Parents want nothing short of the best for their children. For parents of autistic children, there are even more concerns to consider. One is the question, “What happens when autistic children grow up?” Another is “What is autism in adults like”?
When Autistic Children Grow Up
One of the most common disabilities of our time is autism as it affects 1 in 44 children in the United States. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.
If you mention autism, many people think of a childhood disorder. However, autism is a lifelong diagnosis, and children with autism grow up to be autistic adults.
Parents need to work hard to learn everything there is to know about their child’s condition. They are responsible for giving their children chances at an extraordinary life in a judgment-free environment. As an autistic child grows into an adult, there are certain things every mother should be aware of:
Autistic children can enjoy a healthy adult life
It is a common misconception that autistic children don’t feel emotions. Although the case will vary from one child to the other, their difficulties with social interactions do not make it any less possible for them to build relationships and fall in love. As Special Bridge, an online dating website for mentally and physically challenged people explains:
“One of the challenges disabled people have is that they often have difficulties finding others with the same disabilities.”
Although not applicable to all cases, most individuals want to meet people with the same challenges, someone who can understand their unique challenges and perspectives. Using a platform such as Special Bridge can provide your adult child with autism a safe environment to create friendships and even find love in the process!
They can develop strengths.
As a mother, it is only reasonable that their disability will consume your thoughts. Throughout their childhood, you have focused on helping them develop social interactions and helping with extreme behaviors.
However, a more positive way of dealing with autism is to try to put the same effort into developing your child’s strengths. Many of our most celebrated artists, mathematicians, and all-around geniuses have turned out to be somewhere along the autism spectrum.
Focus on this fact and pay attention to what your child does best or their inclinations. If your child is interested in numbers, work on developing their mathematical skills. Seek advice from professionals early on to focus on enhancing this talent. This way, you will be assured that you are giving your child the best chance they need to live a life of fulfillment.
It is essential to maintain a safe environment.
Unlike the case with other children, children with autism will still need their safe, contained environment well into adulthood. Being older does not mean they will no longer need the support they have always needed as children. If your child has frequent meltdowns and acts violently when angry, they will probably still act the same way as adults. Continue working with your child on safety concerns areas so as an adult, they will be better able to cope.
If your autistic child struggles with specific sensory inputs, then you want their home as an adult to help accommodate them. They may need different lighting, noise machines, and other sensory tools to do their homework. Autism in adults doesn’t go away. But can change to be less or more affecting for the individual.
You will need the aid of support groups.
Generally speaking, parenthood gets more complex as children grow up. Their problems get more complicated. Especially as a mother of an autistic child, there will come days when you will feel overwhelmed and drained. Do yourself and your child a favor and find a support group where you can go and talk about your challenging days and victories.
Living alone may not be the best option, but some places can help your adult child live independently with support. For example, NCFL in NJ is committed to caring for and nurturing adults challenged with special needs to attain their highest level of wellness, independence, and achievement.
When Autistic Children Grow Up
Raising a child with autism can be very heavy on the heart and soul. However, remember that they are the same child before their diagnosis. They deserve a happy and fulfilling life as much as anyone. While all children with autism grow up to be autistic adults, it doesn’t mean they are any less your child. With a great relationship developed in childhood, you can continue to help your autistic child thrive in adulthood.