When people say that kids don’t come with an instruction manual I am reminded of the very first college student with Autism that I ever worked with. This individual came to me because unfortunately kids can be cruel, school can be intimidating, and being “different” isn’t easy for anyone.
Can you imagine for a minute not feeling connected to the world around you?
Rules that everyone else seems to know are vague and unclear to you and just don’t make any sense. This is the unfortunate experience of many students entering higher education with a diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). So what can parents do to prepare and support their loved ones during this transition from the safety of home into the big wide world?
Accept that things will be difficult at times.
Be prepared for your loved one to get their feelings hurt.
Higher Education is developed with Neuro-typical individuals in mind.
You cannot save them all of the time. (Learning from mistakes is crucial)
Asking for help (for them, for yourself) is not a sign of weakness, but strength.
Success is sometimes measured in inches not miles.
Take care of yourself to be at your best for them.
If you do it for them, who will do it for them when you are gone?
Remember that different is not less.
Look for reasons to celebrate, not to find fault.
Now, I realize many of these things are easier said than done when you have been protecting your loved one and helping them their entire life up to this point. You've spent countless hours helping with homework, fighting with the schools for that extra help, and protecting them from a world that doesn’t understand. Remember, perfection does not exist. You will step in and take over sometimes when you shouldn’t. The best advice I can give is to accept the fact that somethings are beyond your control, and that’s ok. You have put in the work, now let them strive to make the world their own.
At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX we specialize in Autism Counseling to help you and your loved ones during these trying times. You are not alone and you don’t have to have all of the answers. If we can be of service to you, please reach out.
Learn more about the Autism Counseling services we offer.
Contact Us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer your questions.