Determining when your young adult with autism is ready to live independently: 1. Talk with school staff about transition plans, career development and post-high training. Realize that there is another language of acronyms you must now learn. 2. Practice life skills such as folding laundry, putting away dishes and brushing teeth for longer than it takes to turn the water off and on. Determine that your child is as motivated to clean as any typical teenager. 3. Endure countless meltdowns and decide that you will look for independently living programs that begin the minute high school ends. Think about the thought of your child leaving home and change your mind the moment current meltdown subsides. 4. Consider driver's training and/or public transportation and the skills it takes to navigate either. Curl up in a ball of nerves thinking about your child out there on their own without you to make sure they get from point A to point B. 5. Review progress reports, goals of prior years and the most successful programs completed. Reflect on how far you have come and take a breath. One of these days the right opportunity will arise, it might not be tomorrow or next year but you've made it this far and you will keep on going until you find an option that helps your child thrive.
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