Motherhood is hard. Every mother out there wants nothing but the best for her children. She needs to make sure that she is giving it her all. She doesn’t do it for praise, but only for the sake of her children’s happiness and well-being. Being a mother is a 24/7 job. It is one where you are emotionally, physically, and mentally invested with no breaks or days off. For moms of autistic children, there are even more concerns to take into considering. One of which is the question, “What happens when autistic children grow up?” Another is “What is autism in adults like”?
One of the most common disabilities of our times is Autism. It affects 1 in 59 children, according to the National Autism Association. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. If you mention autism to most people think of children with autism, but it is a lifelong diagnosis. Children with autism grow up to be adults.
When Autistic Children Grow Up
Parents need to work hard to learn everything there is to know about their child’s condition. It is their responsibility to provide their children with chances of a great life in a judgment-free environment. As an autistic child grows into an adult, there are certain things every mother should be aware of:
Autistic children can enjoy a healthy adult life
It is a common misconception that autistic children don’t feel emotions. Although the case will vary from one child to the other, their difficulties with social interactions do not make it any less possible for them to build relationships and fall in love. As Special Bridge, an online dating website for mentally and physically challenged people, explains:
“One of the challenges that disabled people have is that they often have difficulties with finding others with the same disabilities.”
Although not applicable to all cases, most individuals want to meet people with the same challenges, someone who can understand their unique challenges and perspectives. Using a platform such as Special Bridge can provide your adult child with Autism, provide a safe environment to create friendships, and even find love in the process!
Strengths can be developed
It is only reasonable that you, as a mother, will be consumed in attending to your child’s disability. Throughout their childhood, you have focused on helping them develop social interactions and helping with extreme behaviors.
However, a more positive way of dealing with Autism is to try to put the same effort into developing your child’s strengths. Many of the most celebrated artists, mathematicians, and all-round geniuses of our lifetime have turned out to be somewhere along the autism spectrum.
Focus on this fact and pay attention to what your child does best or what his/her inclinations are. If your child is interested in numbers, work on developing their mathematical skills. Seek advice from professionals early on to focus on enhancing this talent. This way, you will be assured that you are giving your child the best chance they need to live a life of fulfillment.
It is essential to maintain a safe environment
Unlike the case with other children, children with Autism will still need their safe contained environment well into their adulthood. Just because they are older does not mean they will no longer need the support they have always needed as children. If your child has frequent meltdowns and acted violently when angry, they will probably still act the same way as adults. Continue working with your child on areas that are safety concerns, so as an adult, they will be better able to cope.
If your autistic child struggles with specific sensory inputs, then you want their home as an adult to help accommodate them. They may need different lighting, noise machines, and other sensory tools to make their home work for them. Autism in adults doesn’t go away. but can change to be less or more affecting for the individual.
You will need the aid of support groups
Generally speaking, parenthood gets harder as children grow up. Their problems get more complicated. Especially as a mother of an autistic child, there will come the days where you will feel overwhelmed and drained. Do yourself and your child a favor and find a support group where you can go and talk about your challenging days as well as your victories. You should not feel alone. Having an outlet will enable you to take care of your child in the best ways possible.
When Autistic Children Grow Up
Raising a child with Autism can indeed be very heavy on the heart and soul. However, always remind yourself that they are the same child as before their diagnosis. They deserve a happy and fulfilling life as much as anyone. While all children with Autism grow up to be autistic adults, it doesn’t mean they are any less your child. With a great relationship developed in childhood, you can continue to help your autistic child thrive in adulthood.