As a parent, you want the best for your child. As a parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), you may have concerns about how your child will make the transition into adulthood. While many children with ASD can lead generally normal lives, it’s not uncommon for them to face different challenges as they grow and make the transition into adulthood. However, this isn’t a reason to worry, just a reason to have a plan in advance. Here are some great steps to helping your child with their transition as they grow.
Develop a Plan
The first step to setting your child up for a successful transition into adulthood is creating a solid plan. While your child is living at home with you, they have stability and a solid routine that they can stick to. If they are planning on going out on their own, you’ll want to do your best to prepare them for the world that they may not be too familiar with. To do this, you can start to introduce new things gradually, and see how they react. Making decisions such as college, work, or living on their own with a caretaker are all potential options you may want to visit.
Decide on College or Not
Some children with ASD may make their way to college after they graduate from high school. Of course, this is dependent on how severe their ASD is; however if your child is college bound, you’ll want to make sure they have the right resources for support and help when needed. Many colleges have programs for students with special needs and other disabilities that can help support them during their time there. Community college, as well as four-year universities offer various programs and you have do your research for each individual school you may be contemplating to determine what they offer. Do the proper amount of research to find the right schools and programs; don’t forget to consider the financial aspects that may be required.
Look Into Work and Supportive Employment Programs
Whether your child attends college or not, finding work can be another challenge they may experience. Many companies have internship programs for college students with autism that will not only help them in their transition but teach them different things about the working world and what it’s like to maintain a job. Additionally, there are many supported employment programs for individuals with Autism that may not have attended college but are still looking to enter the workforce. You can look into mentors that will assist your child in finding a job that best suits their interests and individual abilities. During your child’s time in high school, you can even look into these supported employment programs that will help them enroll in vocational programs or find part-time work.