ARTICLE 17: ADULTHOOD AND AUTISM
Adulthood and Autism
Autism Edge Series
I am very excited to share this series with you. Autism Edge was born through the journey I have embarked gathering insight and knowledge along the way. I would love to share what I have learnt in the last 6 years with you.
In this week’s article we are discussing adulthood and autism. Children grow up and become teenagers, new challenges arise. Then they become adults and a whole new set of challenges come up, especially if it comes to children with autism. What are the challenges that you can expect? What to do about them and how can you make the transition?
For parents who are involved and hands on with education, communication with teachers and therapists, doctors, and dieticians, cutting the cord and let them fly can be difficult. Here are some challenges to keep in mind as they transition from teenager to adult. It is key to keep in mind that each adult with autism is a unique individual, with different needs and amazing abilities.
What are the challenges and obstacle moving from teenager to adult? As we know that people with autism finds day to day tasks a challenge, but with support they can find their place in the world. Here are a few aspects to keep in mind entering adulthood:
Keeping a friendship, enjoy recreational activities, run a home, find a job, handling their own finances, their own safety, participate in a healthy diet and lifestyle and changing educational institutes regularly. There are more, please let us know what you experienced when going through this transition.
How to assist in the transition?
Find their interest as soon as possible, what they like and dislike. Promote and help them in finding the group of people with the same interests. Keep safety in mind.Join the group and let them participate or take part in the activities,
There are a number of great autistic communities that arrange all sorts of events, As we move into adulthood the social aspect become prominently something to continuedly adapt to. Keep on supporting them and assisting them through disappointments and confusion. I know we all need some sort of support and advice from time to time.
Become the teacher and advisor. Help them and teach them cleanliness as far as possible. How to tidy up the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom etc. Doing the laundry and keeping themselves clean and look after. Teach them how to deal with sensory challenges and what they must do when they experience an overload of input. They can use headphones or a calming light, calming fidgets that can help with stimming, curtains that can block out the sun so they can rest (https://straussacadamia.wixsite.com/straussacadamiablog/post/a-r-t-i-c-l-e-1-0-r-e-d-e-s-i-g-n-i-n-g-t-h-e-b-e-d-r-o-o-m-a-u-t-i-s-m), essential oils that calm and help with anxiety and to participate in some sensory output activities that can help them. These are only a few options that can assist. There are a lot more ways that help their journey through adulthood. Pleas let us know on more ways, would love to hear.
Teach them to keep with their routine, on when to eat, shower and sleep. Keeping their health as an important aspect to their daily live. Teach them the signs of hunger through the emotions they are experiencing like low energy, anxiety, headaches, and anger. Teach them that sleep is priority over anything else. Sleep effects their mood and health. Promote a health sleep routine even when it comes to them wanting to go to bed late or sleep late in the morning. Routine is key for health and lowering of the occurrence of certain behaviors.
Any parent will agree with that every child’s development and journeys are different when it comes to a specific timeline. For example, the age of starting to walk, graduating primary and secondary school, going to college, and starting a career. Every single person’s story on when they achieved the mentioned are different. People with autism the same. When they achieve the above is irrelevant to any timeline. People with autism the same, it is possible for them to have a future and graduating from school and college.
Forget about a timeline and always keep your focus on small achievements day by day, as these achievements become big ones over time. Assist your child in building and experiencing their own journey, own path and doing so in their own time.
In summary, whether high or low functioning autistic, adults with autism are working harder than anyone else to enjoy a full life. Like us all, we need support, friendships, opportunities, and acceptance. So do children, teenagers, and adults with autism. Help them through meeting their needs through family, their close community and accommodate their gifts and treasure their talents.
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