Teaching teens self-care is a vital skill for adult living. September is Self-Care Awareness Month and a good time to teach teens with special needs how to take care of themselves. Self-Care involves a variety of skills young people need to live healthy lives and understanding the basics of those skills can be—literally—life-saving.
Increasing Awareness of Self-Care
Self-Care Awareness starts with that very awareness that self-care is necessary. Many teens, especially those with special needs, are used to their parent or guardian taking charge of their care needs or having that teen belief that they are invincible and don’t need self-care. Recognizing that healthiness begins with regular self-care can be a revelation for some young people and providing them with the knowledge of what that self-care entails can be vitally useful.
Ideas for Self-Care Lessons
The free lesson provided here gives students the ten basics of self-care. (For example, don’t drink and drive, exercise, eat well, stay hydrated, etc.) You can build on those basics by allowing students to research the benefits of one of those ten basics, or have them create a poster defining that self-care rule. Let students form groups to create a public service announcement about the benefits of sleep, or exercise, or whatever.
Next, students are introduced to basic self-maintenance. How often should they change their toothbrush? When should they test their blood-pressure, or have their teeth cleaned, or get a flu shot?
Finally, students are quizzed on this information to test for comprehension.
For More Information
This lesson comes from Daily Living Skill’s Staying Healthy workbook. Other lessons in this book include a wide range of topics including what medications belong in your medicine cabinet, using websites for self-diagnosis, how to treat sprains and bumps, special diets, when to call 911, and resources for mental and physical health emergencies. Like all the books in this series, these lessons meet federal guidelines for transition services and Indicator 13 requirements for teens transitioning into adult life.
If you’d like to look at this or other books, go here.