Transform Triumphant recommended a book to me that really struck a chord. It is called : Quirky Kids:Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In-When to Worry and When Not To Worry by Perri Klass MD, and Eileen Costello, M.D. I, of course went to the chapter on post high school and young adults(which as usual is a bit meager). These words were helpful to me, in trying to see the post high school picture for a parent of a quirky child. I know that parenting an older difficult child is different but it is hard to anticipate in what way it is different and how to change my goal setting, approach and level of involvement. This chapter broke it down into some quick simple goals to understand and help difficult child work on. . Hope this strikes you as it has struck me. " Our main message about adult life, to which we will return again and again in this chapter, is this: On the one hand, adult life poses certain specific challenges-which, for some quirky kids, are especially difficult and, for some few, frankly impossible: -To live independently and care for yourself -To hold a job and support yourself -To maintain the human relationships you need to make you happy. These are tall orders, and not just for the quirky; they are the stuff of lifetime goals and internal struggles and a great deal of help seeking for many people. However, adult life offers considerably more scope for quirkiness than the rigid everybody-needs-to-be-good-at-everything sociology of childhood. Quirky adults can shape their worlds to fit themselves,choosing niches and platforms and hiding places and stages from an almost infinitely vast array of possibilities. Your job with your quirky child was at times to bend and rearrange his school so that his life fit better on his back. His job as an adult is to choose the work and the home and the social lives that fit him best and in which he functions most happily and most fully. These are the points identified,by the authors, to living independently. 1.Food: Every quirky adult should know how to prepare a few basic items and most important,know how to buy, store and prepare the things that he really likes to eat and drink regularly. If you know how to scramble an egg, construct your favorite kind of sandwich,make the kind of coffee you most like to drink, and prepare two or three of your favorite easy dinners,your ready for your diploma 2. Money: Make sure your child knows how money is transferred and stored(checks,cash cards,debit cards,credit cards) and make sure she has some sense of relatives sums. In other words,she should understand that spending ten dollars on a whim, or lending it to someone you know only slightly, is different from doing that with a thousand dollars. Explain how different bills are paid--the rent with a check left in the landlord's mailbox, the phone bill on line and so on. If she is going to have access to a credit line--either through credit cards or through a bank account cash reserve--make sure she understands that these debts accumulate interest at a high rate. 3.Medical care: Figure out how your child will get his health insurance. There's no easy answer to this(although anyone with a severe disability of any kind ought to be eligible for any of several programs)but it's not something that can safely be left up to most young adults,since the medical insurance world is a maze of confusing options, and most young adults believe they're immortal 4. Special medical care;Does your child know whom to call if her problems act up? If her medication stops working or starts to produce funny side effects? Be sure she's connected in all the ways she needs to be but shift some of the responsibility for making and keeping appointments to her, if she's ready. 5.Maintenance:Whom do you call when the toilet won't flush or the stove burner won't light or the wall starts to crumble? Well, many of us can remember calling our parents! Be available for consultations, but also make sure your child has a little basic grounding in changing a light bulb or tightening a loose screw. 6. Logistics of Daily life: Opening a bank account,registering to vote,renewing a driver's license---all of these are hard to figure out the first time around. Once again, quirky kids ane the young adults they become often have a harder time figuring out even the things that come naturally to other people. The more you can help them break life down into manageable tasks and then get through those tasks, the easier it will be for them to keep safe, functional, and well connected. You may not like the way your adult offspring lives. You may be troubled or sad or mildly disgusted. at the arrangements he makes for himself, at the state of his kitchen or bathroom, or his junk food dependence, or the rag he calls a bathrobe. For the most part keep quiet about these things. Yes, you need to be there as a back up and resource and refuge,and you're certainly entitled to your opinion. But when your child starts to live independently as an adult, give her some space. Stand back a little--harder for parents who know their children often have a more difficult time. But independence is independence. As long as there doesn't seem to be anything unsafe about the situation, you need to let your child make these adult attempts and explorations. I will type the closing 3 chapters when my fingers rest. I just thought it was a good jumping off point for those of us who wonder when are they ready? What do I close my eyes to? Hope it was something you can use to get your difficult child's ready to move on.