tenant: In this free online course,
you will get the background you need to find a
place to live, live as independently as possible,
maintain your home, and understand your rights
and responsibilities as a tenant.
https://ahphousing.teachable.com/p/a-place-
of-my-own
INTENTIONALLY COOL
Be aware of the new norm of social
connectedness and technology in every area
of our lives. They can help our loved ones
reach higher skill levels than ever before.
LIKE IT OR NOT…
Texting
Social
Media
Apps
(pssst: remember normalization!!)
LIKE IT OR NOT…
(pssst: remember normalization!!)
BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater
Houston, is a community of parents, veterans,
therapists, doctors, educators, and people with
disabilities who share information on how apps and
mobile devices can help people of all abilities reach
their highest levels of physical, social and cognitive
development.
https://bridgingapps.org/
LIKE IT OR NOT…
(pssst: remember normalization!!)
Internet Safety for Teens with ASD
https://csesa.fpg.unc.edu/sites/cses
a.fpg.unc.edu/files/Internet%20Safe
ty%20for%20Adolescents%20with
%20Autism.pdf
Internet Safety Guide for People with ASD
https://www.wizcase.com/blog/inter
net-safety-guide-for-people-with-
autism-spectrum-disorders/#8
Teaching Students with Disabilities about
Online Safety
http://www.ldonline.org/article/6132
0/
SOFT & SQUISHY
Those skills most of us develop naturally
often need extra attention and an intentional
approach.
PRINCIPLE OF NORMALIZATION!!!
Team spirit
Self confidence
Empathy
Reciprocity
Manners
Problem solving
Compassion
Assertiveness
Joyful!
Desirable!
Good Friend!
Safe!
Strong!
Confident!
Ready for
Authentic
relationships
Emotionally
Prepared
Social Skills exercises, emotion and picture
communication methods:
This website provides thousands of free pages with
social skills and behavioral regulation activities and
guidance, learning songs and games, communication
cards, academic material, and transition guides for
employment and life skills.
https://do2learn.com/
OPEN THE DOORS & EXPLORE!
Develop the confidence to try new things, and
the openness to new experiences
FLEXIBILITY = LIFELONG LEARNING = FULL LIFE
▹ We build fortresses of care with strict routines
and try to so hard to avoid change, sometimes
because that’s how we survive and/or our loved
ones seek the kind of comfort that routine
brings. Routine and predictability has many
benefits.
(pssst: remember normalization!!)
FLEXIBILITY = LIFELONG LEARNING = FULL LIFE
▹ PRINCIPLE OF NORMALIZATION!!!
Is life always predictable? Do we rely on skills we
had to learn to adapt to change, whether or not the
change is welcome?
Do we learn more the more we try? Have you tried
something new and realized how much joy it
brings you?
(pssst: remember normalization!!)
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS FOR NEW IDEAS
▹ Volunteering just once at an event that is of
interest
▹ Rotating chore schedule
▹ One new trip per week
▹ Keep a log: where or what, level of interest
expressed, try again? Yes/no
▸ If yes, try again somewhere else, with
someone else, at a different time, etc.
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS FOR NEW IDEAS
▹ Autism Hikes!
https://www.meetup.com/Autism-Hikes/
▹ Autism Eats!
http://www.autismeats.org/about.html
▹ Bridgewell Disability Services online exercise &
yoga (Facebook)
▹ Northeast ARC online game nights (Facebook)
SUMMARIZE
Here are the takeaways in the simplest of
terms….write them down
• ADL’s & personal care
• Sharing spaces with other adults (good housemate)
• Technology & current ways people connect
• Authentic, natural human interaction
• Flexibility & exploration
SUMMARIZE
Here are the takeaways in the simplest of terms….write
them down
EMBRACE THE PRINCIPLE!
Action!
▹Connect with other adult caregivers for support
▹Create a list of the ADL’s & personal care support you are
performing: what are you doing, what level of support are you
providing, is it possible to increase independence…connect
with a behavior specialist who can help
Action!
▹Recruit others to help! Pay them if you have to! They can help
with absolutely every recommendation we’ve discussed.
▹ADL’s – housekeeping chores, cooking
▹Communication skill building using technology
▹Gentle but firm dialogue coaching
▹Inviting your loved one to activities they enjoy
Action!
▹Make a list of new things to try, mark one day per week to try
something simple and one day per month to try something
bigger
▹REMEMBER THE PRINCIPLE! Start with “what would I expect
or do with anyone else?”
thanks!
Sometimes
The most difficult conversations
The most painful memories
The most shocking revelations
Are the ones that make us
better.
You are NOT alone
Keep loving FIERCELY
Keep teaching DAILY
Keep pushing LOVINGLY
watch your loved one FLY!
www.personcenteredplanning.com
cherylryanchan@gmail.com
https://www.slideshare.net/cherylryanchan
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Skills capital:How investing time and hard work now in practicing some of these overlooked skills areas will lead to dignity and fulfilled lives when we’re gone

  • 1. SKILLS CAPITAL How investing time and hard work now in practicing some of these overlooked skills areas will lead to dignity and fulfilled lives when we’re gone (or before, so we can enjoy watching them grow!).
  • 2. • NORMALIZATION AS THE LITMUS TEST • STARTING WITH US (THE CAREGIVERS) • PHYSICAL DIGNITY • BEST HOUSEMATE • INTENTIONALLY COOL • SOFT & SQUISHY • OPENING DOORS
  • 3. WWYD? The Principle of Normalization Dr. Wolfensberger first gained prominence by his teaching and promotion of the principle of normalization. Normalization originated in the Scandinavian countries in the late 1960s, and was first applied only to mentally retarded people. Its 1969 formulation by the Swede Bengt Nirje called for “making available to the <mentally retarded> patterns and conditions of everyday life which are as close as possible to the norms and patterns of the mainstream of society.”
  • 4. WWYD? The Principle of Normalization This should be your guiding star: for every question you have regarding “how should I approach this?” The answer should be “how would I approach this with anyone else?”
  • 5. CONQUER THE EMOTION This has to begin with YOU
  • 6. So many layers… ▹ Nurturing instinct that doesn’t mature ▹ Not enough time ▹ Guilt ▹ Survival ▹ Fear ▹ Lack of realization ▹ LOVE
  • 8. (pssst: remember normalization!!) Arm Yourself • Commit to opening yourself up to vulnerability & truth, & to preparing for change • Reach out to others on the journey • “Parent support groups which allow families to share advice, provide support, and explore resources lessen the possibility of maladjustment. These groups not only allow the families to have a support group, but they also raise community awareness of the needs of the persons with disabilities and their families.”* • Consider therapy • Get buy-in from the entire household • Create a plan
  • 9. INVEST IN PHYSICAL DIGNITY Strive to reach the highest level of independence possible in personal care
  • 10. IF FOR NO OTHER REASON… ▹ Self esteem ▸ Living with low self-esteem can harm your mental health and lead to problems such as depression and anxiety. ▹ Vulnerability ▸ The more hands-on assistance your loved one needs, the more vulnerable they are to abuse & neglect. 1 1. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/raise-low-self- esteem/#:~:text=Living%20with%20low%20self%2Desteem,as%20a%20way%20of%20coping.
  • 11. BUT THERE ARE OTHER REASONS… ▹ Financial ▸ The more support a person requires, the more costly their lifelong caregiving will be. ▹ System supports ▸ Folks who need higher levels of support will be more limited in all areas: day or residential opportunities, community access, skilled care (vs respite or coaching). 1
  • 12. ▹ Visual Supports: Visual supports for self-care and household activities and personal care. These supports include both step-by-step written directions and picture directions. There is a cost for these visuals (downloadable, $25 for families; additional prices for group homes and organizations). http://autismhousingpathways.org/visual- supports/
  • 13. ▹ How Do I?: A list of useful links showing techniques for performing basic living skills. Includes basics of financial management, community functions, body & health, household and cooking. http://autismhousingpathways.org/wpcontent /uploads/2018/03/How-do-I-03-18.pdf 1 1. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/raise-low-self- esteem/#:~:text=Living%20with%20low%20self%2Desteem,as%20a%20way%20of%20coping.
  • 14. ▹ Teen & Adult Behavioral Support with ABA: Sean Daly, BCBA, runs Evolve ABA. Evolve ABA utilizes the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to reduce problem behavior and increase skills for adults, college students or older teens on the autism spectrum. Email: sdaly@evolveaba.com 1 1. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/raise-low-self- esteem/#:~:text=Living%20with%20low%20self%2Desteem,as%20a%20way%20of%20coping.
  • 15. AND THE AWARD FOR THE BEST HOUSEMATE GOES TO… What kinds of things define an awesome space sharer?
  • 16. HUGE LEAP! CHILD in the house → ADULT in the house Whether in the family home or elsewhere!!! (pssst: remember normalization!!)
  • 17. ▹ Same reasons we cite for physical dignity apply here: ▸ self esteem ▸ Vulnerability ▸ Financial ▸ Systems supports Whether in the family home or elsewhere!!!
  • 18. Article: 6 Independent Living Skills Kids Need Before Moving Away From Home (or even if they’re staying home!) https://www.understood.org/en/school- learning/choosing-starting-school/leaving- high-school/6-independent-living-skills-kids- need-before-moving-away-from-home
  • 19. Article: Autistifying my habitat!: Written by an autistic adult, this article has excellent tips for organizing thoughts, creating communication streams that work, and managing schedules, chores, needs, etc. http://timetolisten.blogspot.com/2012/08/auti stifying-my-habitat.html
  • 20. Article: How to be a great housemate: “While we can’t force your housemates to behave, we can give you some tips to make sure you aren’t the difficult housemate that everyone else complains about.” https://insiderguides.com.au/great- housemate/ (pssst: remember normalization!!)
  • 21. ▹ Being a good tenant: In this free online course, you will get the background you need to find a place to live, live as independently as possible, maintain your home, and understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. https://ahphousing.teachable.com/p/a-place- of-my-own
  • 22. INTENTIONALLY COOL Be aware of the new norm of social connectedness and technology in every area of our lives. They can help our loved ones reach higher skill levels than ever before.
  • 23. LIKE IT OR NOT… Texting Social Media Apps (pssst: remember normalization!!)
  • 24. LIKE IT OR NOT… (pssst: remember normalization!!) BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston, is a community of parents, veterans, therapists, doctors, educators, and people with disabilities who share information on how apps and mobile devices can help people of all abilities reach their highest levels of physical, social and cognitive development. https://bridgingapps.org/
  • 25. LIKE IT OR NOT… (pssst: remember normalization!!) Internet Safety for Teens with ASD https://csesa.fpg.unc.edu/sites/cses a.fpg.unc.edu/files/Internet%20Safe ty%20for%20Adolescents%20with %20Autism.pdf Internet Safety Guide for People with ASD https://www.wizcase.com/blog/inter net-safety-guide-for-people-with- autism-spectrum-disorders/#8 Teaching Students with Disabilities about Online Safety http://www.ldonline.org/article/6132 0/
  • 26. SOFT & SQUISHY Those skills most of us develop naturally often need extra attention and an intentional approach.
  • 27.
  • 28. PRINCIPLE OF NORMALIZATION!!! Team spirit Self confidence Empathy Reciprocity Manners Problem solving Compassion Assertiveness Joyful! Desirable! Good Friend! Safe! Strong! Confident! Ready for Authentic relationships Emotionally Prepared
  • 29. Social Skills exercises, emotion and picture communication methods: This website provides thousands of free pages with social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills. https://do2learn.com/
  • 30. OPEN THE DOORS & EXPLORE! Develop the confidence to try new things, and the openness to new experiences
  • 31. FLEXIBILITY = LIFELONG LEARNING = FULL LIFE ▹ We build fortresses of care with strict routines and try to so hard to avoid change, sometimes because that’s how we survive and/or our loved ones seek the kind of comfort that routine brings. Routine and predictability has many benefits. (pssst: remember normalization!!)
  • 32. FLEXIBILITY = LIFELONG LEARNING = FULL LIFE ▹ PRINCIPLE OF NORMALIZATION!!! Is life always predictable? Do we rely on skills we had to learn to adapt to change, whether or not the change is welcome? Do we learn more the more we try? Have you tried something new and realized how much joy it brings you? (pssst: remember normalization!!)
  • 33. HERE ARE SOME IDEAS FOR NEW IDEAS ▹ Volunteering just once at an event that is of interest ▹ Rotating chore schedule ▹ One new trip per week ▹ Keep a log: where or what, level of interest expressed, try again? Yes/no ▸ If yes, try again somewhere else, with someone else, at a different time, etc.
  • 34. HERE ARE SOME IDEAS FOR NEW IDEAS ▹ Autism Hikes! https://www.meetup.com/Autism-Hikes/ ▹ Autism Eats! http://www.autismeats.org/about.html ▹ Bridgewell Disability Services online exercise & yoga (Facebook) ▹ Northeast ARC online game nights (Facebook)
  • 35. SUMMARIZE Here are the takeaways in the simplest of terms….write them down • ADL’s & personal care • Sharing spaces with other adults (good housemate) • Technology & current ways people connect • Authentic, natural human interaction • Flexibility & exploration
  • 36. SUMMARIZE Here are the takeaways in the simplest of terms….write them down EMBRACE THE PRINCIPLE!
  • 37. Action! ▹Connect with other adult caregivers for support ▹Create a list of the ADL’s & personal care support you are performing: what are you doing, what level of support are you providing, is it possible to increase independence…connect with a behavior specialist who can help
  • 38. Action! ▹Recruit others to help! Pay them if you have to! They can help with absolutely every recommendation we’ve discussed. ▹ADL’s – housekeeping chores, cooking ▹Communication skill building using technology ▹Gentle but firm dialogue coaching ▹Inviting your loved one to activities they enjoy
  • 39. Action! ▹Make a list of new things to try, mark one day per week to try something simple and one day per month to try something bigger ▹REMEMBER THE PRINCIPLE! Start with “what would I expect or do with anyone else?”
  • 40. thanks! Sometimes The most difficult conversations The most painful memories The most shocking revelations Are the ones that make us better. You are NOT alone Keep loving FIERCELY Keep teaching DAILY Keep pushing LOVINGLY watch your loved one FLY! www.personcenteredplanning.com cherylryanchan@gmail.com https://www.slideshare.net/cherylryanchan THESE SLIDES CAN BE FOUND AT: Special thanks to all the people who made and released these awesome resources for free: Presentation template by SlidesCarnival, Photographs by Unsplash
  • 41. Free templates for all your presentation needs Ready to use, professional and customizable 100% free for personal or commercial use Blow your audience away with attractive visuals For PowerPoint and Google Slides