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.
I realize that while I may be an educated parent, I can always learn something new to help my son and other families navigate the world of disabilities. I have learned so much in an online course called "Partners in Policymaking."
Monthly goals help keep your family on track. Here are some ideas for parents to help keep everyone on track and moving forward.
Sam Allen has high-functioning autism. He was recently recognized as a Student Success Story at the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education (TCASE) annual conference.