From Adolescence to Adulthood

I often keep myself up at night with swirling thoughts about what the transition to adulthood will look like for my children. I’m a devoted mom of three bright, neurodiverse kiddos, and my oldest son is twice exceptional, on the cusp of the awesome challenge of going from adolescence to adulthood. Ultimately, I end up feeling overwhelmed trying to figure out how to begin to help him.

Some of my interminable thoughts include, “My child is academically advanced, but will he be able to handle the responsibility of living independently on a college campus? Will he find a social niche of supportive peers and even professors who understand him? Will I need to call and check in everyday? How much responsibility can he handle all at once without being completely left out on a limb of pure anxiety?”

On the surface, some neurodiverse children may look as if they can handle the transition to adulthood, but on the inside, they are experiencing a tremendous amount of shock to their system. This shock can lead to an overwhelming “all systems meltdown” in overall functioning. What good are those talents and intellectual strengths when the child’s whole system goes down? How can we, as parents, protect our kids from this occurrence? The transition to young adulthood can be overwhelming for neurotypical-minded students who don’t have a daily struggle with sensory challenges, executive functioning skills, social/emotional differences, among others. Imagine the hundreds of extra hurdles it takes for 2e adolescents during major life transitions. We wish for our baby birds to fly the nest someday with all of our parental love and support, but it can be a colossal-sized challenge for adolescents with autism or other neuro-diversities to...

 

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