I would like to try to put some thoughts out there, using my difficult child, as an example (I hope you don't mind).
My difficult child went through school with an Learning Disability (LD) in written expression, had terrible non-verbal skills and has a somewhat low IQ. As I state in my profile, I think she is on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) spectrum, but we never completed the testing at the regional center, because the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis was coming to light, as well. When she moved out with b/f, she couldn't do much for herself. She couldn't read directions on a box to cook things, she didn't know how to use the bus system, she couldn't write a check to pay bills.
Since she left our house rather quickly, I was sure she would have troubles in these areas, but she has improved significantly. How??? She went into survival mode. She calls us several times a day, but she is learning .... slowly.
She writes a check for her rent/bills, but has yet to comprehend "how" to balance a checkbook. Instead, she calls the bank to get her balance
. I have to continually explain that the bank's balance does not include any checks she has written that haven't cleared yet ... but she HAS learned how to write her bills and deduct them from her account. Is your difficult child good on a computer??? Maybe he could learn to do his banking online for most things. This seems to work better for some people, rather than writing checks.
Driving - - - . Ok, that will never happen with my difficult child. It is quite
anic: . So ... she has learned how to use the bus system. She now goes to the mall, the stores, etc, along with her b/f in the wheelchair. They have become quite resourceful. If your difficult child has obtained a driver's license, he is well ahead of the game, as far as independence.
As for employment ... my difficult child is in a different position than other people (she has an insurance settlement and gets monthly $$, so she doesn't work - - although she did through school for awhile). Is your difficult child able to work?? I see he is going to school, so maybe work isn't in the picture yet. Holding down a job is obviously a big part of becoming an adult.
Preparing meals - - that was a tough on for my difficult child, but she is finally getting it. She called me last night because she was making a mousse (I don't even make mousse). Anyway - she did the whole thing wrong (forgot to bake the crust or something). She was so upset and I told her to try again and she called back so happy that it turned out. Trial and error. These days, we have microwaves to help those that don't cook well. How does he do in this area??
I guess my "longwinded" point to the story is ... there are ways to accommodate the essential life skills - - work, food, bill paying, transportation - - and once they are presented in a fashion that our difficult child's can grasp, they will feel more confident in being on their own.
My difficult child wouldn't have anything to do with learning these skills while she was living at home. It wasn't until she moved out and "had" to do these things, that she learned. Day by day, she is becoming more comfortable - - - becoming an adult. But she is still way behind the others in maturational age. She is more like a 13-14 y/o playing house, but at least she continues to learn new life skills. It's a work in progress that will probably continue until she is 30 or 35 or ....
Oh, one last thought - - - the other part that is scary for a young person is being out on their own, literally. I see he is staying in a dorm right now, but what are his thoughts once he is done with school? Does he have a friend that would live with him? Or maybe apply to rent a room somewhere? My difficult child would never live alone in a million years - - it scares her. I would imagine this is an issue for many young people. Personally, I couldn't wait to get the h*ll out of Dodge at 17, but that's me.
I've talked long enough - - - I hope some of what I said above was remotely helpful.