When we turned 18, we became legal adults. We grew up, we made our own choices. We were adults and lived the lives we wanted to live.
That is exactly how it’s supposed to be—how it’s meant to be.
Children need lots of guidance. As they get older, they gain more responsibilities, which carry with them new possible consequences. Eventually, thoughtful, wise parents literally work themselves out of a job.
It happens gradually, but it happens. Parents are always available to offer advice and guidance, but those parents allow their children to spread their wings and fly.
This natural order is also true for our children with disabilities.
Maturation and gaining independence may not happen as soon as for other children, but the process is the essentially the same. Parents or other caregivers may always be especially involved in their child's life, but parents should aim to instill independence—whether our child has a disability or not.
Begin today. Expectations will vary per child, but aim high! It may not work this way for a child with complex needs or severe disabilities but you can still think of ways for them to gain some independence.
Ways to Teach Independence and Responsibility:
Start your child on the way to independence and the freedom of adulthood. Work yourself out of your job of parenting and help your child spread their wings.
Find more information on transition on this website.
Internships can be a great way for teens and young adults to gain valuable work experience. Here, one mom discusses how her son’s recent internship has helped him—and society.
Just when I thought maybe the “autism thing” was calming down. And that maybe I had a few months to catch my breath before researching everything I needed to know about guardianship before my son turns 18. Wham–another big change brought us back to reality.