My son is an adolescent with Aspergers. How do I transition him into adulthood?
No doubt that this is an exciting time in your home. Your youngster with Aspergers (high-functioning autism) has reached the age of college and career. Your hard work has paid off after years of special education, therapy and family support. Congratulations on a job well done!
Now you get to move on to the next phase in life. You’ve given your youngster a good strong foundation and you want to continue to help. If you haven’t yet, researching adult Aspergers is a good place to begin this transition.
As more kids are growing up under the Aspergers diagnosis than ever before, the need for family and community resources are increasing. If you search the Internet, you will find articles, books, videos, and support groups all geared directly to the Aspergers adult.
The video “Asperger: Transition to College and Work” by Coulter Video is a good starting point. This video delivers just what the title suggests practical help for the transition into adulthood.
Once you’ve researched and read up on the basics, find local resources for support and information applicable to your community. Job skills classes, adolescent and/or adult Aspergers support meetings, career counseling, and independent living options can all be found on the local level. Tap into these sources to receive much needed planning assistance and support for both of you.
Encourage your youngster to pursue his dreams. If college seems too overwhelming, suggest a local community college. Your adolescent can live at home, fully supported by family, while obtaining a college degree. Plus, the community college will have disability support services that can be used for additional assistance.
A vocational training school is another option to think about. Close to home, these programs are geared towards adults looking for a career certificate. Computer technology classes, welding, auto repair, and air-conditioning technology are common vocational school possibilities. In less than two years, your adolescent could be certified in an area of interest that also pays well.
The opportunity to live at home and continue the education process will give your adolescent time to make choices and decisions regarding life skills. All the research you do now can be utilized over the years while your adolescent achieves his post-high school goals, giving you both a better transition into the adult years.