Your child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and you’re thinking about their future. They live with you right now, but you know well that you will not always be there for them. How independent can they be? Will they be able to live on their own?
The answers, of course, are different for everyone. Experts note that independence levels vary drastically from one person to the next, but they say unequivocally that someone with ASD may certainly be able to live an independent life. It may be nearly indistinguishable from someone without ASD.
Key areas to focus on
When considering their abilities and trying to help them develop the skills, they will need, some of the main areas to focus on include:
- Communication skills
- Awareness and determination
- Self-help skills and abilities
- Personal care
- Ability to address domestic needs and issues
- Problem resolution skills
- Money management skills
- Career opportunities
Again, these are different for each person. Some of those with ASD may develop at a different rate than their peers while still ending up with fulfilling careers and personal lives. Others may not. This is a question to ask your specific medical professionals and something your family needs to consider in your unique case.
Exploring your legal options
As you do this, it’s important to consider the legal options you have. What should your estate plan include? Do you need to pick a guardian? How can a special needs trust help with financial planning? Is there anything you can do today to help your child thrive in the future? These are all questions that are important to ask as you think through your options and your goals.