Looking to the future
Parents, how would you respond If your son or daughter surprised you with this question, “I know this sounds really dark, but do you think I have a future?”
Personally, I was caught off guard by this question; at the same time, I was curious what my friend meant by it when he asked me. What more was he getting at?
He went on to explain that he felt like he had no real-world skills, that he has been in and out of assisted living and board schools for years and just didn’t think he would ever be capable of living alone.
He mentioned, “It’s interesting you know, living alone is a commodity to most, it would be a luxury for me.”
At that time, I was a residential advisor or “care giver” for my friend. He lived with a very high functioning form of autism. In the time I had known him, he had made extraordinary progress; he attended school, did his best to work, honed his unique talents and seemed to be on the up and up. It’s no wonder that his question about the future caught me by surprise.
In the moment, I did my best to console him, be real with him and affirm the potential he had to enjoy a great and fulfilling future. By processing his thoughts and emotions, he was able to ground himself and realize the tremendous progress he is making.
Securing your child’s future
First, let’s take a step back and address the following questions:
- How am I planning for my child’s future?
- Is independence a viable option for my child?
- What skills does my child possess?
- What skills does my child still need?
- How do I empower my child?
- How do I help my child develop themselves and their sense of self-efficacy?
Last but not least
As parents, you know your child best. You loved them first. At myHana, we want to give you ALL the tools and resources you need to take control of the process and deliver the highest quality of life possible to your child. Remember, you are not alone!
Lastly, we’d love to hear what you’ve done to help prepare your child for an independent future, as well as any other questions you may have.
Remember, autism is not a thing to be ashamed of. Each and every child with autism is unique, gifted, and wonderful the way they are.
The myHana Team