Autism: How to Prepare for Adulthood
Preparing for adulthood as an individual on the autism spectrum involves various aspects. This includes understanding autistic adult traits, making friends, developing skills for independent living, and others. Blue Parachute has an extensive video catalogue that serves as autism home support services. Continue reading below to learn more about how to prepare for adulthood with autism.
Autistic Adult Traits
Navigating adulthood on the autism spectrum involves a rich tapestry of traits that contribute to the unique experiences of individuals. Much like neurotypicals, neurodiverse individuals on the autism spectrum exhibit diverse personalities, interests, and abilities, creating a spectrum of human experience.
Below are some autistic adult traits that many on the spectrum might share.
- Individual differences: Like neurotypical individuals, people on the autism spectrum have diverse personalities, interests, and abilities. Autism is a spectrum, and traits can vary widely among individuals.
- Social communication: Autistic adults may experience challenges in social communication, including difficulties with non-verbal cues, understanding social nuances, and maintaining eye contact. However, it’s important to recognize that these challenges manifest differently for each person.
- Sensory sensitivities: Many autistic individuals have heightened sensitivities to sensory stimuli, such as light, sound, or touch. Being aware of and managing sensory sensitivities is crucial for a comfortable environment.
- Routine and predictability: Establishing routines and having a predictable environment can benefit many autistic adults. Predictability helps reduce anxiety and provides a sense of security.
- Special interests: Autistic individuals often have intense and focused interests in specific topics. These interests can be a source of passion and expertise.
- Executive functioning: Challenges with executive functions, such as planning, organization, and time management, are common. Developing strategies and tools to support these functions can be helpful.
How to Make Friends as an Autistic Adult
Finding friends as an autistic adult involves a nuanced approach that embraces individual preferences and strengths.
- Shared interests: Connecting with others with similar interests provides a natural foundation for friendship. Joining clubs, groups, or activities related to personal interests can lead to meaningful connections.
- Online communities: The internet provides opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals through forums, social media, or online groups. Online interactions can be less overwhelming and more comfortable for some autistic individuals.
- Social skills groups: Participating in social skills groups or therapy can offer a structured and supportive environment to practice and improve social interactions.
- Communication strategies: Being open about one’s communication style and preferences can foster understanding among friends. Clear communication about personal boundaries and sensitivities is essential.
- Volunteering: Engaging in volunteer activities allows for social interactions in a purposeful context. Working toward a common goal can facilitate connections.
- Community events: Attending local events or gatherings provides opportunities to meet new people. Autistic adults may find comfort in events that have clear structures or routines.
Autism Independent Living
Embracing the journey toward independent living for adults with autism involves honing crucial life skills through targeted training. It begins with mastering daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene by breaking them down into manageable steps. It goes further as those seeking independence acquire financial management expertise through learning about budgeting, saving, and planning. Throughout this learning process, the focus is on fostering autonomy while teaching independent living skills.
Using resources for independent living, such as the helpful videos available from Blue Parachute, ensures guidance and assistance along the path to independence. If you have concern for independent living for a friend or family member on the spectrum, continue reading to learn more about autism and independent living.
- Life skills training: Focusing on essential life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene, is crucial for independent living. Breaking down tasks into manageable steps can be helpful. Remember that tasks that seem simple or mundane to you could be much more difficult for someone on the spectrum.
- Financial management: Learning about budgeting, saving, and financial planning is vital. Seeking guidance from professionals or family members can support financial independence. Tasks such as balancing your checkbook or knowing how much money is in your account might seem second nature to you, but that might not be as evident to a neurodiverse individual.
- Transportation skills: Depending on one’s abilities, acquiring skills for using public transportation or learning to drive can enhance independence. Knowing various options for getting from point A to point B can be paramount in their daily lives. This is especially important for anyone interested in finding and keeping a job.
- Job skills development: Developing vocational skills and exploring employment opportunities aligned with personal interests and strengths is essential for career independence. Often, the skills necessary to sit through a job interview must be taught.
- Self-advocacy: Building self-advocacy skills empowers individuals to express their needs, preferences, and rights. Advocacy skills are valuable in virtually every aspect of life, including education, employment, and healthcare.
- Social support network: Establishing a reliable support network, including friends, family, and professionals, can provide guidance and assistance when needed. Knowing who they should contact and when they should reach out to these individuals is critical.
What If I Have an Autistic Adult Meltdown?
When experiencing an autistic adult meltdown while living independently, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care. Begin by creating a designated safe space where one can retreat during distress.
Implementing sensory-friendly tools and practices in this space, such as soothing lighting or comforting items, can help regulate emotions. Developing a personalized coping strategy, such as deep breathing exercises or engaging in a preferred calming activity, empowers individuals to regain control. Establishing a routine with regular breaks and stress-relief activities contributes to overall well-being and minimizes the likelihood of meltdowns.
Lastly, seeking support from a trusted friend, family member, or therapist will provide additional assistance and understanding during challenging moments.
Living Independently With Help From Blue Parachute
Those with high-functioning autism living independently can often use help from others, though they might not know how to reach out. It’s important to approach these individuals with patience, recognizing that progress is unique to each individual. Seeking support from professionals, engaging in therapy, and accessing resources designed for autistic adults can further facilitate the transition as they learn how to prepare for adulthood.
The catalog of videos available from Blue Parachute serves as autism home support services. These videos work as independent living resources for those on the spectrum. We offer subscription pricing to ensure everyone can afford to view our videos, which were created by Licensed and Certified Behavior Therapists.
If you have questions about how to prepare for adulthood, our pricing, or our other helpful videos, you can read our frequently asked questions page. You can also use our online form and contact us today. Learn more from Blue Parachute about communication, life, and other essential skills to help your loved one as they prepare for adulthood and living independently.
Blue Parachute – Who We Help
Blue Parachute – How We Help
Autism Speaks – Transition to Adulthood
Autism Society of North Carolina – Preparing Your Loved One for Adult Success