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adult transitionsMany times when we ring in a new year, we make resolutions. We start new diets, exercise regularly, read more, etc. and “resolve” to due better in these areas of our life. Although statistics confirm that the majority of resolutions are broken rather quickly, it’s still important to make an effort to consider some positive changes. I would like to challenge all of you to make ONE new resolution to be completed ANYTIME within this New Year.

Look closely at your child and imagine your child as an adult. We have all done this to some degree, but I challenge you to take a serious look.  Do just ONE thing this year that will help prepare YOU for this future transition. I cannot tell you what is best for your family’s situation, but I will make some recommendations based on what I have seen in my professional experience working in Adult Transition.

I have observed parents who haven’t given this idea much thought until their child reaches 22.  At this age, their child is no longer eligible for our public school program. Many parents get very anxious, because this is an idea that they have avoided for so long. Parents who have taken at least some time throughout the years to put a little thought into it, approach this transition time with some peace of mind.

Preparation Tips
Here are some ideas that might give you an idea of just one possible resolution in considering your child’s future transition into adulthood. Don’t limit yourself to my ideas; just use them to spark your own.

Read a book written by someone with your child’s specific isms.  Look for books that offer suggestions and tips on transitioning into adulthood. For those with children on the autistic spectrum, I HIGHLY recommend the book Life & Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults written by Zosia Zaks (who has Asperger Syndrome). What I love about this book is how practical the chapters are in helping an individual deal with topics such as getting a job, shopping and developing romantic relationships.

If group homes or day programs are potentially in your child’s future, start a binder titled “Group Homes” or “Programs.” Perhaps visit a couple of possibilities in your area. Even if your child is many years away from this transition, taking the time to face this issue in baby steps will make the huge leap in the future so much easier for your family.

Follow Special-Ism bloggers who share their parental and personal insights on transitioning to adulthood.  Lori Ciccarelli offers insights to her son’s transition through college.  Haley Moss shares personal insights about her experiences in college.  Judy Endow, MSW offers insights into adulthood by sharing her experiences as well as her professional insight.  Check out my blog as many of my topics address adult transition and life skills.

Join an online community which has groups created specifically for discussing issues families face regarding adult transition. Read topics others have written or jump into a discussion.  Stay tuned as Special-Ism will be rolling out discussion forums this year.

Join a local support group for families with your child’s isms to gain support and insight for future transitions.

Update your life insurance or will to ensure that all of your children are properly taken care of when you eventually leave this planet. Knowing that your children will always have the appropriate care and supports available can set your mind at ease.

Resolve to make one resolution to prepare yourself for your child’s future.  Through preparation early in the game, you will enter and embrace the transition into adulthood with greater peace of mind.