Updated: May 7, 2020
In our quest to get our highly competent individuals on their way towards independence, we decided to give them a task inspired by what I am personally doing at home.
Meal plan dinners and gain awareness of household bills.
This task is in joint efforts together with parents to talk through these as a household. We recommend for you all to do it task by task, spread it out throughout the week and not rush through.
Day 1 - Meal plan for the week
Do this preferably at the start of the week before you have gone grocery shopping so that it is something that can be done together.
During your time of planning, we have found that using 'My Plate' is an easy way for our students to determine if we are consuming a healthy, balanced meal.
My Plate consists of 25% carbohydrates, 25% protein, 50% (half a plate of) fruits and vegetables, and a serving of dairy.
Day 2 - Writing the grocery list
We make it a habit to check our pantry and refrigerator to understand what we have before knowing what to buy. We also included household needs to bring awareness to household needs.
The best discussions come from asking our students to make estimates first, then compare and discuss with reality.
Day 3 - Have a discussion about the bills in the home
During our class, most of our students only thought about the internet bill (Priority!!) and the electricity bill. Other bills were completely overlooked - especially Indah Water (sewage bill). The estimates of those monthly bills were also very far off.
Day 4 - Looking at each bill and comparing it to the guesses
This opens up a chance for discussion about the needs of the home.
End with Gratitude
We reminded our students about the differences between living with housemates and living with family.
Housemates will always keep count of extras used.
Family gives without asking for anything in return.
Like us, our students need a reminder to be grateful for the things they get. We wanted gratitude to be an action, so we challenged them to write down what they would say, do and decide.
I hope that this task will help your teen or young adult with special needs gain awareness and bring them one step closer towards independence.
Let's learn together,
Click below to download
Picture and additional resources for My Plate can be found on https://www.choosemyplate.gov