When a young adult with autism graduates from high school, their parents are often at a loss as to what their child should be doing next. Parents sometimes expect that their adult child will be dependent upon them for the rest of their lives, leading to discouragement, and young adults with autism are often frustrated that their parents won’t let them be mature.
Family support is essential to the success of a person with autism or other developmental disorder. Brightstone Transitions explains how families can help their adult children become more independent.
Though a parent may always feel that an adult child with a developmental disorder should be dependent on them, the truth remains that these people need to be prepared to make it on their own in the world. They need to have the basic life skills needed to hold down a job, care for themselves, and interact with others in the world. Parents may feel that these skills are not necessary, but not teaching their children these skills can hold them back from living a fulfilling life.
Agencies that can Help
Brightstone Transitions is able to help young adults learn these crucial life skills, coupled with the academic and social support they need to succeed. When working with a trusted agency, parents can feel confident that their adult children are being supported in the right way. These agencies are interested in helping young adults with autism do as much as they can for themselves.
Strategies to Help
One of the best strategies for helping people with developmental disorders manage their lives is by making to-do lists or work systems. These systems can increase on-task behavior, increase the number of tasks completed, and reduce the prompts needed from instructors. Using lists and other structured work strategies can help children and adults with autism alike.
Another strategy that can help adults with autism is developing communication skills. Individuals with autism focus on growth in their communication skills throughout their lives. Young adulthood involves combining self-actualization with complex social interactions. Young people with autism often find that they have a hard time navigating complex social situations and conflicts.
Young adults with autism need to build their self-awareness. This is a foundation of communication strategies. Obstacles include differentiating between their own and others’ preferences, thoughts, and feelings. When they are coached in social situations but not boxed into any particular approach, they will be able to approach them with flexibility.
Some parents of adult children with autism have taught them life skills at home. These skills involve laundry, dishes, self-care, and more complex undertakings like banking and caring for their homes. Some families balk at teaching these skills, but there is always the possibility that these students will need to advocate for themselves in the future and will not have their parents to fall back on.
Young adults with developmental disorders like autism often find it difficult to hold down a job. The reasons could include a lack of life skills, a mismatch between the job and the person’s abilities and interests, and a feeling of low confidence. Programs like Brightstone Transitions are able to support the vocational needs of these young adults where parents cannot. These programs are able to help young adults achieve independence through giving them meaningful work, hobbies, and volunteer opportunities.
Most parents of young adults with autism have become well-versed in the condition by the time their children have graduated from high school. It is also necessary for other family members like siblings and grandparents to be fully invested in their family member with autism. Understanding some of the reasons why the family member with autism behaves in certain ways can help them approach a difficult situation with grace.
The science of autism is always advancing, and parents are encouraged to keep up with agencies like Brightstone Transitions to provide the most up-to-date help for their children.
Respect for Individuals
Above all, family members need to respect young adults with autism. Boxing them into childlike behaviors helps no one. Understanding that they are intelligent human beings with the capability to take care of themselves is hard for many parents to swallow. Siblings and other family members can also fall into this trap. Support agencies like Brightstone Transitions are able to break through these learned behaviors and help young adults become fully realized.When families are able to let go of their preconceptions of young adults with autism, they are more likely to foster independence. Families may be surprised to learn how much a young adult with autism can do for themselves. Young adults with autism are glad to work with agencies like Brightstone Transitions because they are respected and treated like independent human beings.