autism is lifelong

Autism does not end at 18!

As a mother of a child with autism, this is something that worries me too - what is going to happen to Jessica after she turns 18?

Though Jessica is considered as high functioning and she is capable of doing many things by herself, there are some things that she is still pretty much reliant on me till now. 

Take for example, she is still afraid of buying things on her own unless someone goes with her, or I will need to be a short distance away from her to make her feel confident. There are times I feel so frustrated and tired that I need to be with her for these "small" actions which my neuro-typical 5 year old could do on his own, but I grit my teeth and think to myself that she is a work-in-progress and I need to be patient with her so that she can learn to be independent in time to come. 

Sometimes, I get my 5 year old to go with the sister and "outsource" the training to him. This in turn helps the two of them learn together - confidence from my 5 year old, and acceptance and patience from my 8 year old. It also relieves me from overloading myself yet achieve a win-win situation for Jessica and the family as a whole.

As our child grows from a child, to adolescent and then through puberty to a teenager, the challenges come even harder. There are even more issues to deal with: puberty issues, emotional issues, integration into society, independence, dealing with bullying and interaction with peers at a different level even, just to name a few. There are some skills that are not taught by therapists and psychologists but need to be discovered along the way.

What about you? 

What are some of your concerns and challenges raising a child with special needs?

Share with us in the comments below. Your experience and stories can help another parent going through similar situation.

Want to help your child with special needs lead a healthy, happy and successful life?