The road to adulthood for many teenagers begins when they graduate from high school. Whether they decide to go to college or go on to take their first job, this phase is crucial. But when it comes to adolescents with autism/ASD, graduating/leaving secondary school is a big change. It can be a journey into the unknown. Hence carefully planned transition is critical for successful adult living.
We all have heard the term “Autism/ASD”. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects a child’s performance or functioning. ASD is fairly common. It is present in about 1-2% of children. Children with ASD see, hear, learn, relate, think and perceive the world differently than others. No two children with ASD are the same.
With adequate planning, information, support, and provision of special services, a transition of an adolescent with ASD, into adulthood can be smooth and successful.
Multidisciplinary working between health, education and social services would help in planning their college education, work, leisure, and independent living. A successful transition requires foresight and being proactive in planning. A change in perspective is required in parents, carers, teachers, and professionals, to see the transition as a process, and not as an event at 18!
Raising awareness about ASD, advocacy, career advice, employment assistance, guidance and signposting to adult disability provisions and services can all help to make our world an autism-friendly place!
Doing so would enable and enrich countless lives of people with ASD. This would in turn benefit not only their families and employers but also would help make this world a better place!
Let’s celebrate but also reflect on the occasion of, the ‘World Autism Awareness Day’!