Functional Goals for People with Developmental Disabilities in Nebraska
At Hands of Heartland, our services are designed to help people with developmental disabilities grow and live their best possible lives. Part of that means setting goals for the people we work with, ensuring that they are becoming more well-rounded individuals and people who could become better connected to their broader community.
This means setting goals or, more specifically, functional goals. We have some exacting criteria when setting functional goals for adults with developmental disabilities and we must keep a few important things in mind.
What are Functional Goals
Simply put, a functional goal is a target skill or behavior that can be measured in specific terms. In our work, these are often skills or behaviors that can help adults with developmental disabilities better integrate into their community, live independently, or secure employment.
We set a specific goal so that it is easy to recognize when someone receiving our services has succeeded. We also strive to teach them when this kind of behavior will be expected and why. When in their daily routine will they need to use these skills? We make sure that they know when they need to employ these new talents of theirs.
Examples of Functional Goals
There are many types of functional goals and skills that we can focus on. Math skills are obviously crucial. We can work with the adults receiving our services to help them develop useful skills like telling time, balancing a checkbook or budget, and using money. These are all things that someone needs to learn to live independently.
Some skills are needed to function in their local community. We may work with someone to teach them how to use public transit. How do you get from home to work? Can you find an alternate route if needed? We’ll also work on things like grocery shopping and eating out. Learning how to do things like this can allow someone to live a more fulfilled life, and that’s our primary concern.
Benefits of Setting Functional Goals
When we set functional goals for the adults receiving our services, we’re helping them develop the skills that they need to live more independently. All of the examples above are skills that we all need to live in the real world. The difference is that, while you may have developed these skills naturally and take them for granted, adults with developmental disabilities may need more specialized instruction and assistance to get to a point where they are prepared to handle certain tasks.
The overarching goal is to make sure that we’re teaching people to do more things on their own. When they meet a functional goal, they’ll have one more task that they will require less or no assistance with. This fosters feelings of accomplishment and independence, and it makes a huge difference in their lives.
How to Get Started
If you have an adult with a developmental disability in your life, visit the Hands of Heartland website and learn more about the services that we have to offer in Omaha and beyond. If you want to learn more about functional goal examples and how we can help people with developmental disabilities engage in their local communities and thrive, we’re ready to assist you!