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Launching Your Autistic Youth to Successful Adulthood

Launching Your Autistic Youth to Successful Adulthood 2023-09-17


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VictorR submitted a new resource:

Launching Your Autistic Youth to Successful Adulthood - Everything You Need to Know About Promoting Independence and Planning for the Future

The transition from high school to adulthood is one of the most challenging times for young people on the autism spectrum. What will happen when all their familiar teachers, educational assistants and friends disappear after graduation? Who will replace them in the adult world? How will they manage this drastic change?

Drawing on her experiences as the mother of a child on the autism spectrum and a child psychiatrist, Katharina Manassis shares common transition-related challenges and offers...

Read more about this resource...
Chapter List:


Part 1: Challenges and Goals for Transition
  • Chapter 1: Challenges with the Transition to Adulthood in ASD
  • Chapter 2: Setting Goals: Who Defines Successful Transition?

Part 2: How Can Parents Foster a Successful Transition?
  • Chapter 3: Promoting Independence
  • Chapter 4: Optimizing Education
  • Chapter 5: Optimizing Employment
  • Chapter 6: Promoting Physical and Mental Health
  • Chapter 7: Promoting Social Adaptation
  • Chapter 8: A Summary of Helpful Supports

Part 3: Preparing for the Future
  • Chapter 9: Planning for the Long Term: Financial Aspects
  • Chapter 10: Planning for the Long Term: Social Aspects
  • Chapter 11: Resilience, Realistic Hope, and Avoiding Burnout

Review #38

I was originally going to review this one right after The Loving Push (Review #36; The Loving Push) since the two seem to go hand-in-hand, but this one ended up taking longer to complete because it was more technical in nature, and admittedly, not as relevant for me, especially the early portions about school and setting up / advocating for supports. That being said, I am glad to have finished reading it, as the later portions in particular are more applicable to a wider audience.

I was intrigued by this books’ author – she is a professor of child psychiatry who has written a number of other books (including one on CBT with children), and was/is a single mother of an autistic child, and so she’s writing from a rather different perspective than many other authors, who are usually writing as a psychologist, or as an autistic person.

Whereas The Loving Push provides a higher level overview of parenting and support concepts, this book, primarily looking at the teenaged years into the 20s, provides a lot of ideas and suggestions on things to consider and to plan for, and is illustrated with some examples. Each chapter also concludes with a summary, which is helpful in distilling the key ideas since the style of the writing is, in my opinion, a bit technical and not particularly conversational / memorable.

One aspect that I really appreciated was a number of tables and charts that can be helpful for explaining things to someone who is autistic (e.g. different type of authority figures and what is appropriate in terms of interacting with each), as well as lists that can help an autistic person and their network identify what works for them (e.g. different types of living options, from the now rare institutionalization at one end, to independent living, with friends or family checking in occasionally at the other end – and noting that there’s a lot more demand for the various assisted living arrangements, so if that is what is desired, to get on waitlists as soon as possible and identify interim measures).

Something that I found unusual was that she mentions the change from seeing a pediatrician to seeing a general practitioner (GP) as something that can be challenging for a youth – but I’m wondering if that might be Ontario-specific, or specific to those with a childhood diagnosis / identified as having special support needs because to my recollection/understanding, even as a five or six year old I was seeing my family doctor / GP. But the idea of having someone who can kind of serve as a case manager and put different pieces together is nice.

The future planning part at the end, including drawing up a will (particularly important where someone has more support needs), and that one would likely wish to review and revise it over time as circumstances change is one that was nice to see, as it tackles the often avoided question of how to prepare for the inevitable, and there, the author also reminds us to keep in mind longer term goals – so to consider not just what happens if we (someone who supports an autistic person) were to pass away today, but to consider the different life stages and needs of the autistic person in setting up a trust and/or identifying persons to provide support going forward.

Score: 6.0/6.0 (recommended general reading for anyone, and recommended in particular for parents, siblings, and other supporters of teens and young adults on the spectrum)

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