Jump to content

Autistic Young Adult ideas


bsjkki

Recommended Posts

I've got a high functioning autistic kiddo graduating from High School this year. She is smart but does lack "normal" social skills and definitely isn't like my other kids but also has huge potential. As a parent, I've struggled to figure out what that potential is. Together, we have decided to take a year off so she can work a part-time job or volunteer and figure out what she likes to do and what she might like to study in college. Do any of you have any advice or faced the young adult years with an autistic child? She volunteers 2 hours a week at the library right now and finds it completely exhausting. She is also going to be leaving Young Women's and I think she will not enjoy Relief Society. I'm hoping they may call her into the nursery but she has a hard time with noise and chaos but loves the kids. I think we are starting on some grand adventures. (The temple is another issue but I think we have plenty of years yet before we worry about it.)

Link to comment

High functioning autistic (formerly young) adult here.  Is there anything particular you'd like to ask?

Speaking generally: as a mom you want to shelter her and make sure she's doesn't fall on her face.  However, tough reality is that learning to walk (let alone fly) involves a lot of falling on your face. Don't be afraid of it- or rather, at least don't let your fears keep her from trying and eventually succeeding.  

I also wouldn't worry about the temple now.  Just because she's 18 doesn't mean you have to go to the temple right right now.  

Link to comment
16 hours ago, bsjkki said:

I've got a high functioning autistic kiddo graduating from High School this year. She is smart but does lack "normal" social skills and definitely isn't like my other kids but also has huge potential. As a parent, I've struggled to figure out what that potential is. Together, we have decided to take a year off so she can work a part-time job or volunteer and figure out what she likes to do and what she might like to study in college. Do any of you have any advice or faced the young adult years with an autistic child? She volunteers 2 hours a week at the library right now and finds it completely exhausting. She is also going to be leaving Young Women's and I think she will not enjoy Relief Society. I'm hoping they may call her into the nursery but she has a hard time with noise and chaos but loves the kids. I think we are starting on some grand adventures. (The temple is another issue but I think we have plenty of years yet before we worry about it.)

Hi there...as you know, I am lucky enough to work at Walmart..:D  Just wanted to let you know that about two years ago, we had an autistic young lady work for us in the nearby Deli.At first she was very quiet and nervousy..but due to her job smarts and efficiency...(works hard)..she is beginning to open up and smile and more willing to communicate.  I believe that the first job before any big decisions is a good thing.  Confidence!  Best to you and your family!

Link to comment
45 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

High functioning autistic (formerly young) adult here.  Is there anything particular you'd like to ask?

Speaking generally: as a mom you want to shelter her and make sure she's doesn't fall on her face.  However, tough reality is that learning to walk (let alone fly) involves a lot of falling on your face. Don't be afraid of it- or rather, at least don't let your fears keep her from trying and eventually succeeding.  

I also wouldn't worry about the temple now.  Just because she's 18 doesn't mean you have to go to the temple right right now.  

Thanks for your response! My goal is to have my daughter be completely independent some day. In your experience, what are some good careers to pursue for autistic young adults. She does not want to "go away" to college but I think she could be successful in education. I realize, autism is such a spectrum disorder that no two cases are alike but I would appreciate your input. With my daughter, I have realized I do not have to follow a set pace for things--she is on her own time table. Most things take longer. Right now, she is learning to drive and it is going to take much longer for her to acquire these skills but I know she can do it. I would like her to have a fulfilling career that makes enough money for her to be independent but that is going to be difficult. I don't know where you fall on the austism spectrum but she does not have friends and has no interest in relationships. I don't know if this will ever change. 

Link to comment

 

10 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

My goal is to have my daughter be completely independent some day.

:)

10 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

In your experience, what are some good careers to pursue for autistic young adults. She does not want to "go away" to college but I think she could be successful in education. I realize, autism is such a spectrum disorder that no two cases are alike but I would appreciate your input. With my daughter, I have realized I do not have to follow a set pace for things--she is on her own time table. Most things take longer. Right now, she is learning to drive and it is going to take much longer for her to acquire these skills but I know she can do it. I would like her to have a fulfilling career that makes enough money for her to be independent but that is going to be difficult. 

*** I'm going to answer this from more a story-teller perspective, and lets my "special" side shine through (a touch exaggerated).  The experience I'm talking from is my own, having older/younger friends on the spectrum, and mentoring other people on the spectrum.  I also apologize for the length... I got chatty :) ***

Your daughter has MUCH company in taking longer to figure out social situations.  High functioning spectrum people are indeed smart-- in fact, typically have very high IQ's.  We're just not good a figuring out all these "invisible rules" people/society has.   Like I naturally make this really "weird" face when I'm thinking- it's not and the unwritten code says that my "weird" thinking face is not ok to make in public.  Who'd have thought that make a thinking face not ok?  Is there a rational reason why it's not ok?  Not really, it's just the unwritten code.  And the invisible rules don't just say "don't make that face", there's LOTS of other rules in there too!  In fact, it's a giant textbook of invisible rules!    What's even more confusing is that this magical unwritten code changes!  So in addition to learning the textbook invisible rules one time, I need learn the textbook for behavior at church, behavior at school, behavior at home, behavior in front of a boss, etc-- it's exhausting!! 

So, do I read the invisible textbook of "rules"?  Well, I don't have any choice really.  Plus I want to succeed: like everyone else spectrum people do enjoy doing activities, being praised, and having friends.  So I'll do it.  But it's tiring.  It takes a long time.  Sometimes I'm sort of clueless.  And sometimes I get REALLY frustrated trying to read an invisible textbook.  But I got to do it.  Sometimes I envy the "neurotypical" people around me, who seemingly learned the entire textbook library via osmosis and simply being in the room.  But then, most times I don't want to be like them-- I want to be like me.  I like me.  I think outside of the box (frequently I don't even know where the invisible box is).  I am entirely honest to people- even when they don't want to hear it.  I can focus and conquer any problem faster than other people because I'm not distracted thinking about whether or not my shirt matches my shoes (ok, admittedly that's an extreme example).  I have passions and loves like any other person, and I pursue them in a simple and direct manner.

Most spectrum people have something that they are passionate about, something that drives them and excites them.  For me, growing up I loved animals and read the entirely library animal sections (adult and kids) by the age of 7.  I was accused of cheating on my homework in the 2nd grade because I was using college vocabulary (the same day I got scolded for make "weird" faces).  So I wanted to be a vet all growing up.  Until college, then I took botany and fell in love with that.  And then my programming skills took over so now I write computer programs about plants.  

Does your daughter have some subject that she is passionate about?  If it's something viable for a career or if there's a career that half-touches that, I would encourage that to bloom.  

(Rest of this is disjointed)

Other career stuff: having a structured environment helps with learn the invisible textbook of rules.  The worse situations are ones that are constantly chaotic.  While interviewing is hard on the spectrum, many employers do like spectrum employees (once they learn) because their laser-super-focus on the task at hand.  And frankly, if a person is good at their job, then of course employers are going to want to keep them.

Other things that can help learning the situation: having a good mentor at the workplace is fantastic.  Mom, you can give tips too, but it can easily be interrupted as nagging or mother-henning (remember she's trying to be an adult, not a baby).  A mentor at work doesn't have any of the mom-complications, and add a voice to the choir.  

As a person matures, they can to some extent "outgrow" being on the spectrum.  In reality this "outgrowing" is simply learning how to better translate things going in and out.  In school I was very obviously "different".  Nowadays, I've read enough invisible textbooks to be able to have "normal" communications so that casual aquentences don't realize it at all. 

Mission: if she wants to serve a mission, she can.  Yes, they have missions for spectrum people.  It may not be a traditional prostylizing mission, but there are many options.  One example off the top of my head: the Family History Library in Salt Lake has several Aspergers missionaries who are of great help because they know computers and have a passion for genealogy.  My local Bishops's storehouse has spectrum missionaries-- young strong men to provide much needed muscles (the older workers dote on them like grandkids).  You also don't have to serve a mission right at 19-- in fact there is no upper age cap for sister missionaries.  

10 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

she does not have friends and has no interest in relationships. I don't know if this will ever change. 

It can and frequently does.  Give it time, and let flowers bloom when they do.  (I was a junior in college before getting my first crush).  

 

Link to comment
9 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

 

:)

*** I'm going to answer this from more a story-teller perspective, and lets my "special" side shine through (a touch exaggerated).  The experience I'm talking from is my own, having older/younger friends on the spectrum, and mentoring other people on the spectrum.  I also apologize for the length... I got chatty :) ***

Your daughter has MUCH company in taking longer to figure out social situations.  High functioning spectrum people are indeed smart-- in fact, typically have very high IQ's.  We're just not good a figuring out all these "invisible rules" people/society has.   Like I naturally make this really "weird" face when I'm thinking- it's not and the unwritten code says that my "weird" thinking face is not ok to make in public.  Who'd have thought that make a thinking face not ok?  Is there a rational reason why it's not ok?  Not really, it's just the unwritten code.  And the invisible rules don't just say "don't make that face", there's LOTS of other rules in there too!  In fact, it's a giant textbook of invisible rules!    What's even more confusing is that this magical unwritten code changes!  So in addition to learning the textbook invisible rules one time, I need learn the textbook for behavior at church, behavior at school, behavior at home, behavior in front of a boss, etc-- it's exhausting!! 

So, do I read the invisible textbook of "rules"?  Well, I don't have any choice really.  Plus I want to succeed: like everyone else spectrum people do enjoy doing activities, being praised, and having friends.  So I'll do it.  But it's tiring.  It takes a long time.  Sometimes I'm sort of clueless.  And sometimes I get REALLY frustrated trying to read an invisible textbook.  But I got to do it.  Sometimes I envy the "neurotypical" people around me, who seemingly learned the entire textbook library via osmosis and simply being in the room.  But then, most times I don't want to be like them-- I want to be like me.  I like me.  I think outside of the box (frequently I don't even know where the invisible box is).  I am entirely honest to people- even when they don't want to hear it.  I can focus and conquer any problem faster than other people because I'm not distracted thinking about whether or not my shirt matches my shoes (ok, admittedly that's an extreme example).  I have passions and loves like any other person, and I pursue them in a simple and direct manner.

Most spectrum people have something that they are passionate about, something that drives them and excites them.  For me, growing up I loved animals and read the entirely library animal sections (adult and kids) by the age of 7.  I was accused of cheating on my homework in the 2nd grade because I was using college vocabulary (the same day I got scolded for make "weird" faces).  So I wanted to be a vet all growing up.  Until college, then I took botany and fell in love with that.  And then my programming skills took over so now I write computer programs about plants.  

Does your daughter have some subject that she is passionate about?  If it's something viable for a career or if there's a career that half-touches that, I would encourage that to bloom.  

(Rest of this is disjointed)

Other career stuff: having a structured environment helps with learn the invisible textbook of rules.  The worse situations are ones that are constantly chaotic.  While interviewing is hard on the spectrum, many employers do like spectrum employees (once they learn) because their laser-super-focus on the task at hand.  And frankly, if a person is good at their job, then of course employers are going to want to keep them.

Other things that can help learning the situation: having a good mentor at the workplace is fantastic.  Mom, you can give tips too, but it can easily be interrupted as nagging or mother-henning (remember she's trying to be an adult, not a baby).  A mentor at work doesn't have any of the mom-complications, and add a voice to the choir.  

As a person matures, they can to some extent "outgrow" being on the spectrum.  In reality this "outgrowing" is simply learning how to better translate things going in and out.  In school I was very obviously "different".  Nowadays, I've read enough invisible textbooks to be able to have "normal" communications so that casual aquentences don't realize it at all. 

Mission: if she wants to serve a mission, she can.  Yes, they have missions for spectrum people.  It may not be a traditional prostylizing mission, but there are many options.  One example off the top of my head: the Family History Library in Salt Lake has several Aspergers missionaries who are of great help because they know computers and have a passion for genealogy.  My local Bishops's storehouse has spectrum missionaries-- young strong men to provide much needed muscles (the older workers dote on them like grandkids).  You also don't have to serve a mission right at 19-- in fact there is no upper age cap for sister missionaries.  

It can and frequently does.  Give it time, and let flowers bloom when they do.  (I was a junior in college before getting my first crush).  

 

Thank you so much!! 

Link to comment

Do you have a Pathways program near you?   That might help her figure things out.

Let her try out a YSA ward before struggling with RS:  the issue for the age is about a different perspective and needs, not that RS itself is problematic (though the lighting or noise level could be.

Have you thought of asking the ward/stake if anyone has a 2 week or 4 week internship she could do to see how different work happens?  (I don't recall if you are in the USA, but if so, the school is supposed to provide services to allow her to successfully transition, so meet again and plan out what they are going to do to address this, including maybe internships, maybe vocational testing and counseling.   And vocational rehabilitation is also supposed to help her address the things that keep her from working, including but not limited to sometimes sending her to a specific college with an autism program (there are more and more nowadays, including one in Provo, if I remember correctly).

Can she join a temp staffing firm?   If she has trouble shifting circumstances that will be hard,

There are probably opportunities in your own neighborhood to walk dogs or walk children to their school after their parents have left,  and even at school to read to others, or do things for teachers.

Link to comment

Oh- RS!  Forgot to address that!  Going to RS is a hard transition I think for most girls.  If she wants to/can try a YSA ward, that's less of a jump than your RS-- the girls are more her age, things focus more things her age, she can shine on her own (rather than being "Sue's daughter), and not have to endure stories about childbirth ;).  If she doesn't like that she can always stay in your family ward.  

I second the idea of a Pathways program- those are great!  

Actually, I'm just going to second everything @rpn said.  

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...