Parenting an autistic adolescent or young adult comes with its own set of challenges and rewards. Although every autistic young adult is unique, there are effective ways to guide them as they transition into adulthood. Here, drawing on our work with MentoringYoungAdults.com, we’ll discuss three suggestions for parents to try at home.
Tip 1: Establish Routines and Clear Expectations
Young adults on the spectrum often do best in structured environments with predictable routines. Developing a routine provides young adults a sense of routine and security. That is the first step:. Here’s how to start:
- Create a routine that takes into account your child’s preferences, interests, and abilities through teamwork with your child.
- Don’t make excuses; Try to be as consistent as possible with the regimen, but be willing to make adjustments as needed. Give them plenty of notice and comfort when changes are inevitable to reduce their anxiety.
- Establish unambiguous guidelines: Whenever possible, give your child step-by-step instructions and be clear about what you expect from them.
Tip 2: Foster Social Skills Development
Young adults on the spectrum often struggle with social skills despite their importance for promoting autonomy and well-being. Here are some strategies for encouraging their progress in social competence:
- Role-playing is a great way to hone their social skills by simulating real-life interactions like ordering food, making small chat, and settling problems. Respond to their questions and concerns while offering suggestions as required.
- Encourage them to consider participating in clubs or groups that reflect their interests, such an art club, a sports team, or a tabletop roleplaying game (TTRPG). This helps give young adults a risk-free opportunity to hone their interpersonal skills.
- Model for them how to respond in social situations by demonstrating how to respond calmly in situations by practicing speaking politely, showing empathy, and keeping a level head when addressing opposing viewpoints. Don’t take it personally if they seem emotionally distant.
Tip 3: Promote Independence Through Skill-Building
Helping your child develop practical skills is crucial for their long-term independence and success. Focus on:
- Daily living skills: Teach them how to perform tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Start with simple tasks and gradually increase complexity as they gain confidence.
- Time management and organization: Use visual aids, such as calendars or to-do lists, to help your teen learn to manage their time and stay organized.
- Problem-solving: Encourage your child to think critically and solve problems independently. Offer guidance when needed but allow them the opportunity to develop their own solutions.
As a parent, you are always seeking out support and resources your child requires to thrive as they mature and evolve. Employing these mentoring techniques, will build on their safe zones, enabling your child to reach their full potential. Bear in mind, patience and trying to come from how they perceive every issue is crucial, and each new milestone reached deserves acknowledgement.
I know you will try your best to implement these tips we have shared with you but don’t be surprised if they don’t bear out all the success they should proved. The reason people seek us out to do the mentoring work with a child on the spectrm is that often the best work is done with your collaborating with an outside mentor. We provide an unbiased outlook along with years of experience with young adults on the spectrum, empowering your child to form new life skills and grow their confidence on every aspect of their life. As parents, mentor and mentee, working as a team we will empower your child to become their best self and build the new mentoring skills we teach you to work on at home, reinformcing even more growth and development for your child.