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10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills
Posted on Tuesday, November 06 @ 12:26:37 EST by
WrongPlanet Tips
Arman Khodai
Living on your own might be something that you dream of achieving someday, but at the same time, the thought can be scary. You might even think it is impossible that you will live on your own. First, you need an income, and then after that you need the survival skills and street smarts to take care of yourself without anyone there to support you.

This guide will help prepare you for that transition so that someday you can live independently. This guide is not meant to be comprehensive but rather to offer you a few suggestions to help you along the way.

Step 1: Create a support network—We need people to be there for us and to also be honest with us and tell us how we can improve ourselves. Preferably, this network will extend beyond family members and include at least one close friend that you trust. Ultimately, when you are living on your own, you might encounter many obstacles you never thought of, especially obstacles of a social nature, and you will want someone there to be supportive of you and to help you as you navigate a life of independence.

Step 2: Master your weaknesses: It is a good idea to try and be aware of your weaknesses. If possible, have your close friend tell you what they feel are your biggest weaknesses. It is also good to know your strengths, but it is your weaknesses that you need to work on. For instance, you might get very focused on playing video games for hours, maybe days at a time. While it is okay to play video games, playing them for days at a time when trying to live on your own can lead to you losing your job and also your house. So, it is important that you recognize your weaknesses and do your best to work with them.

Step 3: Learn to cook: Have someone teach you how to cook. If you have no desire to ever cook, invest in a microwave. However, it should be noted, that it is probably healthier to try and eat some homemade meals rather than meals that have been processed and are heated in the microwaved.

Step 4: Learn to balance your money: Have someone work with you to set a budget and learn to balance your finances. Set money aside for emergencies and be sure to pay your rent and bills on time.

Step 5: Learn to balance your schedule: It is important to learn how to do multiple things in a day. You need to be flexible and willing to schedule time for activities, work, and social engagements.

Step 6: Get involved in the community: Maybe you don’t like going out and meeting people. Perhaps you were bullied in school. But, it is still important to try and meet people and go outside your comfort zone.

Step 7: Master some form of transportation—Either learn to drive or figure out how to use the public transportation system. If you are living on your own, you will need to be able to effectively get around town.

Step 8: Learn to be assertive—When you are on your own, your parents will no longer be able to stand up for you. Being assertive doesn’t mean fighting back or having attitude, but it does mean standing up for yourself and not allowing people to walk all over you.

Step 9: Live a healthy lifestyle—Exercise and try to eat healthy. Also, maintain your hygiene or you might find yourself out of a job.

Step 10: Follow your dreams and make them come true—Look through the newspapers and online and find that apartment or house that you desire to live in. Decide that you are going to move out and make it happen. And, if your parents try to talk you out of it, don’t listen to them; they just worry about all. Ultimately, living on your own is something that you have to make happen for yourself. So, decide that is what you want and don’t allow anything to deter you from your goal.

Arman Khodaei is a 26 year old individual with Asperger's living in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Find out more on his site, Empower Autism


               


 
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Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by XenAJD Friday, December 14 @ 23:54:19 EST
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This was a great article. I would just say that you should be careful who you trust, with money particularly (and things of expense). I think most of us can identify with problems of being -too- empathetic or feeling -too- trusting. For me, learning to live on my own was figuring out how to be trust people with having them abuse said trust. Lending money is a personal decision but before you lend the money, ask yourself if you would be financially okay if you did not receive the money back. Another thing I would say is that while you might never stop worrying about things, you can take comfort in the knowledge that even the grandest plans happened one step at-a-time. You can't go faster than the present, so there's no reason to stress about what may or may not happen in the future, so long as you have a direction. As long as you keep a general plan, stick to it (/change it) and try your best to follow it, don't stress about "What if this doesn't happen?" or "What if I don't get this job?", "What if I fail?" This all drawn from self-doubt. Don't let worrying keep you chained to the ground; fly.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by queensamaria Wednesday, December 12 @ 21:00:50 EST
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Those are some good tips, because I'm not doing a very good job being independent.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by vk2goh Wednesday, December 05 @ 21:45:38 EST
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How about learning to trust ? that's something that some people struggle with cause they can't identify who their friends and enemies are.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by Keon Monday, January 28 @ 13:47:52 EST
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These are great tips, especially the last one. People often say "Oh, you can't do that" or "you shouldn't do that". But I find that I work best when I just listen to myself and tune everyone else out. As far as moving out, I feel like it's necessary in order for me to have my own life. Hopefully I'll be able to move out soon as well as apply the remaining steps in order to have a fruitful and happy life.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by Ettina Saturday, December 15 @ 07:38:14 EST
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Kind of disappointing - it's all 'learn how to do X' without trying to teach us X or tell us how to learn X. For example, how does someone with severe executive dysfunction balance a schedule? Just telling me I need to do that is not helpful if I have no clue how to do it.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by Roxas_XIII Tuesday, November 06 @ 14:50:53 EST
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Maybe so, but sometimes you just need it listed out. I'm somewhat socially ok, since I was diagnosed early in life and had a chance to take advantage of different social skills therapies, etc. Also, I tend to be quite extroverted with the friends I do have. All said, I really want to make a name for myself in my own right, and these are good goals to work for as a means to that end. Thanks for posting this.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by Magnanimous Tuesday, November 06 @ 15:41:34 EST
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Getting a steady source of income and a stable home is important... yes. But the social stuff? Optional. Completely optional. Just because mundies are subject to the constant propaganda that they have to be a well-oiled, socially functional part of the machine does not by any means indicate that we need to follow suit... and an Aut-Kin who does not feel the need to socialise should not be thought less of for it. The only reason for us to go outside our comfort zones is simply because life will push us there sometimes, and practice helps us deal with it quickly and efficiently.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by omegatyrant Tuesday, November 06 @ 17:07:53 EST
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No offense, but this sounds like the same knee-jerk "advice" that any pseudo-therapist will give you. Let's face it, Asperger's is not something that you can just flip on and off like a light switch. But judging from the tone of this article, it seems as though this person feels that following this advice is a simple as counting to three. If things were this simple, you would see many more Asperger's sufferers overcoming their difficulties and making a good life for themselves. But do you see this in the real world? Instead of this trite advice, why not post something that gives examples of Asperger's sufferers who have made something of themselves, and explain exactly HOW they overcame their difficulties to live a successful life. Maybe some of us who are still struggling can look at those examples and learn from them. I might add, I am not talking about those who are "suspected" of having Asperger's, like Jefferson, Einstein, etc. I'm talking about people who are living right now, who know they have AS, and are doing a great job regardless. I'd like to see an article like that that gives five examples. Can we even name five in this day and age? I can only really think of Temple Grandin off the top of my head, but perhaps other commenters can chime in. In addition, I'd like to share my own piece of advice that has really worked for me. Step 11) Research the customs and cultures of various countries around the world, and try to decide for yourself which ones would be most receptive/friendly to people with AS. I have lived in China for 4 years, and in Japan for 2, and I have found that I have been treated much better and accepted more by my peers in those countries. Of course, this will only work if you have the funds/resources to travel in the first place, but if you do, it is well worth the investment. One last bone I have to pick with this article is how the author does not give a whole lot of detail when he talks about the various steps to solve the problems Asperger's sufferers will face before living independently. For example, "Step 6: Get involved in the community: Maybe you don't like going out and meeting people. Perhaps you were bullied in school. But, it is still important to try and meet people and go outside your comfort zone." Oh, if only things were that simple. In a perfect NT world with no flaws and where everyone is happy and smiley, Aspies wouldn't have a problem going out and socializing. The problem is, in the real world, with real people, despite our intentions and desires to socialize, most Aspies are still ostracized and excluded from many day to day activities. You can have the social skills of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, but if no one is interested in meeting you halfway in conversation, you are not going to get very far. No matter what we learn from others or what we tell ourselves, socializing is HARD for Aspies. Instead of just saying something simple like "Learn Social Skills...NOW" how about you give us some examples of what it is we can do to interact better with people? Furthermore, Mr. Author Man, you seem like a successful person. How about you share some of YOUR secrets and tell us how you got to be at the level of serene comfort you are at right now? I know you probably had very good intentions when you wrote this article, but I will tell you, you could have done a lot better. Your suggestions comes across as being over-simplisitc, and even at times condescending to us Aspies who have been struggling for many years, and still aren't quite sure what to do.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by ArunaAdvaney Monday, January 14 @ 14:34:58 EST
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Where's my comment? I just posted a whole paragraph, and it disappeared.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by ArunaAdvaney Monday, January 14 @ 14:30:27 EST
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I don't understand how we can get started when I'm constantly barred from employment. All that is available to me is retail. Every time I fill out an online job application, the assessment test bars me from an interview. I cannot pass the assessment test because I don't know how to answer the 200 questions that conflict with my personality. Furthermore, I've been told by my job coach to not tell employers about my ASD. Not being able to use my explanation feels like another barrier to employment. Does anyone else find themselves barred from employment due to personality conflicts with the system?



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by infilove Tuesday, March 12 @ 22:37:19 EDT
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I think this advice is okay but I think this is all stuff us aspies know all ready. Infact I think us aspies would probably be better at budgeting money then many NTs. I think the best advice woud be learning how to find and keep a job, and how to handle stress on the job and really learning all the possible advice within this parimeter. Maybe a fallow up topic that can really get into how we can be successful on a job. This is something I wish I can learn more about.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by Trencher93 Tuesday, November 06 @ 13:56:35 EST
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11. Become independently wealthy. You may encounter unexpected financial situations in life. Seriously, why post this trite non-advice? Everyone knows what they need to do. The hard part is actually doing it successfully.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by paddy26 Tuesday, November 06 @ 19:05:25 EST
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I've been living in my own place for a few years now and all that advice is really great. I would add learning about food shopping and building a good relationship with trades people(plumbers, electricians etc).



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by lostgirl1986 Saturday, December 15 @ 21:22:00 EST
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Very good article. Now the problem for me is how to get a job and more importantly how to keep a job without having a breakdown, quitting and having to move back in with the parents.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by Raj2442 Sunday, December 16 @ 07:08:14 EST
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While this is very helpful, I honestly think this isn't really for someone with Asperger's or Autism. This article is really for anyone who wants to become independent.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by gaucheNproud Thursday, November 22 @ 19:38:50 EST
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am I the only one who thinks the unfortunate framing of the door to look like the guy is Alfalfa from the Our Gang Comedies?



taz3.com (Score: 1)
by taz3com Saturday, November 10 @ 06:21:17 EST
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like Adam said I cannot believe that people able to make $6090 in four weeks on the internet. have you read this web page <a href="http://www.taz3.com"title='"http://www.taz3.com"'> http://www.taz3.com</a> [www.taz3.com"]



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by OJani Thursday, November 15 @ 12:24:41 EST
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I believe sometimes a short clear-cut advice can help more than long-winded essays. You can find lots of resources on the improvement of specific areas on the internet and here on Wrong Planet. The author does not states you have to learn to socialize, btw. You have to work on your weaknesses and you are advised to get involved in the community (other people on the spectrum), while recognizing your strengths that you can build on.



Re: 10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills (Score: 1)
by Vion Saturday, November 24 @ 22:34:11 EST
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From dependent to interdependent every step of the way the illusionary ideal of independence will hault your progress.


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