For many parents, the thought of their children leaving the safety net that is school can be overwhelming. When you factor in a child who has a disability, such as autism, that impacts on their entire way of life, a parent’s concerns will be much greater.
For many autistic people, routine and regime are essential. A child may have attended the same educational establishment for a considerable number of years. Once that ends, the usual and anticipated routine and regime do too.
Here are 4 top tips for helping to prepare your autistic child for life after school.
1. Behavior Support
For many autistic people, their behavior may differ from what people expect from the average person of their age or they might communicate through unexpected behaviors. However, while a lot of people believe that behavior should be accepted, many others feel that the autistic children should be supported to understand right from wrong and learn different ways.
An ABA program from experienced practitioners, such as those from Action Behavior Centers, can be life-changing. For many people, they can help younger people to integrate better into society, thus preparing them well for life after school.
The best thing you can do to support an autistic child to flourish in later life is to encourage and support their independence. It can be challenging to consider that your child will one day leave home and be away from you.
While it might be in different circumstances to those you imagined when they were born, you still have a significant role to play in making sure they are ready for life after school. Support them with learning how to make meals, the health and safety involved and where to store the food, for example.
Furthermore, ensuring that you encourage them to learn how to do household chores from an early age, gradually withdrawing the help, will ensure that they are more capable of living independently.
You will undoubtedly have high aspirations for your autistic child, whether it be that they continue education elsewhere or attend a day services facility. Spend time researching what is available to you and be sure to visit before signing your child up for a specific place. Part of being able to successfully move from school onto their new place is an extended length of transition.
Be sure to visit beforehand, several times if possible, and take photographs or videos of the building, inside and outside. Ask the staff if you can take photographs of them, too, and print them all out, making a booklet with key words or names inside.
4. Work Experience
Our final tip relates to gaining experience in the workplace which is vital for practicing key skills and having opportunities to develop within many different areas of work. School may support work experience, but if your child is able to find an evening or weekend job, this may allow for increased independence, and it also ensures that they have something to put on their resume.
If your child finds building relationships a challenge, doing this may even lead onto something permanent once they have left school.