Applications and Forms
Paperwork abounds wherever you go. Adequate life skills include knowing how to fill out basic forms and the communication skills to ask for needed help. Most applications and forms fall into a few general categories and use repetitive information. Job applications and forms may vary greatly in appearance, but they also call for basically the same information.
Housing forms are used for group homes, rental property, and college dorms. Typically these forms fall into four categories: applications, rental contracts, damage reports, and maintenance requests.
Some things apply to all forms. All forms will require name, address, phone, and e-mail. Knowing how to provide this basic information is a life skill that will be used frequently. Some forms will ask for additional information. The individual should print clearly, include only the requested information, and ask for assistance as needed in completing the forms.
When completing a damage report or a maintenance request, it is important to use clear, short sentences or phrases to explain. The answers to the following questions will usually supply the needed information:
What is the problem? (leaking faucet, broken lock, no heat)
Where is the problem? (apartment number and room — perhaps the kitchen/the college room number)
When is the form filled out? (date)
Who completed the form? (name)
How can you be contacted? (phone number and e-mail)
Medical forms ask the basic identifying information (name, address, phone number) that your child has already learned. Additional information may include:
Insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid information
Names of contacts in case of emergency
Personal and family medical history
Reason for office visit
Most of the above information can be kept on a medical information sheet, which the individual can take to doctor's appointments.
In many cases, a family member or group home worker should attend the appointment to assist with paperwork and to listen to follow-up and care recommendations. If medication is prescribed, a chart for dosage and times may be created, or (according to the individual's needs) the medication intake can be monitored by a family member or group home worker.
Emergency forms (kept on file by schools and employers) are much briefer. They might include:
Name of people to contact in case of emergency
One approach to foster your child's independence in using forms is to create master sheets: medical, financial, work, and housing. Divide each sheet into appropriate sections with titles. Then the sheets can be used for quick reference to fill out most forms.