Friday, July 13, 2012

Moving on...And Moving Out

A big question on the mind of many young adults with high functioning autism is gaining independence.  For many, this is a very difficult question indeed.  Autism presents many challenges for both children and parents. Aspirations that are shared by NT young adults, such as moving out, getting a place of their own, are much more complicated.

In my case, I am nearing the end of college.  By the end of this year, I will have my Bachelor Degree.  Sometime next year, I will finally move out and get a place of my own.  The notion of gaining independence, while challenging, is not as difficult for me as it would be for many on the high functioning end of the spectrum.  

Now, I offer something that I have said repeatedly on my radio programs in recent weeks: everyone on the autism spectrum is different than one another.  What might work for one person might not work for another.   As much as I would like to say it, there is no manual for autism.  

Before despairing, remember that living as an NT is difficult to.  For the autistic individual who feels that no one understands them, try to remember that most NT's don't understand each other either.  You don't have to look very far.  Just look at the current presidential race.  Republican and Democrats are at each other's throats and have been that way for a long time and will probably continue to be that way for years to come.  These are NTs who have very different ideas of how things should be done.  Both sides have different belief systems, and many claim not to understand each other.  So my message to those who effected by the spectrum, try to think of this example when things get hard.

So, going back now to the topic of independent living; I don't have all the answers to your problems.  What I can say is that you are not the only one with these difficulties.  There are many people impacted by autism.  So, if you would like, leave comments with any concerns you might have about independent living with high functioning autism.  Who knows: if I don't have the answers, maybe another one of my readers will.  I believe that under the right conditions with the right support group, and individual on the autism spectrum can literally change the world.  For some, that change starts right here: with The Voice from the Spectrum.  It starts with many difficulties that I have now overcome.

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