Adulthood on the Autism Spectrum
Creating the guide was a community effort that involved several organizations throughout Alberta, parent focus groups, and input from adults on the autism spectrum. Their stories and those of the families are heard through case studies at the end of each chapter and let the reader hear about the experiences of being an adult on the spectrum. Art work created by those on the spectrum is featured on the cover and on each chapter divider of the guide. Highlighting the artistic talents of these individuals lets people see the gifts this community has to offer.
What do we have to consider when planning a meaningful and good life for an adult on the spectrum? We need to address:
· legal aspects such as estate planning, guardianship, and accessing government assistance.
· life choices such as career planning, education, and employment or other alternatives
· community integration, recreational activities, safety issues and living arrangements
· the concerns of caregivers, married couples, or relationships that those on the spectrum may want to have
This new guide covers all of these aspects in an easy-to-read format written in language that is accessible to all. And what should be our goals in planning a life for an adult on the spectrum? The answer is the same goals as we would wish for any person – a safe home, good health, inclusion in the community, enjoyment of leisure activities, meaningful relationships, work or activities that are interesting, and a secure future. Families need to know that they can thrive, not just survive, when the right supports are in place.
I believe this guide will help many families in planning a meaningful life for their loved one on the spectrum. It was also our intent when writing the guide that people on the spectrum would be able to read it. Professionals, service providers, and anyone who thinks they are on the spectrum or that thinks a family member might be undiagnosed would also benefit from reading this guide.
Emotional as this writing journey was for me, I now feel I am better equipped to plan a good adult life for my two children who are now 10 and 12. Adulthood is right around the corner. It’s never too early to start thinking about the future. Creating a good future takes time, planning and effort. Thank you Autism Calgary Association for having the vision to give families a tool to help them be successful in creating a meaningful life for their children.
Note: Adult Life with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Self-Help Guide is available by contacting The Autism Calgary Association at (403) 350-5033 Fax: (403) 250-2625
Editorial Policy: Autism Awareness Centre believes that education is the key to success in assisting individuals who have autism and related disorders. Autism Awareness Centre’s mission is to ensure our extensive autism resource selection features the newest titles available in North America. Note that the information contained on this web site should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice.