This July, as we watch fireworks and hang out by the grill, the thought of independence may cross our mind a time or two. For adults on the spectrum, independence may look a bit different. As a parent, you may have wondered about the level of independence your child will reach. Will they live on their own? Will they be able to support themselves?
Statistics show that a great number of individuals on the spectrum reach a level of independence that allows them to live on their own. According to NIH.gov, 79 percent of adults on the spectrum live on their own. Although it may appear different from individual to individual, it is important to understand that specific needs may dictate possibilities.
There are a few high-priority topics one should consider when preparing to make the leap:
- Will I need medical assistance to live on my own?
- Can I cover the expenses of living on my own?
- Am I emotionally prepared to live on my own?
When making the decision to take this next step, all parties should be considered. For an individual on the spectrum, additional support may be needed – Especially starting out. Work together to create detailed plans to help make the transition as smooth as possible. As a parent, consider stopping by on predetermined days for dinner or simply to check-in. The more structure you support your child in making, the more likely they are to achieve success.
For some, a professional caretaker or house-planner may provide effective support for your loved one. Whether this support is in place short or long-term, it may provide a great starting ground to gauge anticipated (and surprise) needs as you navigate through this transition.
While letting your “baby bird” leave the nest may seem daunting, remember, this is simply a way of life. Move forward and allow your child to spring into their own autonomous lifestyle. Create space for them to grow the confidence and excitement that comes with having their own space.