Independent Living & Pre-Employment

Independent Living

Many young adults, not just young adults on the Autism Spectrum, need to be taught specific life skills before they are ready to live on their own. Students with an Individualized Education Program may learn some of these skills at school. Parents may also help teach daily living skills by assigning chores and helping manage a bank account.

Skills Students Need to Live on their Own

  • Managing money
    Paying the bills (rent, utilities, food, etc.), budgeting for expenses, using an ATM, timely depositing paychecks and benefits checks
  • Sleeping
    Determining when to go to bed, when to wake up so as not to be late for work or school
  • Cooking and eating
    Purchasing groceries, preparing food items, ordering take-out;
  • Staying healthy
    Taking medications, maintaining good hygiene, maintaining a balanced diet, exercising, sleeping, etc.
  • Taking care of household chores
    Cleaning the house, cleaning, folding, and putting away the laundry, doing the dishes, taking out the trash, etc.
  • Getting places
    Arranging for transportation to school, work, doctor’s appointments, social events, etc.
  • Managing free time
  • Practicing good social skills
    Getting along with neighbors, co-workers, grocery store clerks, etc.
  • Staying safe
    Locking doors, turning off the burners/oven, having and knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, replacing batteries in smoke detectors, etc.


Workplace readiness traits describe a number of commonly expected skills that employers seek from most employees and are necessary for any job. These skills can also be refered to as soft skills, employability skills, or job readiness skills.

Workplace Readiness Skills

  • Communication
  • Positive attitude
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Talking/writing
  • Cooperation
  • Active listening
  • Decision making
  • Conflict resolution
  • Body Language
  • Empathy
  • Professionalism
  • Good manners
  • Supporting others
  • Respectful