Archives for the month of: May, 2015

Although a large spectrum of support exists for children with special needs, the offers tend to slim down for young adults and grown-ups. Unfortunately, many young adults are intimidated by the apparent closing of employment opportunities because of their condition. Some end up staying with their parents, unsure of how to move on after a successful education.

  1. Special businesses

Special Kneads and Treats - Special Needs EssentialFortunately, exceptional initiatives exist. Some businesses out there are truly dedicated to integrating persons with special needs in the workplace and in the society in general, such as Special Kneads and Treats bakery in Lawrenceville, GA, or the car wash Rising Tide in Florida. See our Facebook page for more related posts. Far from doing charity, those companies capitalize on the special skills of their employees, such as the need for repetitive tasks that makes autistic people excel in a car wash. At the bakery, employees with special needs are paired with other employees, so that they complete each other: as the person with special needs benefits from a comprehensive life skills training, the other learns from a unique mindset. More than a paycheck, those businesses offer a complete integration program. Don’t miss these opportunities!

  1. Other businesses

Initiatives are also taken more and more often in the rest of the workplace to integrate persons with special needs, as the law and mentalities change. Small businesses may be more welcoming, allowing workers to integrate in a human-scale team with little pressure for immediate results. They can teach basic professional skills to a young adult with special needs, such as punctuality, customer service and respect of the hierarchy, as well as skills related to the job.

  1. Now in practice!

Disabled young adult - Special Needs Essentials

Now, in practice, how do you proceed to help a young adult with special needs find a job? Stay aware of any exceptional initiatives taken in your area, through your favorite local media and support groups. Go to a job counselor, who may not be specialized in special needs employment, but will have a global view of the job market in your area and will give the right direction to your search. Most importantly, keep your child motivated to work hard for this project and not be discouraged by negative answers. Good luck!!!

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Independent Teens with AutismWhat parent doesn’t want their child to lead the best life possible? The parent of an autistic child is no different. Envisioning a life of independence and stress-free transitioning into adulthood is sometimes all a parent can think of as a teen nears graduation day. For special needs teens, the transition is trickier, but success is still certainly achievable!

Transition Plan

Throughout the high school years, parents of autistic children should gradually craft a thorough transition plan. Though many times a plan is seemingly thought through, execution of it can be tumultuous if it’s not planned far in advance with great depth and detail.

The plan begins and with the family, those who know the child’s needs and wants, what he or she is and is not capable of. The family alone knows what works and what doesn’t, and they can have a good idea of what the child needs when he or she is on their own.

The transitional plan must take into account the family’s thorough knowledge of and wants for the child, but the child’s input is essential, too. Tapping into what he or she wants for their life after high school will play an important role in developing their self-determination. It’s important for the teen to have control over their decisions, so invite them into the discussion about, for example, what school to attend that will best lead them into a life of independence.

Autistic Teen WorkingIndependence

Don’t let the word ‘independence’ intimidate you. It’s easy to say you want your child to one day lead a life of their own, but how many of us truly do that? No matter how independent you are, whoever you are, there remains a need for networks, friends, family — strong relationships.

Transitioning from high school to college, particularly for special needs teens, should without a doubt involve a strong support system. Look at schools where there are trustworthy friends and/or family, because sometimes it really does take a village. And that’s OK.

After 18

When a child turns 18, the parental rights are lost, which includes the right to make decisions regarding your teen’s educational future. Going back to having early-on discussions with your teen, this is an important factor to bring into the talk.

Since autism is a developmental disability, we know that a number doesn’t signify that a child has become an adult overnight. The teen will need guidance, so discuss with him or her the need for them to sign over parental rights to you, so you can continue playing a role in their successful future. Prefaced with months of preparatory discussions, have a document drawn up and ready to sign on the 18th birthday, and not a moment later.

Want more resources?

Try these:

Transition to Adult Living: A guide for Secondary Education

Transition Toolkit, from Autism Speaks

The Autism Transition Handbook

And as always, share with us your experience!

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