How to Support an Adult Child with Autism
As autism becomes more researched and more accurately diagnosed, parents can better understand the needs of their child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and gain access to resources to help their family. But as the first wave of children diagnosed with ASD grow, parents are finding themselves faced with new challenges of what they will do after their child ages out of programs that have provided support for many years.
Over the next 5 years, a projected 200,000 adults with ASD will reach 21. In many states, this means the end of educational supports and services. Many parents are looking for new ways to continue to support their children, often with the help of other families with similar issues. Aging out is a forced transition to adulthood, which can push autistic adults into a system that is severely lacking for their needs. The sensory issues, ADHD, anxiety, and other complexities they face every day don’t go away simply because they have reached a certain age.
Like many young adults, adults with ASD may desire to live independently and move out. Depending on the level of functioning and the young adult’s abilities, this can require varying living situations and amounts of support. One solution that is being explored by many families is group homes, where two to three autistic adults share a home with a live-in caretaker or two.
An arrangement such as this provides full-time support and supervision, but also allows the young adults a chance to develop their living skills in a friendly environment. Families who use this method to help their child transition out of their home often report that their child and housemates look out for each other and help each other, in addition to the aid of caretakers.
Employment & Job Training
As autistic children age out of the programs that support them, additional sources of income may be necessary. Many individuals with ASD qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and Medicaid. A part time job can often be a possibility with the help of a job coach. A job coach mixes advocacy and education, and they often will help your child through on-the-job training, ensure that they understand what they need to do, keep them on task, and can advocate for fair treatment at your child’s work.
Day Habilitation services also can offer supervision and job training programs. Many families seek to divide their adult child’s time between a part time job and “DayHab” services, which can help them learn and practice life skills, as well as prepare them with job skills and training.
Often, siblings are an overlooked resource for autistic adults. Parents may feel like it isn’t right to saddle their other children with the responsibility for caring for an autistic sibling, but they may learn that their children want to help out. Adult children can serve as secondary caretakers for their sibling with ASD and may desire to find ways they can help their parents and sibling as the entire family ages. A discussion with your children can help you discover if they want to find ways they can help support you and their autistic sibling.
Discover In-Home Care Services - (877) 959-9093
For many adults living with autism, in-home caretakers can provide the support they need to lead independent and rewarding lives. At Home Healthcare understands the important roles a caretaker can fill to support an entire family. Our highly trained Texas in-home care professionals are ready to find ways we can assist your child, including daily living tasks, transportation, and transitional care.
Learn more today! Contact a representative by calling (877) 959-9093 to discuss your family’s needs.