Intellectual Disability and independence as an adult

Independence is one of the important things about being an adult. We all want to be able to take care of ourselves and do as much as possible by ourselves but sometimes we need help. Being an adult with an Intellectual Disability(ID) may mean you can be totally independent. If however, your ID is moderate or severe you are probably going to require some support, if not full support with managing the areas of personal needs.


As a child and through the teenage years your family and teachers have been encouraging you to take responsibility for yourself so that you can be as independent as possible in your adult years. If you think about your day then you need to get organised  and understand all the things you need to take care of. Here are some of the personal skills you need to be aware of and decide which of these you can do independently and which you are going to need assistance with:

  • Managing my personal hygiene routine
  • If I have a family, helping them with their hygiene routine
  • Managing work day
  • Organising my family’s daily activities
  • Managing a budget
  • Managing functions of cooking, cleaning, home maintenance
  • Managing social interactions

Attending to these personal skills if you have an associated learning disability of an Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD)  or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) requires a further level of consideration in your management of personal functioning. Remember to identify what you can do and what areas you are going to require help to learn or complete.

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