Skill acquisition can be difficult for people who have developmental disabilities. That’s why residential habilitation is an important service for individuals and for their families. It provides a way for your family member with developmental disabilities to safely learn skills that will serve them now and in the future. But what really happens in residential habilitation?
Goal Planning and Tracking
The first step in habilitation is getting clear about goals for your family member. Without goals, it’s impossible to target the most important areas in building skills and finding the right services for your family’s needs. Keeping track of goal progress is also crucial, so that goals can be adjusted or marked off as achieved. Once goals are met, it’s easy to then start to build on those successful accomplishments and face new goals and challenges.
Habilitation at its core is primarily about developing and learning skills that are new and necessary for daily living. These skills help to increase independence and build upon each other. Some of the skills might involve learning daily living skills, learning how to be safer at home and in other places, increasing mobility, and developing self-advocacy. As your family member masters some of these skills, it becomes time to move on to others, like relationship building, mastering independence in transportation, and even developing job skills.
Some of these skills, like increasing mobility or improving speech, may need additional assistance for your family member to reach goals. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy are all examples of the types of therapeutic services that residential habilitation can help to facilitate. Building skills takes time and effort, so it helps to have experts guiding that process along the way.
Reminders for Existing Skills
Habilitation also helps to cement existing skills that might be newer. Having prompts or reminders for skills already learned helps with mastery, especially when those skills are on the more complicated end of the scale. Things like social skills may also seem to be different in different situations on the surface, so it helps to have reminders to fall back on while still gaining mastery over them.
Residential habilitation is there to help your family member to gain the skills that she needs in order to improve her quality of life and to bolster her ability to be independent. These skills are best mastered in a supportive environment where your family member feels secure.