What Happens to Autistic Kids When They Grow Up? NYT

Discussion in 'Parenting News' started by TerryJ2, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    This was an EXCELLENT article! I couldn't put it down. And I was so sad and elated at Justin's strides! I actually had tears in my eyes by the end. I hope that more of these programs sprout up across the nation/worldwide!
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes. It was well written, not the slice off the top that most reporters do. And a great subject, too.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My favorite quote was: 'Why are you interrupting my independence?'. (And I was crying by the end too.)
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    There were so many quotes I fell in love with. I loved that one as well as "I prefer to move to the apartment" and his dad's response, "I prefer to move to the apartment too" (or something like that) - lol. That one had me rolling!
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    'Marriage,' he said, drawing out his words in his exaggerated style, 'is too comp-li-cat-ed.'

    No joke, Justin.

    Yup, I too was leaking tears by the end. What a wonderful article. Thank you!!!
  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Excellent article! It would be wonderful if all people on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum were given the opportunity to participate in programs like the one Justin was in. difficult child 1 emailed this article to me because Justin and his brother, difficult child 2, have much in common.

    difficult child 2 is currently living in a federally funded housing complex for disabled adults. It is in a relatively safe neighborhood, within walking distance of the community college he attends. It is also on a bus line and close to a grocery store, hospital, post office, bank, etc... Although there wasn't any sort of program like the one Justin attended in our area, we found creative ways to help difficult child 2 become as independent as possible. To make a long story short, as soon as an apartment became available, we had the school use it to teach and reinforce ADL's. We let difficult child 2 stay overnight when he felt comfortable and husband would pick him up in the morning and drive him to school. Gradually difficult child 2 spent more and more time in the apartment and less time in our home. husband and I began to step aside and told difficult child 2 that while we'll always be here for him, he will feel much more like an adult when he doesn't need to rely on us for help with day to day issues. We taught him to call his "life coach" and other supports we put in place for him.

    We learned so much from this experience. The biggest surprise was that with enough supports in place, difficult child 2 is able to live on his own. He is doing very well academically and is the only person we know who looks forward to attending Saturday and Sunday classes! He can use the coin op washer and dryers without assistance, prepare simple meals in his microwave, get to school on time by himself, etc... While he still needs help managing money, planning his meals, and organizing his belongings, we are delighted, just totally amazed at how far he has come!

    on the other hand, he continues to struggle socially and doesn't have any friends. He doesn't understand social cues and talks non stop even when no one is listening or everyone is obviously bored. If given a choice, he'll spend his free time much the way he did when he was a young child, playing "house" with his monkey puppet, watching Curious George movies, etc.. He is easily frustrated, has a quick temper and still "tantrums" when things don't go the way he wants them to go.

    difficult child 2 has never had any sort of paying job. He spent several summers volunteering at the Senior Center in town but staff treated him more like a young child rather than like a young adult. Staff didn't expect much out of him and he responded by acting like the young child they treated him as. difficult child 2 believes that when he graduates college, he'll find a high paying job taking care of primates. In reality, even if supports find him a job, because of his inability to deal with changes in routine, minor stressful situations, we're not sure if he'll be able to handle any sort of work issue without totally falling apart. Hopefully, we're wrong!

    I could go on and on and on about this subject! Just checked the time and realize I need to get moving! Terry, thanks so much for posting this! SFR
  8. Terry,

    Thanks for posting this thread. The article is a wonderful one; and more positive publicity means more possibilities for our folks.
    I can't believe that difficult child is now in his junior year of college. Independent living seems so far away, but work seems more and more possible every day.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    NYT does good in-depth pieces. WSJ used to but they're getting biased now. And the articles are shorter.