Monday, February 7, 2011

Life After High School

I have been so busy lately that my blog as been neglected.  I do miss it, but my post this month of Hopeful Parents will explain why.

I so enjoy being a monthly contributor to Hopeful Parents.  The depth of talent of my fellow writers is truly awesome.  Each entry is a unique expression, and the moving stories I read each and every day never cease to impress upon me how fortunate I am to be included with such an amazing group of writers.  Christina Shaver is our founder, and she has done an amazing job creating this wonderful site.  I'm sure everyone the entire Hopeful Parents community feels the same

I'm well aware of the challenges faced by our young adults on the spectrum.  An overwhelming majority do not transition into to happy, successful, and productive members of their communities.  Many are not employed, do not live independently, and do not have a network of close friends and personal relationships.  This is true across the board, no matter what the family's economic status or the quality or the amount of support services that they have received throughout their lives.  

There is a limited amount of research in this area, but the results of these studies are consistent:  many young adults with autism are living unhappy lives isolated from peers lacking meaningful employment that allows them to live independently.  As a parent of a 17 year old with high function autism (a term a really dislike because it tells you nothing about the functioning leave of my son, but I use it for lack of a better word), this fact scares me beyond belief each and every time I think about it.

I  hope that Jacob will find the same opportunity in his life, to secure a job that combines his passions and his abilities as well as serving his community in a way that is meaningful and fulfilling.

Time will tell, but I'm a hopeful parent that he will.