Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Life Skills and Independence

We have been taking small steps to teach Kai life skills and prepare him for being more independent.

For a couple of years now, I have had him make Mom's coffee on weekends when he wakes up before she does. He also has been responsible for taking out the garbage and recycling.

Last spring, we taught him how to do the laundry.

Since then, he has been doing his own laundry every week. It is one of his Sunday chores to put his dirty laundry for the week into the washing machine, then switch over to the dryer, and finally fold or hang the clean clothes and put them away.

The past few weekends, I have had him help me while I make breakfast.

Here he is stirring the batter for crepes...

And slicing fruit...

And putting the fruit into the crepes...

I'd like to have him to do in the kitchen, perhaps being able to prepare and cook some easy dishes on his own.

We have also had him shovel the snow on occasion from our driveway and walkway.

Looks like it will be a good winter for shoveling.

With Kai now more than halfway through his freshman year of high school, we have been thinking more and more about his future and life after high school. We don't know whether he will be able to go on to college. We don't know what type of job he will be able to get. But we at least want to prepare him for the basic skills he will need to live on his own and be less reliant on others.


  1. It is a good thing for Kai. Hopefully, Kai will develop a real desire for a future profession. It is that passion which will drive a person to learn everything about a subject or marketable skill which may provide a good living.

    There are some professions which are primarily done at home as a free agent. I used to know a man who worked from home alone and only ventured out to deliver his finished products. He was a medical transcriptionist. He would pick up the work, and deliver it within the deadline. He was an independent contractor to several medical practices. He was only doing it part time (he also worked a different full time job) and he still averaged $40,000 a year. I don’t know about the profession now, this was over 15 years ago. However, there are still such type jobs. In the SF Bay Area, independent traveling notaries earn up to $10,000 a month, depending how much they hustle and the extent of their networks (usually worked with escrow companies). My elder sister did that part time for a little while last year. She averaged over $4,000 a month...part time. Developing a home operated business can be viable.

    I don’t know of Kai’s strengths and weaknesses, but, in general, many of the weaknesses can be mitigated by concentrating on the strengths which can be turned into a career.

    I have three nephews who operate from home or are self employed. Two of the three hardly interact with others, just through calculations or overviewing and managing systems on a computer at home. All three make good money, while one has made a substantial amount.

    If Kai likes math, there are insurance actuaries, of whom make great money, and who often work independently. There are many other opportunities for people who like to work alone at home.

    If Kai likes English and is willing to learn a particular field, there is technical writing. Or, as I had previously mentioned, medical transcriptionist...or, even a court transcriptionist. He would need but learn the shorthand used by in-court transcribers, and he would convert it to English. Decent money may be earned by people operating independently...even enough to provide for their own retirements...of course, coupled with controlled spending and prudent early investing.

    The two main components to success in life are directed drive and deferred gratification. There is actually a fairly famous young man from Reno. He is Autistic. He started writing poetry. I learned of his writing, and I had corresponded with him a couple of times, about ten years ago...just as he was beginning (The Autistic Poet). He went on to win some awards in poetry and he is now traveling the country as a motivational speaker. He would sometimes suffer emotional meltdowns, even now, but he would use those to write and speak about.

    He turned a former weakness into fuel for his future. He is also on YouTube sometimes.

    If Kai likes to concentrate on one specific area without much interpersonal contact, then self employment could be a great match for him...especially if he is a home body. So much can be done from home, or remotely for companies, that interpersonal frustrations can be greatly limited, and he could be very happy concentrating on his developed strength.

    I apologize if I seem either condescending or hopelessly optimistic. I don’t know enough about your situation to be specific. However, I know that so long as a person is working towards a viable dream, he is happy deep inside. And, so long as he can earn enough to live independently for life, he will remain happy for life. The simple pleasures in life are the richest and most worthwhile.

    It all starts out with that dream for better, the will to defer short term pleasures for the greater long term ones, and to never give up. With these three, happiness is assured (so long as it is a realistic and financially viable path).

    1. A job that has minimal interpersonal contact seems a good match, at least as things stand now. Some type of self employment could be good though even with those a person would need to interact with others enough to get hired. In terms of his skills, it would not be in writing... we are trying to think of areas that could leverage his creativity... perhaps something in film editing though he would have to learn the skills to do that. The Autistic Poet could be a good role model for Kai.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Shiroi.

  2. I just had Alex start helping me with the laundry this week. He already loves to put the dirty clothes in the hamper, so I thought we would do the next step of putting it in the washer!

    When did Kai get so tall and thin??? Wow! Glad things are going well.

    1. Betsy! Good to hear from you!

      That's great the Alex is helping you with the laundry. Hope he will keep it up.

      Kai really shot up in the past 8-10 months. He's almost as tall as me now! Not a little boy anymore...


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