Volume 12, Issue 3, Revisiting Life Skills Training: The Past 10 Years

In this edition of reSearch we revisit the topic of life skills training for individuals with disabilities.  Life skills refers to the set of psychosocial abilities (skills) needed to live within the community in a safe and functional manner.   Life skills can be broadly categorized into three basic skills sets:  conceptional/cognitive, social, and practical life skills.  Conceptual/cognitive skills include analyzing and utilizing information including reading comprehension, numbers (basic mathematics), and money and time management.  Social skills include understanding social norms, customs, and laws as well as understanding the dynamics of personal and interpersonal relationship communications.  Practical life skills are the skills required to perform basic self-care tasks or activities of daily living such as feeding, bathing, dressing, etc. (https://www.gulfbend.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=10327&cn=208).  

It is important to note that activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are but one component of life skills training and not “life skills” in themselves.  ADLs are basic self-care tasks that are often learned in childhood such as feeding, toileting, selecting proper attire/dressing, and grooming (i.e., bathing, oral hygiene).  IADLs are complex skills required to successfully life independently and include managing finances (i.e., money management), driving and/or navigating public transportation, shopping, meal preparation, using communication devices, medication management, among others (https://www.caring.com/articles/activities-of-daily-living-what-are-adls-and-iadls).  

The previously-funded NIDILRR project, Life Skills: Transitioning from Homelessness and Isolation to Housing Stability and Community Integration led by principle investigator Christine Helfrich, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA produced four publications collectively known as The Life Skills Manual:  Strategies for a Maintaining Residential Stability.  This evidence-based curriculum was developed between 2009 and 2012 in response to a lack of resources available for adults with psychiatric disabilities who desire to learn practical life skills to live independently in the community. It is intended to provide the content and resources needed to teach life skills to a wide variety of individuals who need assistance in the areas of food and nutrition management, money management, home and self-care, and safe community participation.  The Life Skills Manual (collectively or individual sections) may be ordered through the NARIC website at http://naric.com/?q=en/content/order-life-skills-manual.  Electronic copies are available free of charge.  Print copies are available with a fee of 5 cents per page to cover copying and shipping.

This edition of reSearch provides a 10 year “snapshot” of research on life skills training.  This snapshot presents research related to various aspects of life skills training for individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and various other conditions/disabilities.  The combined search terms for this edition of reSearch included:  life skills, life skills training, evidence-based, activities of daily living, and people with disabilities.  A listing of nearly 150 additional descriptor terms between the NARIC, ERIC, and the PubMed databases can be found at the end of this document.  A search of the REHABDATA database resulted in 19 documents published between 2007 and 2015; and 5 international research documents that may have been collected by CIRRIE between 2007 and 2016.  The ERIC and PubMed database searches resulted in 22 documents between 2008 and 2017, and 9 documents between 2007 to 2017; respectively. 

NIDILRR Funded Projects Related to Life Skills Training for Individuals with Disabilities

In addition to document searches, we searched our NIDILRR Program Database to locate grantees/projects related to life skills training.  The search resulted in three currently funded and eight projects that are no longer active.  Project information and their publications are offered as additional resources for our patrons.

Promoting Independence and Self-Management Using mHealth
Project Number: 90DP0064
(formerly H133A140005)
Phone: 412/383-6649
Email: parmanto@pitt.edu.

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Promoting Interventions for Community Living (RRTC/PICL)
Project Number: 90RT5043
Phone: 785/864-4095
Email: rtcil@ku.edu.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Trainer Skill Builder
Project Number: 90IF0124
Phone: 541/346-0567
Email: lpowell@uoregon.edu.

These projects have completed their research activities and are now closed.  

Context Aware Self-Management Tools for Individuals with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
Project Number: H133S080041
Phone: 541/342-3763
Email: tkeating@eugeneresearch.org.

Goal Guide: A Web-Based Application for Self-Management of Goal Tracking by Transition-Aged Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism
Project Number: 90BI0008 (formerly H133S140096)
Phone: 541/342-3763
Email: tkeating@cognitopia.com.

Improving Money Management Skills in Veterans with Psychiatric Disabilities
Project Number: 90IF0089 (formerly H133G100145)
Phone: 919/972-7451, ext. 3
Email: eric.elbogen@unc.edu.

Life Skills: Transitioning from Homelessness and Isolation to Housing Stability and Community Integration
Project Number: H133G090046
Phone: 617/353-8947
Email: helfrich@bu.edu.

Money Coach: A Money Management System to Facilitate Independent Living for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
Project Number: H133S080042
Phone: 719/592-0347
Email: dan@ablelinktech.com.

Safe@Home: A Self-Management Program for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury and Their Families
Project Number: 90IF0052 (formerly H133G130149)
Phone: 404/603-4269
Email: nicole_thompson@shepherd.org.

SPAN - A Tool for Social Participation and Navigation
Project Number: 90IF0059 (formerly H133G130272)
Phone: 513/636-9631
Email: shari.wade@cchmc.org.

Why do I see different grant numbers?   

In 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law. As part of WIOA, the institute changed its name from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and moved from the Department of Education to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) at the Department of Health and Human Services. Approximately 250 active grants received new ACL grant numbers and all new grants funded under NIDILRR have only an ACL grant number.  For more information about NIDILRR/ACL grant numbers please visit:  http://naric.com/?q=en/content/about-nidilrracl-grant-numbers-0.

Documents from NARIC’s REHABDATA search listed are listed below:


Glencross-Eimantas, T., Gorter, J.W., Isihi, A.M., Jones-Galley, K., King, G., Kingsnorth, S., McPherson, A., Morrison, A., & Stewart, D.  (2015).  Residential immersive life skills programs for youth with disabilities: Service providers’ perceptions of experiential benefits and key program features.   Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(11), 971-980.
NARIC Accession Number: J71757
ABSTRACT: Study examined service providers’ perceptions of the experiential benefits of residential immersive life skills (RILS) programs for youth with disabilities, along with important program features. Interviews were conducted with 37 service providers from three RILS programs. The goal of each semi-structured interview was to have service providers discuss participants’ experiences in the program, important aspects of the program, and key learnings in their development as RILS program service providers. Themes were derived using a phenomenological approach. Three major study themes emerged from the data: the process of youth empowerment, life-changing experiences for youth and parents, and changed therapist views affecting practice. Youth changes were attributed to the residential group format and afforded opportunities, which included being away from home, navigating public transportation, directing attendant services, and sharing intense learning and social experiences with peers. Youth were seen to experience important personal changes in life skills, self-confidence, self-understandings, and self-advocacy. Perceived benefits for parents included realizations concerning their child’s abilities and new hope for the future. Service providers indicated changes in their knowledge, perspectives, and approach to practice. The findings suggest that life skills programs should be intentionally designed to provide challenging experiential opportunities that motivate youth to engage in new life directions by providing new insights, self-realizations, and positive yet realistic views of the future.

Weaver, L.L.  (2015).  Effectiveness of work, activities of daily living, education, and sleep interventions for people with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review.   American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT), 69(5), 6905180020.
NARIC Accession Number: J72615
ABSTRACT: Study reviewed the literature on interventions addressing work, activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), education, and sleep for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A total of 23 studies were identified, and 9 work-, 11 ADL/IADL-, and 3 education-related interventions were examined. No sleep studies were identified. Use of mobile and tablet technologies for vocational skills was supported. Support for ADL/IADL intervention is variable, with indications that Cognitive Orientation to Occupational Performance, sensory integration, and contextual interventions may increase occupational performance. Preliminary evidence suggests that daily yoga and brief exercise may improve classroom performance and behavior; group physical activities may assist with school readiness variables. Evidence for using technologies for IADLs was limited, as was evidence determining effective interventions for feeding and eating issues. This systematic review demonstrated that studies investigating interventions related to sleep are lacking. More studies are needed in all areas, presenting opportunities for the expansion of science-driven occupational therapy practice and research for people with ASD.


Daniels, A.S., Delphin-Rittmon, M.E., Dougherty, R.H., Farkas, M., George, P., Ghose, S.S., Kurtz, M.M., & Lyman, D.R.  (2014).  Skill building: Assessing the evidence.   Psychiatric Services (formerly Hospital and Community Psychiatry), 65(6), 727-738.
NARIC Accession Number: J69102
Project Number: H133B090014
ABSTRACT: This review assessed the evidence base for skill building, a direct service that helps individuals enhance their capacity to accomplish a task or goal successfully. Skill-building services for adults involve multiple approaches to address the complex problems related to serious mental illness. This review examined four key components of skill building: social skills training (including life skills training), social cognitive training, cognitive remediation, and cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) that target skills for coping with psychotic processes. The authors searched meta-analyses, research reviews, and individual studies from 1995 through March 2013. They chose from three levels of evidence (high, moderate, and low) on the basis of benchmarks for the number of studies and quality of their methodology. They also described the evidence of service effectiveness. More than 100 randomized controlled trials and numerous quasi-experimental studies support a high level of evidence were identified. Outcomes indicate strong effectiveness for social skills training, social cognitive training, and cognitive remediation, especially if these interventions are delivered through integrated approaches, such as integrated psychological therapy. Results are somewhat mixed for life skills training (when studied alone) and cognitive-behavioral approaches. The complexities of schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses call for individually tailored, multimodal skill-building approaches in combination with other treatments. The evidence indicates that combined approaches that include social skills training, social cognitive training, cognitive remediation, and CBT are necessary. Findings also suggest that the specific types of skill-building services should be based on an individual’s constellation of skills, challenges, and motivations.


Bartlett, W., Bouck, E.C., Muhl, A., & Satsangi, R.  (2013).  Using audio recorders to promote independence in grocery shopping for students with intellectual disability.   Journal of Special Education Technology (JSET), 28(4), 15-26.
NARIC Accession Number: J67859
ABSTRACT: Study examined the use of self-prompting devices to assist three students with intellectual disabilities with acquiring skills and/or independence. Specifically, the authors explored how using audio recorders impacted the identification and selection of grocery items as compared to using a written list, which represented the traditional mode of grocery shopping students experienced during weekly outings to the grocery store for their life skills class. Use of the audio recorders resulted in the three students becoming more successful at identifying grocery list items, as well as requiring fewer prompts to identify grocery items on the list correctly. In addition, the intervention of audio recorders consisted of two conditions: self-record and researcher record. The results showed the students were more successful in identifying and selecting grocery items when they recorded the list prior to entering the store as opposed to when they received the researcher prerecorded list upon arrival at the store.

Brost, M.A., Horton, V.E., Kenyon, S.B., Liu, C-J., & Mears, K.E.  (2013).  Occupational therapy interventions to improve performance of daily activities at home for older adults with low vision: A systematic review.   American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT), 67(3), 279-287.
NARIC Accession Number: J66961
ABSTRACT: This literature review was conducted to identify the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions to maintain, restore, and improve performance in daily activities at home for older adults with low vision. The authors searched and screened abstracts from multiple electronic databases and identified 17 studies that fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Three themes in intervention approaches emerged: multicomponent intervention, single-component intervention, and multidisciplinary intervention. Strong evidence of effectiveness was found in studies that applied a multicomponent approach; these interventions involved teaching knowledge and skills that older adults with low vision need to help overcome the disablement process. Evidence also suggests that multiple sessions of training with low-vision devices and special viewing skills to compensate for vision loss are necessary to have a positive effect on daily activities. Finally, multidisciplinary intervention that focused on personal goals yielded greater positive outcomes than interventions that were not personalized.

Chang, F-H., Coster, W.J., & Helfrich, C.A.  (2013).  Psychometric properties of the practical skills test (PST).   American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT), 67(2), 246-253.
NARIC Accession Number: J65822
Project Number(s): H133G060180, H133G090046
ABSTRACT: Study evaluated the reliability, validity, and sensitivity to change of the Practical Skills Test (PST), a new assessment of individuals’ knowledge of life skills. Participants were 123 homeless subjects recruited from a longitudinal study of the effects of life skills intervention, who were assessed before and after intervention with the PST, the Allen Cognitive Level Screen-2000 (ACLS-2000), and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). The PST showed generally good internal consistency, no floor effects, and limited ceiling effects (< 20 percent on each test). Supportive evidence for the PST’s convergent validity was seen in its moderate correlations with the ACLS-2000; no significant correlation with the IES-R was found. Paired t tests indicated that the PST is sensitive to changes in life skills after intervention, but effect sizes were small. The results suggest that the PST has generally good reliability and validity. However, ceiling effects suggest an area for further development.


Adams, T., Lindsay, S., McDougall, C., & Sanford, R.  (2012).  Skill development in an employment-training program for adolescents with disabilities.   Disability and Rehabilitation, 34(3), 228-237.
NARIC Accession Number: J63193
ABSTRACT: Study explored the skills gained by adolescents with disabilities who have completed an employment-training program. In-depth, qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 adolescents with a physical and/or mobility-related disability. The youth and their parents also completed a brief questionnaire about their experience in the program. Results indicated that the youth valued involvement in the workforce and perceived that through their participation they developed important life skills. The findings highlight how adolescents with disabilities developed several practical, social and communication skills, and self-confidence over the course of an employment-training program. Despite personal gains, youth reported challenges in their post-program search for employment.

Arbesman, M., Colon, W.I., & Orellano, E.  (2012).  Effect of occupation- and activity-based interventions on instrumental activities of daily living performance among community-dwelling older adults: A systematic review.   American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT), 66(3), 292-300.
NARIC Accession Number: J63812
ABSTRACT: This systematic review examines the effectiveness of occupation- and activity-based interventions on community-dwelling older adults’ performance of instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Forty studies met the inclusion criteria and were critically appraised and synthesized. Within occupation-based and client-centered interventions, the evidence that multicomponent interventions improve and maintain IADL performance in community-dwelling older adults is strong. The results also indicate that client-centered, occupation-based interventions can be effective in improving and maintaining IADL performance. The evidence is moderate for functional task exercise programs and limited for simulated IADL interventions to improve IADL performance. In the area of performance skills, the evidence related to physical activity and cognitive skills training is mixed and the evidence that vision rehabilitation interventions improve IADL performance in older adults with low vision is moderate. Implications for practice, education, and research are also discussed.

Bay, R.C., Caruso, D.M., Croteau, R., Foster, K.N., Hansen, L.D., Pressman, M.S., Rimmer, R.B., & Takach, O.P.  (2012).  Burn-injured adolescents report gaining multiple developmental benefits and improved life skills as a result of burn camp attendance.   Journal of Burn Care and Research (formerly Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation), 33(4), 552-560.
NARIC Accession Number: J64116
ABSTRACT: Study explored whether burn camp either directly or indirectly elicits positive development outcomes in pediatric burn survivors or increases their psychosocial well-being and achievement. The Youth Experience Survey 2.0, a 66-item self-report inventory designed to measure developmental experiences in an organized youth activity, was administered to children aged 11 to 18 years attending summer burn camp. One hundred ten burn-injured youth—58 male and 52 female—reported that burn camp had positively impacted their lives through improved identity exploration, goal-setting and problem-solving abilities, increased physical activity, communication, emotional regulation, and time management skills. Participants reported more positive experiences than the norm group and higher mean scores on 48 of the 53 positive items. Attendance at burn camp for more than five years resulted in greater improvement. Study results support the burn camp experience as a far-reaching and positive developmental activity. Participants credited the camp experience with helping them with identity formation and reflection, improved social interactions, and increased initiative; all positive developmental outcomes for youth. Results suggest that burn camp participation not only helps burn-injured youth to deal with their burns but also assists them in the development of social and basic life skills, which will allow them to navigate the transition from youth to adulthood, more effectively and successfully.

Helfrich, C.  (2012).  Food and nutrition management: A life skills study: Boston University.   
NARIC Accession Number: O19302
Project Number(s): H133G060180, H133G090046
ABSTRACT: This manual provides the curriculum to teach life skills to people at risk for repeated homelessness that will assist them with developing or rebuilding their independent living skills and improve their ability to maintain housing. This intervention module focuses on food and nutrition management. It includes facilitator guides and participant handouts for group and individual sessions addressing how to eat on a limited budget, comparing price and nutrition, nutrition basics, food safety, microwave cooking and food storage, and meal preparation.

Helfrich, C.  (2012).  Home and self care: A life skills study: Boston University.   
NARIC Accession Number: O19303
Project Number(s): H133G060180, H133G090046
ABSTRACT: This curriculum is designed to teach the skills that adults with mental illness at risk for repeated homelessness will need to assist them with developing or rebuilding their independent living skills and improve their ability to maintain housing. This intervention module focuses on home and self-care management. It includes activities, facilitator guides, and participant handouts for group and individual sessions addressing home and self-care concerns, hygiene basics, health issues, getting and managing clothing, home organization, and home decoration.

Helfrich, C.  (2012).  Money management: A life skills study: Boston University.   
NARIC Accession Number: O19304
Project Number(s): H133G060180, H133G090046
ABSTRACT: This curriculum is designed to teach the skills that adults with mental illness at risk for repeated homelessness will need to assist them with developing or rebuilding their independent living skills and improve their ability to maintain housing. This intervention module focuses on money management. It includes activities, facilitator guides, and participant handouts for group and individual sessions addressing financial habits, difficulties, and solutions; budgeting basics; smart shopping and credit; banking services; advertising and financial protections; and financial maintenance, goals, and supports.

Helfrich, C.  (2012).  Safe community participation: A life skills study: Boston University.   
NARIC Accession Number: O19305
Project Number(s): H133G060180, H133G090046
ABSTRACT: This curriculum is designed to teach the skills that adults with mental illness at risk for repeated homelessness will need to assist them with developing or rebuilding their independent living skills and improve their ability to maintain housing. This intervention module focuses on safe community participation. It includes activities, facilitator guides, and participant handouts for group and individual sessions addressing safe community participation risks and strategies, community and public safety, home safety, health protection and emergency safety procedures, self-protection, and consumer protection and personal advocacy.


Arbesman, M., D’Amico, M., Gibson, R.W., & Jaffe, L.  (2011).  Occupational therapy interventions for recovery in the areas of community integration and normative life roles for adults with serious mental illness: A systematic review.   American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT), 65(3), 247-256.
NARIC Accession Number: J61237
ABSTRACT: Study reviewed the research literature evaluating the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions focusing on recovery in the areas of community integration and normative life roles for people with serious mental illness. The review included occupation- and activity-based interventions and interventions addressing performance skills and performance patterns, aspects of context and environment, activity demands, and client factors. The results indicated that the evidence of the effectiveness of social skills training is moderate to strong. The evidence for the effectiveness of life skills and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) training to improve performance is moderate, as is the evidence for neurocognitive training paired with skills training in the areas of work, social participation, and IADLs. The evidence for client-centered intervention and increased intensity and duration of treatment is limited but positive, and the evidence that providing intervention in the natural context is more beneficial than in the clinic setting is inconclusive.

Chan, D.V., Helfrich, C.A., & Sabol, P.  (2011).  Cognitive predictors of life skill intervention outcomes for adults with mental illness at risk for homelessness.   American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT), 65(3), 277-286.
NARIC Accession Number: J61240
Project Number: H133G060180
ABSTRACT: Study investigated the effectiveness of a life skills intervention for people with mental illness who have been homeless. The life skills intervention consisted of four modules: (1) room and self-care management, (2) food management, (3) money management, and (4) safe community participation. Thirty-eight adults diagnosed with mental illness ad at risk for repeated homelessness completed an initial Allen Cognitive Level Screen-2000 (ACLS-2000) and a Practical Skills Test (PST) and participated in 12 group and individual sessions per module with an occupational therapist. At the completion of these modules and at 3 and 6 months after the intervention, the measures were repeated to assess life skills knowledge. Data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects regression models. Most participants improved and retained life skills knowledge over time, challenging the premise that people with mental illness should be excluded from mixed-level group interventions. The PST scores of participants with higher ACLS-2000 scores significantly increased over time (food management, money management, safe community participation). Participants with lower ACLS-2000 scores demonstrated an even greater change over time.


Ayres, K., Cihak, D.  (2010).  Computer- and video-based instruction of food-preparation skills: Acquisition, generalization, and maintenance.   Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (formerly Mental Retardation), 48(3), 195-208.
NARIC Accession Number: J58982
ABSTRACT: Study evaluated the effects of a computer-based video instruction (CBVI) program to teach life skills. Three middle school-aged students with intellectual disabilities were taught how to make a sandwich, use a microwave, and set the table with a CBVI software package. A multiple probe across behaviors design was used to evaluate for a functional relation between the software and skill acquisition. Results indicate that all 3 students increased the percentage of steps completed in the correct order after receiving CBVI. During maintenance probes, the performance of all students deteriorated; after a single review session with CBVI, all students regained previous levels of performance, tentatively indicating a role of CBVI as a tool for reviewing previously mastered material. The results demonstrate the potential for using CBVI to teach functional skills in simulation.


Henderson, N.  (2009).  Empowering students for life: The occupational & life skills program at Bellevue College is the only one in the nation that offers a college degree.   Exceptional Parent, 39(9), 36-37.
NARIC Accession Number: J57274
ABSTRACT: Article describes the Occupational & Life Skills (OLS) program at Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, Washington. OLS is the nation’s only college-level degree program for people with special intellectual needs. The 47-course curriculum is also the first to combine higher education and academic subjects with comprehensive social, life, and workforce training. Each class is small, with no more than 15 students so instructors can better focus on individual needs. Hours are extended and learning is reinforced through lectures, discussion, repetition, teamwork and practical experiences.


Hoglin, B., Reddon, J.R., & Woodman, M-A.  (2008).  Immediate effects of a 16-week life skills education program on the mental health of adult psychiatric patients.   Social Work in Mental Health, 6(3), 21-40.
NARIC Accession Number: J54681
ABSTRACT: A total of 105 male and 101 female adult psychiatric patients participated in life skills training 5 half days per week for 16 weeks. Psychosocial adjustment was assessed using the 3 primary scales of the Holden Psychological Screen Inventory (depression symptomatology, psychiatric symptomatology, and social symptomatology), administered before and after the 16-week program. A multivariate analysis of variance was performed with the 3 scales, using age as a covariate and gender as a between-participants factor. Results showed a nonsignificant effect for age but significant effects for time, gender, and the time by gender interaction. Depression symptomatology improved significantly for both men and women, whereas statistically significant improvements were only obtained for women on the psychiatric and social symptomatology scales.


Fogg, L.F., & Helfrich, C.A.  (2007).  Outcomes of a life skills intervention for homeless adults with mental illness.   Journal of Primary Prevention, 28(3-4), 313-326.
NARIC Accession Number: J60173
Project Number: H133G040320
ABSTRACT: Study evaluated a life skills intervention designed to maintain residential stability and prevent subsequent homelessness for adults with mental illness living in supervised emergency housing or single room occupancy housing. The intervention focused on improving skills in food, money, room, and self-care management and safe community participation. Participants completed an initial series of baseline evaluations and participated in 12 group and individual sessions with an occupational therapy interventionist. At the completion of each module, a practical skills test was administered to assess knowledge attainment. At 3 and 6 months after the intervention, participants’ change and skill retention were reassessed for each module. Comparisons were made to examine effectiveness between modules. Results indicated that there were significant improvements over time for the room and self-care and safe community participation modules, whereas the other modules did not reach statistical significance. The results suggest that through intervention this population may develop and retain the life skills needed to maintain residential stability.

Documents from the International Research Collection available through REHABDATA are listed below:


Bang, M., Cha, J., & Zhang, Y.  (2016).  Effects of a Self-Management Intervention Using Visual Cues on the Coffee Making Skills of a Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Single-Subject Research. 시각적 단서를 이용한 자기관리 중재가 자폐성 장애학생의 커피 만들기 기술 습득에 미치는 영향: 단일 대상연구, 23(4), 783-802.
NARIC Accession Number: I243397
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a self-management intervention, using visual cues, on the coffee making skills of a student with autism spectrum disorder. The study participant was a male high school student with autism spectrum disorder. The intervention comprised a baseline phase, an intervention phase, a generalization phase, and a maintenance phase. The coffee making skills of the research participant were measured using the same type of coffee machine as the one at a café in the local community. Results are as follows: (1) The self-management intervention using visual cues showed positive effect on participant’s coffee making skills. (2) When the same type of coffee machine was used, the coffee making skills improved from the use of visual cues generalized in a different café located in the local community. (3) Participant’s coffee making skills were maintained three weeks after the discontinuation of the intervention.

Chang-Bae, K., Kyu-Young C.  (2016).  Effects of situated learning utilizing smart phone on community living skills in residential center of student with intellectual disabilities.   스마트폰을 활용한 거주지 중심 상황학습이 지적장애학생의 지역사회 생활기술 수행에 미치는 영향, 55(3), 251-280.
NARIC Accession Number: I242743
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect on community living skills performance in students with intellectual disabilities by utilizing a smartphone in a residential center setting. Participants were two high school students with intellectual disabilities attending special schools. They did not have a smartphone, and they could not work alone is in a community-life setting outside the home. For the study, the characteristics of the students and residence community center were analyzed. The program of activities of community life required for students with intellectual disabilities was then configured. The participants’ learning progress utilizing smartphones in the student residence center of the community was monitored for six months, once a week, for two hours. The degree of achievement of skills to live in the community was evaluated. Results showed both students improved in life skills that can be performed independently in the community. Both students were also found trying to take advantage of the smartphone when necessary in social activities.


Ammari, N., Archie, S., Heinrichs, R.W., McDermid, V.S.A., & Miles, A.A.  (2013).  The Canadian Objective Assessment of Life Skills (COALS):  A new measure of functional competence in schizophrenia.  Psychiatry Research, 206(2-3), 302-6.
NARIC Accession Number: I192754
No abstract is available.


Maayan, N., Soares-Weiser, K., & Tungpunkom, P.  (2012).  Life skills programmes for chronic mental illnesses.  The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 1, CD000381.
NARIC Accession Number: I217948
No abstract is available. 


Healy, H., Kingsnorth, S., & Macarthur, C.  (2007).  Preparing for adulthood:  A systematic review of life skill programs for youth with physical disabilities.  The Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(4), 323-32.
NARIC Accession Number: I73992.
Abstract is available at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17875457.

Documents from the Education Resource Information Center (ERIC) search at www.eric.ed.gov are listed below:


Battista, C., Harry, M.L., MacDonald, L., Mahoney, E.K., Mahoney, K.J., & McLuckie, A.  (2017).  Long-term experiences in cash and counseling for young adults with intellectual disabilities:  Familial programme representative descriptions.  Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 30(4), 573-583.  
ERIC Number: EJ1143270
ABSTRACT:  Background: Our aim was to explore previously unknown long-term outcomes of self-directed personal care services for young adults with intellectual disabilities and limitations in activities of daily living. Materials and Methods: The present authors utilized participatory action research and qualitative content analysis in interviewing 11 unpaid familial programme representatives of young adults with intellectual disabilities, ages 23-34, who were eligible for income-based Medicaid and enrolled five or more years in a Cash and Counseling-based programme of self-direction in the United States. Results: Young adults are represented as receiving services and supports in a supportive and stable environment, with previously identified short-term programme benefits evident over the long-term. Young adults are also transitioning to adulthood at home with their families as primary social support and caregivers, bridging a service gap. Conclusions: Our results show that self-direction helps meet these young adults’ personal care and community engagement needs over time.

Chiang, H-M., Lee, Y-S., & Ni, X.  (2017).  Life skills training for middle and high school students with autism.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(4), 1113-1121.
ERIC Number: EJ1134163
ABSTRACT:  This study investigated the extent to which life skills training was offered to middle and high school students with autism and life skills training needs after high school. A secondary analysis of the National Longitudinal Training Study-2 (NLTS-2) data was conducted in this study. This study found that the majority of the middle and high school students with autism (77.4 percent) had received life skills training in school. Receipt of life skills training differed across students’ gender, age, diagnosis of intellectual disability, and functional mental skills. Students received life skills training in general education classrooms, special education classrooms, individual instruction, and community settings. Life skills training was needed for the majority of the high school leavers with autism (78 percent).

Dalgarn, J.  (2017).  The quiet discrimination of lowered expectations:  A study on the independent living needs of severely disabled individuals in Kansas.  ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Arkansas.  
ERIC Number: ED576438
ABSTRACT:  Increasing the independence of individuals with severe disabilities is of increasing concern to schools and federal agencies. Improving quality of life for high needs individuals with disabilities is an objective of transition programs, which allow consumers to adapt from one aspect of life to the next. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between variables (a) vocational assessment and exploration; (b) workplace readiness training; (c) independent living skills; and (d) self-advocacy and self-care and the independence level of individuals with severe disabilities residing and receiving their education within an institutionalized setting. Finally, this study will examine the efficacy of the Functional Independent Skills Handbook curriculum and assessment in addressing the independent living skills needs of individuals with severe disabilities in-residence in a state institution. Participants include adolescents with severe disabilities receiving services from the Special Purpose School at the Parsons State Hospital. The results obtained by this study may be of extreme use to educators, service providers, and policy makers in Kansas, as well as other states utilizing a similar institutionalization model for severely disabled individuals. The study yielded statistically significant results that a focused, leveled curriculum emphasizing (a) vocational assessment and exploration; (b) workplace readiness training; (c) independent living skills; and (d) self-advocacy and self-care can increase the independence level of individuals with severe disabilities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]


Barrio, B., Dunn, M., & Hsiao, Y-J.  (2016).  Do iPad applications help students with developmental disabilities improve life-readiness skills?  Canadian Journal of Action Research, 17(1), 51-75.  
ERIC Number: EJ1098203
ABSTRACT:  Students with developmental disabilities often struggle with life-readiness skills (e.g., literacy skills such as reading and writing, task completion, and communication), which also help prepare students for the workplace. Assistive technology tools offer these students a means to do better in these areas. In this action-research study, we provided students with developmental disabilities (N = 9) who were transitioning out of secondary school with iPad applications (apps) that could help them improve their life-readiness skills. The Common Core State Standards’ overall objective is students’ college and career readiness by the end of secondary school. While collecting qualitative and quantitative data across the 2012-2013 academic years, a group of educators worked with the students and their parents to help them learn and apply the iPad apps for life-readiness skills. The results indicated that all students improved in life-readiness skills. Ideas for future research as well as limitations of this study are also discussed.

Hsu, G-L., Hung, J-C., Hwang, W-Y., Hwang, W-Y., Li, Y-C., Li, Y-C., Tang, J-C., & Wei, C-H.  (2016).  Modifications of the one-more-than technique:  A comparison of two strategies for teaching purchasing skills to students with intellectual disability in Taiwan.  Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 51(2), 132-149.
ERIC Number: EJ1102803
ABSTRACT:  The demands of money-counting skills potentially limit individuals with intellectual disability (ID) to master the one-more-than technique, particularly in Taiwan, which requires high daily minimum living expense for supporting an individual’s daily life. Employing a multiple treatment design across price ranges and settings, this study compared effects of two approaches of the one-more-than technique on the independent payment for four male secondary school students with moderate ID. Results demonstrated that the approach using the mobile purchasing assistance system (MPAS approach), embedded with the one-more-than technique, was of greater benefit than simply using the traditional one-more-than technique (TOMT approach) to instruct students with inconsistency of money-counting skills to independently purchase goods costing high a level of price range, reaching the daily minimum living expense in local environment. Furthermore, the newly acquired skill was effectively maintained and generalized to four non-trained new environments for at least eight weeks after the removal of the MPAS intervention.

Tanner, E.M.  (2016).  Lifeskills program evaluation at Mammoth Heights Elementary School.  ProQuest LLC, Psy.D. Dissertation, University of Colorado at Denver.  
ERIC Number: ED570065
ABSTRACT:  This study is a program evaluation of the Life Skills Program at Mammoth Heights Elementary in the Douglas County School District. The overall goal of the Life Skills Program is to increase students’ independent and daily living skills through the teaching of communication, social-emotional skills and academic skills. Students in the Life Skills Program are divided into two groups: a high function group and a sensory group. The primary research question focuses on the effectiveness of the Program in meeting the needs of the students in the higher functioning group. Results indicated that although significant differences were not observed, the Program was generally effective in fostering progress towards social-emotional and communication for most of the students. Implications for the programming and future research are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]


Cakmak, S., & Cakmak, S.  (2015).  Teaching to intellectual disability individuals the shopping skill through iPad.  European Journal of Educational Research, 4(4), 177-183.  
ERIC Number: EJ1086010
Available in full-text at:  http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1086010.pdf.  
ABSTRACT:  Because of the importance of intellectual disability teenagers fulfilling the daily life skills by themselves, an animation that shows the intellectual disability and autistic high school students an interactive shopping skill by means of iPad was played and its effect on providing them with the independent shopping skill was analyzed. 3 intellectual disability and autistic students attending the Umit Kaplan Vocational Education Center that offers a High School-Level Training in Ankara have participated in the research in 2013-2014 School Year. The ages of the students range between 17-19 years. The dependent variable of the research is the participants’ levels of performing the shopping skills from a supermarket. The independent variable is, however, the animation practices that indicate the interactional shopping skills presented through iPad. The design of the research is the “multiple probe design across subjects” which is one of the single-subject designs.


Gardner, S., Wolfe, P.  (2013).  Use of video modeling and video prompting interventions for teaching daily living skills to individuals with autism spectrum disorders:  A review.  Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 38(2), 73-87.
ERIC Number: EJ1045100
ABSTRACT:  Identifying methods to increase the independent functioning of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is vital in enhancing their quality of life; teaching students with ASD daily living skills can foster independent functioning. This review examines interventions that implement video modeling and/or prompting to teach individuals with ASD daily living skills. The findings suggest that daily living skills can effectively be taught through technology-enhanced methods, with video prompting reported as being an effective intervention method and video modeling being somewhat effective at increasing skill acquisition for students with ASD. Future research must address the effect that various components of the interventions (e.g., model type, perspective, length of video, error correction procedures, prompting fading, voiceover, method of viewing the video) have on student performance.


Alberto, P.A., Dollar, C.A., Fredrick, L.D., & Luke, J.K.  (2012).  Using simultaneous prompting to teach independent living and leisure skills to adults with severe intellectual disabilities.  Research in Developmental Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 33(1), 189-195.
ERIC Number: EJ947565
ABSTRACT:  The acquisition of independent living and leisure skills enables adults to experience an enhanced quality of life by increasing competence, self-reliance, and the development of autonomy. This study examined the effectiveness of simultaneous prompting to teach behavior chains (i.e., independent living and leisure skills) to adults with SID individually in their home environments. Participants included two adults with SID receiving services from a not-for-profit agency that provides community-based services and supports to persons with disabilities. The results of this study are the first to indicate the effectiveness of simultaneous prompting to teach independent living and leisure skills to adults with SID using a one-on-one format in their home environment. Both participants learned three different skills within 12-28 sessions and maintained each skill 1, 2, and 4 weeks after mastery. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)

Maenner, M.J., Seltzer, M.M., & Smith, L.E.  (2012).  Developmental trajectories in adolescents and adults with autism:  The case of daily living skills.  Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 51(6), 622-631.  
ERIC Number: EJ967355
ABSTRACT:  Objective: This study aimed to investigate the longitudinal course of daily living skills in a large, community-based sample of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over a 10-year period. Method: Adolescents and adults with ASD (n = 397) were drawn from an ongoing, longitudinal study of individuals with ASD and their families. A comparison group of 167 individuals with Down syndrome (DS) were drawn from a linked longitudinal study. The Waisman Activities of Daily Living Scale was administered four times over a 10-year period. Results: We used latent growth curve modeling to examine change in daily living skills. Daily living skills improved for the individuals with ASD during adolescence and their early 20s, but plateaued during their late 20s. Having an intellectual disability was associated with lower initial levels of daily living skills and a slower change over time. Individuals with DS likewise gained daily living skills over time, but there was no significant curvature in the change. Conclusions: Future research should explore what environmental factors and interventions may be associated with continued gains in daily living skills for adults with ASD. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.)

Rodriguez, A.M.  (2012).  Experiences of adults with developmental disability and a teacher of mathematics in the money club.  ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of New Mexico.  
ERIC Number: ED545722
ABSTRACT:  In my experiences, students with Developmental Disability (DD) are routinely excluded from Algebra and other high-level mathematics courses. People with DD do not have the opportunity to learn Algebra, which may support the understanding and provide purpose for learning money and budgeting skills that, perhaps, could help them avoid financial difficulties as adults. The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of young adults with DD and me, their teacher researcher, about mathematics, finance, and self within a 6-week program of instruction titled “the Money Club.” This includes how adults with DD reason, apply, perceive, and solve applied mathematics problems in finance. Access to general education curriculum is not only a federally mandated law, but also a core interest to me as an educator. I want my students to learn what everyone else is learning, go places everyone else is going, and do things side by side with other people. Many people with DD do not learn algebra (even if the course title is Algebra). They will focus on basic skills, life skills, and non-skilled labor-intensive processes. I wanted people with DD to have access to higher mathematics and extend their life skills to include it. In high school, people with DD learn basic mathematics and life skills, which consist of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers; or as my peer teachers say, “working on their mathematics skills.” They are taught many of the things I offered in the Money Club at a topical level: saving money, overspending, balancing their personal budgets, and avoiding people who take advantage of them. The Money Club’s difference is that we used algebraic ways of thinking to accomplish these goals: Use of variables, function tables, graphs, matrices, and other higher order mathematics concepts and skills. We demonstrated exactly what happens mathematically when they do not balance their budget, spend too much, take out a bad loan, use a high interest credit card, go to the pawnshop, or invest their money. The Money Club provided a gateway to higher mathematics through an immediately interesting subject: Money. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]

Stone-MacDonald, A.  (2012).  Learning daily life and vocational skills in natural settings:  A Tanzanian model.  Journal of the International Association of Special Education, 13(1), 28-40.
ERIC Number: EJ987649
ABSTRACT:  At a special education school in Tanzania, children learn in natural settings using a functional curriculum that has been adapted to their local context. Children with developmental disabilities are supported in learning the skills and knowledge they need to participate in their families and the community. The school utilized funds of knowledge (Gonzalez, Moll, and Amanti, 2005) and cooperation between parents, teachers, and community members to design an appropriate curriculum. During an ethnographic case study, I observed how students with developmental disabilities could learn vocational and daily life skills in a natural environment at their school and successfully transfer those skills to multiple settings in their community. These strategies could be utilized in other countries, including the United States, in the same manner to support students with disabilities to learn the skills they need for home, school, and job success. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)


Evenhuis, H.M., Hilgenkamp, T.I.M., & van Wijck, R.  (2011).  (Instrumental) activities of daily living in older adults with intellectual disabilities.  Research in Developmental Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 32(5), 1977-1987.
ERIC Number: EJ928731
ABSTRACT:  Daily living skills are important to ageing adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of these skills in older adults with ID and to investigate the influence of gender, age, level of ID and mobility on these skills. Daily living skills were measured with the Barthel Index (for Activities of Daily Living, ADL) and the Lawton IADL scale (for Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, IADL) in 989 adults with ID aged 50 years and over living in community-based and institutional settings. Descriptives were presented by categories of gender, age, level of ID and mobility. Regression analysis was used to investigate the influence of these variables on total and item scores of ADL and IADL questionnaires. ADL and IADL scores in older adults with ID are comparable to those of vulnerable patient groups. Total ADL score was mainly determined by mobility, while total IADL score was mainly determined by level of ID. Of all 18 separate items of these questionnaires, 11 were determined more by mobility than level of ID. The Barthel Index and Lawton IADL scale are recommended for future use in research and clinical practice in this group. This study stresses the need to support mobility older adults with ID as much as possible, in order to optimalize independency in this group. (Contains 3 tables.)

Green, J.M., Hughes, E.M., & Ryan, J.B.  (2011).  The use of assistive technology to improve time management skills of a young adult with an intellectual disability.  Journal of Special Education Technology, 26(3), 13-20.  
ERIC Number: EJ1001789
ABSTRACT:  A growing literature base suggests the need for positive interventions to help individuals with intellectual disabilities improve their time management skills. Time management is a crucial area that must be addressed in the effort to equip adults with the skills necessary to achieve independence, success in employment, and improved quality of life. Lack of effective time management skills may hinder an individual’s ability to gain and maintain successful employment and to live independently. When the primary issue is time management, assistive technology (AT) may provide a simple and cost-effective intervention. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of a vibrating watch to affect the time management skills of a young adult female with an intellectual disability. Results indicate that the vibrating watch was an effective piece of AT that received a high satisfaction rating. Implications of these findings for current practice and the need for future research are discussed. (Contains 1 figure.)

Meyers, S.  (2011).  Life skills training through situated learning experiences:  An alternative instructional model.  International Journal of Special Education, 26(3), 142-149.  
ERIC Number: EJ959008
Available in full-text at:  http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ959008.pdf.
ABSTRACT:  This article examines the value of situated learning as an alternative to the traditional college course instructional approach for pre-service teachers. The situated learning mode of teaching immerses students in the actual setting, practicing the skills and concepts emphasized in the curriculum. Through a partnership with a college, community agency and public school, graduate students in the special education program developed and implemented a life skills curriculum for individuals with developmental disabilities, while learning essential principles of delivering instruction. The school aged students who participated in the study were from an urban, racially mixed public school district and they attended the program at the end of their regular school day. Analysis of data from student surveys and focus groups revealed the effectiveness of the situated learning model.


Ayres, K., Cihak, D.  (2010).  Computer- and video-based instruction of food-preparation skills: acquisition, generalization, and maintenance.  Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 48(3), 195-208.  
ERIC Number: EJ89039
ABSTRACT:  The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a computer-based video instruction (CBVI) program to teach life skills. Three middle school-aged students with intellectual disabilities were taught how to make a sandwich, use a microwave, and set the table with a CBVI software package. A multiple probe across behaviors design was used to evaluate for a functional relation between the software and skill acquisition. All students increased the percentage of steps completed in the correct order after receiving CBVI. During maintenance probes, the performance of all students deteriorated; after a single review session with CBVI, all students regained previous levels of performance, tentatively indicating a role of CBVI as a tool for reviewing previously mastered material. Results are discussed in terms of the use of CBVI for providing students sufficient learning trials on tasks that require the use of consumable products (e.g., food).

Bouck, E.C.  (2010).  Reports of life skills training for students with intellectual disabilities in and out of school.  Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54(12), 1093-1103.  
ERIC Number: EJ977944
ABSTRACT:  Background: Life skills can be critical to the success of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) in terms of postschool outcomes. Yet, research suggests a decreasing emphasis on the acquisition of life skills in school for students with ID, raising the question if students then receive training in these areas after graduation. Method: This study represented a secondary analysis of the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 data to understand the reported receipt of life skills instruction in school and out of school for individuals with mild and moderate/severe ID. Frequency distributions, significant tests and a t-test were used to understand receipt of life skills in and out of school for both individuals with mild and moderate/severe ID. Results: The results suggest low-reported receipt of life skills instruction/training in school and postschool for individuals with mild ID, few students with moderate/severe ID report receiving life skills training out of school, and receipt of life skills instruction in school is not related to receipt of life skills training/therapy after school by either individuals with mild ID or moderate/severe ID. Conclusions: Given the current educational policy situation (i.e. a predisposition towards inclusive general education placements for students with disabilities and participation in the accountability system for all students), educators who believe in the value of a life skills curriculum will need to be creative in its implementation and look towards transition plan and activities to provide students with the needed training. Regardless, teachers will need to rectify providing students with the academic skills they need to be successful on a general large-scale assessment with providing them with the life skills (e.g. independent living, daily living, financial) to be successful after school in employment and independent living. (Contains 2 tables.)


Alwell, M., & Cobb, B.  (2009).  Functional life skills curricular interventions for youth with disabilities:  A systematic review.  Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32(2), 82-93.  
ERIC Number: EJ848298
ABSTRACT:  The relationship between functional or life skills curricula (the intervention) and transition-related outcomes for secondary-aged youth with disabilities is explored in this systematic review. A total of 50 studies intervening with 482 youth with (largely) disability labels of moderate to severe mental retardation were reviewed. The findings of this review provide tentative support for the efficacy of the use of functional or life skills curricular interventions across educational environments, disability types, ages, and gender in promoting positive transition-related outcomes. These findings are discussed in terms of characteristic features of the literature set and competing trends in secondary education. Selected studies in a number of specific curricular areas are recommended. (Contains 1 table.)

Ayres, K.M., Maguire, A., & McClimon, D.  (2009).  Acquisition and generalization of chained tasks taught with computer based video instruction to children with autism.  Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 44(4), 493-508.  
ERIC Number: EJ883885
ABSTRACT:  Three elementary aged students with autism participated in an evaluation of computer based video instruction that targeted functional life skills. The effects of the software were analyzed in the context of a multiple probe design across and replicated across participants. This study represents a departure from more traditional video based instruction for individuals with autism because it combines video modeling as well as computer based simulation training in absence of any in-vivo instruction. All instruction took place on the computer and student’s performance in vivo was the primary dependent measure. The participants each mastered all the skills they were taught via the computer and generalized this to the natural environment. They maintained the skills after a two-week follow up. (Contains 1 table and 4 figures.)

Boyer, W., Croft, G., & Hett, G.  (2009).  Self-actualization:  The heart and soul of a potential-based life skills program for a child with multiple disabilities.  Early Childhood Education Journal, 37(1), 43-49.
ERIC Number: EJ847653
ABSTRACT:  Although every child with disabilities may come to self-actualization by different means and measurements it is, nevertheless, an important goal. The child with disabilities may be guided toward her goal of self-actualization by being encouraged to find her individual strengths and capacities, and by being assisted to successfully interact with her environment. This article explores the use of the scientific method to support the development of a potential-based program that has nurtured self-actualization and the joy of learning for a child with multiple disabilities and chronic illness. (Contains 1 table.)


Atkinson, J., Black, S., Capdeville, E., Chessell, K., Grover, J., Killion, M., Martin, J., Mathews, C., Moen, J., & Reynolds, P.  (2008).  State skill standards: Foods and nutrition.  Nevada Department of Education.  
ERIC Number: ED521972
ABSTRACT:  The mission of Foods and Nutrition Education is to prepare students for family life, community life and careers in the foods and nutrition fields by creating opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors needed to: (1) Analyze career paths within the foods and nutrition industry; (2) Examine factors that influence food choices; (3) Evaluate the nutritional needs of individuals and families in relation to health and wellness; (4) Integrate knowledge, skills and practices in sanitation and safety; (5) Employ kitchen resource management; (6) Apply knowledge, skills and practices of food preparation techniques; (7) Employ principles of meal management; (8) Make informed consumer choices; and (9) Achieve competence in workplace readiness, career development and lifelong learning. The Foods and Nutrition Standards were developed with state involvement from local education agencies. The standards apply to all students, regardless of age, gender, cultural or ethnic background, disabilities, aspirations, interests or motivations. The Foods and Nutrition Standards format consists of three levels: the content standard, the performance standard, and performance indicators. The Foods and Nutrition Standards include competency-based, conceptual and process perspectives. The content standard provides a broad description to assist individuals in understanding the content of the area. This standard is designed to provide a general description and overall direction.

Cey, R., Sobsey, D., & Wilgosh, L.  (2008).  Life management of post-secondary students with disabilities.  Developmental Disabilities Bulletin, 36(1-2), 199-224.
ERIC Number: EJ828957
Available in full-text at:  http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ828957.pdf.
ABSTRACT:  The paper constitutes an examination of life management of post-secondary students with disabilities. Eight individuals, all in attendance at a Western-Canadian university, were interviewed. The purpose was to explore life management issues and transformational outcomes of living with a disability as reported by individuals with disabilities; and whether these are, in any way, comparable to issues and transformational outcomes reported by parents living with children who have disabilities. Scorgie, Wilgosh, and McDonald (1996) had identified nine themes, through in-depth interviews, related to parent effective life management strategies, personal qualities, and transformational outcomes from parenting children with disabilities. For the post-secondary students, thematic analysis of the interview data yielded five life-management themes, one related directly to transformational outcomes of living with disabilities.

Mack, P., & Thomas, J.  (2008).  Picture this....  Adults Learning, 19(9), 26-27.  
ERIC Number: EJ800072
ABSTRACT:  Through About Us service, the Sussex County Council is providing more innovative and more creative ways of engaging and supporting adults with learning disabilities. About Us provides nationally accredited life-skill and vocational training in a wide range of subjects using an innovative approach involving pictorial worksheets, witness statements, and photographs for evidencing. Beginning in 2004, About Us was initially funded by the European Social Fund, through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), to provide “wider access and participation in lifelong learning for adults with learning disabilities.” This article describes in detail the concept of About Us.

Documents from the National Library of Medicine PubMed search at www.pubmed.com are listed below:


Bartlett, W., Bouck, E.C., & Satsangi, R.  (2017).  Supporting grocery shopping for students with intellectual disability:  A preliminary study.  Disability and Rehabilitation Assistive Technology, 12(6), 605-613.
PMID: 27377352
ABSTRACT:  PURPOSE: Decades of research exist supporting various types of self-operating prompting systems, including picture, audio and video to help students with disabilities acquire skills, especially to teach life skills. While many facets of life skills are important to target for instruction for secondary students with intellectual disability, one receiving declining attention is grocery shopping. METHOD: Using a single subject alternating treatment design with two high school students with intellectual disability, the authors analyzed the impact of three self-operating prompts systems - picture, audio and video - on students’ successful selection of grocery items, independence in completing the task (i.e., percent of steps not prompted), and task completion time. RESULTS: Results showed video prompting to be most successful prompting system for both students for selecting grocery items. However, independence and task completion time varied significantly for the students across the prompting systems. CONCLUSIONS: It is important to match the correct prompting system to individual students’ skills, needs and preference, but also to balance efficiency - both for educators and students. Implications for Rehabilitation Video prompting is an effective instructional strategy, but must be considered in light of time and skill to create the video prompts as well as social stigmatization of use in natural community settings. It is important to match the correct prompting system to each student, but also to balance efficiency - both for educators and students.


Fellin, M., Jones-Galley, K., King, G., Kingsnorth, S., McPherson, A., Pinto, M., Savage, D., & Timbrell, N.  (2016).  Residential immersive life skills programs for youth with physical disabilities:  A pilot study of program opportunities, intervention strategies, and youth experiences.  Research in Developmental Disabilities, 55, 242-55.
PMID: 27153504  
ABSTRACT:  PURPOSE: A pilot study was conducted to assess correspondence among measures of  program characteristics (opportunities and intervention strategies) and youth  experiences in a range of activity settings in a residential immersive life  skills (RILS) program.  METHOD: Opportunities and intervention strategies were assessed in 18 activity settings in the 21-day program. On two occasions each, four youth completed a measure of experiences and took part in onsite interviews.  RESULTS: There was good convergence between observed program opportunities and the use of socially-mediated, teaching/learning, and non-intrusive strategies.  Youth experiences of social interaction, choice, and personal growth were further informed by interview information. There was substantial convergence between program characteristics and youth experiences, indicating the program was provided and experienced as intended.  CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study indicated the fidelity of the program and the feasibility of using the measures in a future study. The preliminary findings suggest that RILS programs may provide a favorable environment for developmental   experiences concerning social interaction, autonomy, and personal growth.  

Gorter, J.W., King, G., Kingsnorth, S., McPherson, A.C., & Rudzik, A.  (2016).  Optimizing life success through residential immersive life skills programs for youth with disabilities:  Study protocol of a mixed-methods, prospective, comparative cohort study.  BMC Pediatrics, 16(1), 153.
PMID: 27600167
Available in full-text at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5012050/pdf/12887_2016_Article_694.pdf.  
ABSTRACT:  BACKGROUND: Young people with disabilities often lag behind their typically developing peers in the achievement of adult roles, which has been attributed to a lack of opportunities to develop critical life skills. Residential Immersive Life Skills (RILS) programs provide situated learning opportunities to develop life skills alongside peers and away from home in real-world settings. Retrospective research suggests that attending RILS programs is a transformative experience that empowers youth, provides parental hope, and increases service provider expertise. However, prospective, comparative research is needed to determine longer term benefits of these programs on youth life trajectories, in addition to exploring the program features and participant experiences that optimize program success. This protocol describes a 5-year, multi-site prospective study examining the effects of RILS programs for youth with disabilities. METHODS: The study involves RILS programs at three sites in Ontario, Canada. Cohorts of treatment and control groups will receive the study protocol over 3 successive years. Thirty English-speaking participants aged 14-21 years with a child-onset disability and the cognitive capacity to engage in goal setting will  be recruited every year for 3 years in the following groups: youth attending a RILS program (Group A); a deferred RILS control group of youth (Group B); a control group of youth attending a non-residential life skills program (Group C); and a control group matched on age, diagnoses, and cognitive capacity not receiving any life skills intervention (Group D). All participants will complete measures of self-determination and self-efficacy at four time points. Program opportunities and experiences will also be assessed in-the-moment at the RILS programs. Qualitative interviews pre-program and at 3- and 12-months post-program will be undertaken with a sub-sample of youth and parents to explore their expectations and experiences. DISCUSSION: This study will address key gaps in the literature pertaining to the long-term impact of RILS programs and the role of immersive environments in shaping youth outcomes and experiences. Our research program aims to uncover transferable processes and essential features by which RILS programs have their effects on attitudes, cognitions, and behaviour. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial registration number on clinicaltrials.gov is NCT02753452 (retrospectively registered 26 April 2016). Trial sponsor: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Gorter, J.W., King, G., Kingsnorth, S., McPherson, A.C., Morrison, A., & Rudzik, A.  (2016).  “Ready to take on the world”: Experiences and understandings of independence after attending residential immersive life skills programs for youth with physical disabilities.  Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 22, 1-10.
PMID: 27003564
ABSTRACT:  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Life skills programs aim to equip youth with physical disabilities with the foundational skills required for adulthood. This study explored the perceived impact of residential immersive life skills (RILS) programs on the lives of participants. METHODS: Qualitative interviews were conducted with alumni of three RILS programs. Data were thematically analyzed using a phenomenological approach. RESULTS: Themes identified from fourteen interviews were: (1) enhancing higher-order skills; (2) new notions of independence; and (3) identity change, empowerment, and advocacy. Opportunities to learn and practice a variety of skills in a structured, facilitative environment led to increased competence and motivation to engage in independent activities. Engaging with peers undergoing similar experiences also helped some youth integrate disability into their identity. CONCLUSIONS: Providing youth with physical disabilities opportunities to engage with others sharing similar experiences and challenges is essential. The study contributes toward the development of evidence-based best practices for life skills programs.


Glencross-Eimantas, T., Gorter, J.W., Isihi, A.M., Jones-Galley, K., King, G., Kingsnorth, S., McPherson, A., Morrison, A., & Stewart, D.  (2015).  Residential immersive life skills programs for youth with disabilities:  Service providers’ perceptions of change processes.  Disability and Rehabilitation, 1, 1-11.
PMID: 25879469
ABSTRACT:  BACKGROUND: Residential immersive life skills (RILS) programs are designed to equip youth with physical disabilities with the foundational life skills required to assume adult roles. The objective was to determine RILS service providers’ perceptions of the active ingredients of the intervention change process. METHODS: Thirty-seven service providers from various disciplines completed measures to assess expertise status and participated in qualitative interviews. Qualitative themes were derived, and similarities and differences in themes were identified for blinded groups of novices, intermediates, and experts. RESULTS: The three main themes, reflecting change processes, were: (a) creating a supportive program atmosphere with multiple opportunities for learning, (b) using strategies to support, encourage, and engage youth, and (c) intentionally fostering youth experiences of skill development, social interaction, and pride in accomplishment. In contrast to the novices, experts displayed a more holistic perspective and paid attention to higher-order issues such as providing opportunities and enabling youth. CONCLUSION: The findings indicate how RILS service providers work to create a program atmosphere and employ strategies to intentionally foster particular youth experiences. The findings explicate service providers’ theories of practice, the intentional design of RILS program environments to bring about client change, and the value of service provider expertise. Implications for Rehabilitation Service  providers of youth independence-oriented life skills programs can intentionally create a learning-oriented and supportive program atmosphere by using non-directive, coaching/guiding, and engagement strategies Youth experiences of skill development, shared experience with others, and pride in accomplishment can be cultivated by providing a range of learning opportunities, including choice making, problem-solving, and skill mastery Compared to more novice service providers, experts discussed managing the program conditions and context, creating opportunities for choice and new experiences, and adopting a facilitating and enabling role (coaching and capitalizing on teachable moments).

Jones-Galley, K., King, G., Kingsnorth, S., & McPherson, A.  (2015).  A retrospective study of past graduates of a residential life skills program for youth with physical disabilities.  Child: Care, Health, and Development, 41(3), 374-83.
PMID: 25251776  
ABSTRACT:  BACKGROUND: Young people with physical disabilities experience issues regarding employment, schooling, independent living and establishing meaningful personal relationships. A lack of life skills has been recognized as an important factor contributing to this lag. The Independence Program (TIP) is a short-term residential life skills program that aims to equip youth with the foundational life skills required to assume adult roles. This study retrospectively examined the achievements, skills acquired and program attributions of youth and young adults who took part in this three-week immersive teen independence program over a 20-year period. METHODS: A total of 162 past graduates were invited to take part, with 78 doing so (a 48 percent response rate). These past graduates completed an online survey assessing objective outcomes such as employment and independent living; subjective outcomes such as feeling in control and living meaningful lives; and reflections on skills acquired, opportunities experienced and attributions to TIP. RESULTS: The majority of respondents were female (71 percent), had a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (55 percent) and ranged from 20 to 35 years of age (92 percent). Despite a range of outcomes related to the achievement of adult roles, high levels of life satisfaction and overall quality of life were reported. Nearly every respondent reported using the skills they learned at the program in their lives afterwards and a high percentage attributed the acquisition and consolidation of core life skills to participating in this intensive immersive program. CONCLUSIONS: Although causality cannot be assumed, respondents reflected very positively on the opportunities provided by TIP to develop their independent living and life skills, extend their social networks and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Such findings validate the importance of targeted skill development to assist young people with physical disabilities in attaining their life goals and encourage focused investigations of key features in program design.


Curran, C.J., Keenan, S., King, G., & McPherson, A.  (2014).  Effectiveness of experiential life skills coaching for youth with a disability.  Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 34(2), 119-31.
PMID: 24168108  
ABSTRACT:  AIMS: There is little empirical evidence about the effectiveness of life skills programs in preparing youth with disabilities for successful participation in adult life. This retrospective study examined the effectiveness of an experiential life skills coaching intervention. METHODS: Using Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) as outcome measures, we compared the effectiveness of group-based and one-to-one interventions on goal attainment, and explored whether this was affected by gender or goal domain. RESULTS: We found that goal attainment was statistically and clinically significant for all genders and intervention formats. No differences in goal attainment were found between group and one-to-one interventions. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide evidence for the effectiveness of goal-focused, community-based experiential life skills interventions to support skill development in youth with a disability and help them prepare for transition to adult life.


Casey, J., Drysdale, J., & Porter-Armstrong, A.  (2008).  Effectiveness of training on the community skills of children with intellectual disabilities.  Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 15(4), 247-55.
PMID: 18855229  
ABSTRACT:  BACKGROUND: Children with intellectual disabilities often have difficulties in daily tasks, requiring training to increase functional independence. This study measured the effectiveness of community skills training in a telephone task and a shopping task, and examined if community-based training was more effective than classroom-based training. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A randomized control trial with 40 children aged 9-11 years was completed. Intervention groups attended an eight-week training program; the control group received no treatment. One intervention group practiced skills in local shops. All participants were assessed before and after treatment in a shopping task and telephone task, using task analysis methodology. RESULTS: Data showed a highly statistically significant difference between intervention and control groups in the shopping task (p=0.007); however, there was no significant difference between classroom and classroom supplemented by community-based learning in the shopping task. There was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups in the telephone task. CONCLUSION: Results suggested that skills training was effective in one of the skill areas with this client group. Further research is required to determine if community-based training is more effective than classroom-based learning.


Healy, H., Kingsnorth, S., & Macarthur, C.  (2007).  Preparing for adulthood:  A systematic review of life skill programs for youth with physical disabilities.  The Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(4), 323-32.
PMID: 17875457  
ABSTRACT:  PURPOSE: With advances in health care, an increasing number of youth with physical disabilities are surviving into adulthood. For youth to reach their full potential, a number of critical life skills must be learned. Specific learning opportunities are important as youth with physical disabilities may be limited in the life experiences necessary to acquire these skills. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of life skill programs emphasizing independent functioning in preparation for adulthood among youth with physical disabilities. METHODS: A comprehensive search of electronic databases from 1985 to 2006 was undertaken to identify empirical studies examining the effectiveness of life skill programs for youth and young adults with acquired and congenital physical disabilities. Eligible studies were those with a comparison group and that targeted life skills (as defined by the World Health Organization). RESULTS: Six studies met the inclusion criteria. All used a multi-component group intervention containing a real-world or role-playing experiential component. Five of the six studies demonstrated short-term improvements in targeted life skills.  Conclusions are limited because of heterogeneity of interventions, skill focus, disabilities, and outcome measures with respect to the effectiveness of individual components of the programs. CONCLUSION: With more youth with physical disabilities surviving into adulthood, there is a need to ensure that they have the skills to successfully manage life demands. There are relatively few rigorously designed, published studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of life skill programs. Large-sample, randomized, controlled studies are needed.

Quick Looks

Online Resources Related to Life Skills Training and Functional Skills

The following are a selection of resources related to life skills training and teaching functional independence:

Accessing Home and Community-Based Services: A Guide for Self-Advocates

The Arc of the United States – National/State Chapters for Developmental Disabilities
Toll Free:  800/433-5255, 202/534-3700
Fact Sheets:  www.thearc.org/what-we-do/resources/fact-sheets.  

Cents and Sensibility – A Guide to Money Management for People with Disabilities

Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU)
The ILRU program is a national center for information, training, research, and technical assistance in independent living.
Phone:  713/520-0232 (V/TTY)
Directory of Centers for Independent Living (CILs):  www.ilru.org/projects/cil-net/cil-center-and-association-directory.  

Let’s Get Cooking:  Teaching Meal Preparation Skills to Students with Visual Impairments and Additional Disabilities from Perkins School for the Blind eLearning

MyChild at CerebralPalsy.org – Life Skills

National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
Toll Free:  877/525-3400 (V/TTY), 703/525-3406 (V), 703/525-4153 (TTY)

Understanding Your Child’s Trouble with Organization and Time Management from Understood

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About reSearch:

reSearch is a new information product from the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC). Each issue is based on real-world queries received by our information specialists from researchers, educators, and rehabilitation professionals around the world.

We search several sources both in-house and online, to fill these requests including:

We hope you find these reSearch briefs informative in your own research.

- NARIC Information and Media Team