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Do you like adulting?

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Outside of the box solutions for school leavers/young adults with diverse learning needs?

Do you like adulting? It is the natural progression of life, right! Overall, do you agree it’s pretty good being in charge/having choice and control plus a sense of safety that comes from life experiences and education.

Do you remember what it felt like getting started, making phone calls to employers, filling out forms, searching for courses. Back when our fingers did the walking (over 40’s should get that one ;)) even if you were lucky enough to be guided, it was difficult getting started right!  Infact, I tried to skip the hard bits and at 18 I applied for the Navy purely because it was somewhere to live, employment and less life / daily decisions I had to make. From the psych test they said my personality was more suitable as an officer rather than ‘taking the orders’. Quite accurate so I skipped that pathway altogether and weaved my own paths in life.

School of life didn’t just happen overnight it is continuous learning and it takes courage.

Stop to think about school leavers/young adults who are diverse learners, before their adulting journey takes off there is likely additional needs to address about safety including:

Online activities (access to information, entertainment, jobs, courses etc) and;

Offline such as accessing the community, gaining independence and having opportunities to connect with others.

So keeping it simple, barriers exist and I’m sharing 3 types of solutions for guiding a diverse learner to be safe as they journey into their next stage in life aka adulting.

1. Online safety is vital. This digital environment is where we spend a lot of time. A young adult with diverse learning needs may make mistakes, misunderstand, misinterpret information so the solution is to educate and make the content accessible to them.  More about Online Safety solutions plus the first module of Appy Connections Rising Sun – Get Ready for your Working Day will be ready by the end of March 2021.

2. Dangers/ threats are real but sometimes they are perceived and our brain doesn’t know the difference. So it holds us back by sending messages to our body to stay where we are. Brain Gym lengthening activities 30 sec activity demo are uniquely designed to release tension. Doing this sends different more positive messages to our body that we are safe – enabling us to move with greater ease and participate in our own way. When we feel this way, we can confidently move forward. Further Brain Gym information is available here. There are other barriers such as sensory issues and environmental challenges for example that may hinder that next step, but the general census is to feel safe in yourself before you can branch out.

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3. Talking Kindness. What if being kind to someone else actually helped you to think less about danger and more about opportunity and community. Jodie Cooper writes here how kindness just feels good, both for the person receiving the kindness and the person doing the kindness.

It increases our self-esteem, boosts our sense of connection and purpose.

So if you actually start doing some acts of kindness this could also improve some of your other skills eg social skills, literacy and or navigation skills and potentially expand social networks. Who would like to receive a 7-day kindness challenge invitation, you could help someone you know with a disability to practice – we could do it together?

Thinking outside the box of life / living safety skills includes the experiences of hands-on learning, movement and a challenge or two.

Yes, the comfort zone may get tugged yet I’m a firm believer that the comfort zone is where dreams go to die.

In this blog I have discussed strategies that help diverse learners to think more about online and offline safety, to challenge their own thoughts and practice some lengthening movement activities. More info on Brain Gym and courses here. And suggested that there are teachable moments in being kind to others that build confidence, trust and skills to use in the next step of life.

Ultimately this is a building block, I will have a series of topics to engage school leavers/young adults with diverse learners to ‘Get ready for their working day’ My next blog will be ‘exploring and creating’ If you want to get on the blog alert/ list you can do that here.

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