Adults with some kind of special needs and learning disabilities often have difficulty communicating with others. The difficulty can be related to speech and language, social or behavioral, and language difficulty. Many adults dealing with this kind of situation find difficulty in comprehension, they are not able to understand what others are saying. They might also face difficulty in expressing themselves, their thoughts, and feelings. Most of the time when people are unable to communicate, it leads to inappropriate or challenging behavior. This is the reason that many individuals become frustrated because they can’t understand or express themselves. The effects of learning disabilities last long. So in this case one may face difficulty in making reports, doing research, keeping up with bills, and many other things. There are many programs and training which can help adults with these kinds of problems so that they can communicate easily and express their needs. Some specific learning disabilities are:
This one is a math learning disability that interferes with an individual’s ability to learn concepts related to numbers, affects the ability to perform accurate calculations, reasoning, and other problem-solving abilities. Hence an individual is unable to carry out the mathematical functions accurately. It is also known as number dyslexia or math dyslexia.
This is a kind of neurological disorder of written expression that affects the ability to write and also impairs fine motor skills. This disability affects both children and adults. This generally interferes with all things related to writing, such as spelling, word spacing, expression, legibility, and size of alphabets. So the result is unusual and distorted handwriting. Hence these individuals cannot put their thoughts on paper.
The disorder is neurobiological in origin. In this case, the individual is involved in a disorder of difficulty in reading. He faces problems in identifying the sounds of speech and cannot understand how these sounds relate to words. The disorder affects the areas of the brain that are involved in processing language. The person having dyslexia cannot read fluently without mistakes.
Non-verbal learning disability
This disability is somewhat less common than language-based disabilities. Normally the people with this disability have good memory for the things they hear, very poor memory for the things or situations they see. They are good at reading but poor at arithmetic. These people face a problem in direction, size estimation, and finding shapes. They also don’t understand the facial expressions, tone of voice, and other gestures.
This is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s ability to plan and process motor tasks. Individuals having this often deal with language problems. They also struggle with their thoughts and perception. This disorder has no relation with intelligence but sometimes it can impact cognitive skills. It is also known as developmental coordination disorder
Raising an adult with special needs
The most important thing you should keep in mind while communicating with a special needs adult is kindness and respect. Like all other people, approaching an adult with special needs requires attention and courtesy. If the person is sitting in a wheelchair, try not to lean on or put your weight on the wheelchair, because it can be very harmful and even painful to the person. It would be good if you sit down and engage with them at an eye level. They would be comfortable in this way. Speak clearly with the person and don’t assume that he would have a problem hearing just because he has special needs. Make eye contact with the listener, this indicates empathy, respect, and makes the person interested to talk to you. In addition to making eye contact make sure you listen to a special needs adult attentively. To make the conversation friendly, ask him questions frequently. Offer the adults an occasional nod or smile, this indicates that you understand and appreciate what they are saying
Allow the special needs adults to make mistakes under the supervision of a caretaker, this will encourage self-soothing, problem-solving skills, and independence in them. If you allow these people to harness their personal and practical life skills, this helps them to be better individuals. This independence would benefit the special needs adult in the absence of his caretaker, and he will have the ability to face life like a warrior. Don’t decide things for them and allow them to make the decisions on their own. There is also assistive technology, to help people having disabilities. Transportation however is limited to these people because they may harm themselves, but if you can supervise them well then this is the best way of making them independent.
Family and care
The care of special needs adults should be taken by the family members, this is the most preferred option. Parents should play a role in taking care of such patients, and in the absence of patients, the older siblings should do this job. Sometimes it’s not easy for the family members to perform this job and in many cases, the siblings are not willing to do this. So it’s better to divide the work among all so that no one gets overloaded. If this option does not sound favorable then it’s better to hire a responsible nurse or a caretaker who would supervise his activities and assist him in doing his daily tasks
Participation in different activities
In the United States about 20% of the population is disabled, and out of this 56 million are US adults. If you have a special needs adult in your home or nearby try to engage him in different activities. Make him attend gatherings and meet people. Take him out and give him a chance to see the world outside his room. In addition to this, make the special needs adult participate in various physical activities. Do at least 90 minutes of exercise, after small breaks? This has many benefits. It would prevent him from getting involved in conditions like Obesity and would prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases. If you cannot instruct the individual by yourself then it is better to consult a good physiotherapist. Perform the exercise according to the guidelines given by a health professional, to live a good life