HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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How do I help my son with Aspergers to gain the appropriate life skills...?

Question

How do I help my son with Aspergers to gain the appropriate life skills so that he will someday be able to support himself as independently as possible?

Answer

There is nothing quite like the joy felt as you watch your baby grow from a tiny, helpless infant to a big, strapping, independent man. Ah, success-you’ve accomplished the job set before you. Sometimes, however, the journey is difficult, filled with obstacles of all kinds. Asperger’s Syndrome can be an obstacle, but not one that is too big to manage.

You’ve been with him through the struggles of making friends, keeping friends, sensory issues, obsessions, and his reluctance to change. You’ve taught him ways to overcome the weaknesses on some level and enhance the positives as much as possible; there are positives to Asperger’s, as you well know. Over the years you’ve read and wrote social stories and scripts to help him work through situations like dating and sports. And when you couldn’t figure out a way to help him, you fought for support or therapy from the school system or the medical community.

The most important change you’ll have to make now is switching control over to him. It is time to allow him to become more involved in the process. Let him know that you will be available for him, but help him see that he will be capable of taking care of himself without your constant supervision. It’s time to form a plan.

Contact your local Autism support organization and ask for suggestions for life skills classes, social skills classes, and financial planning assistance. Some groups may call these services transitional skills. Your son can learn skills like managing housework, finding a job, learning to develop relationships with other adults in his situation, making and sticking to a budget, and paying his bills.

Many communities provide support for all citizens with disabilities. They offer career counseling and job placement services, among other advocacy assistance. They may also offer assisted living in your community. Sit down with your son and decide which services he needs, and then make plans to contact the appropriate offices.

You can do this! More importantly, your son can do this. He is well on his way to making this transition because of the support you’ve given him all along.

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