The ability to have reciprocal language interaction with others involving both receptive and expressive skills and an interest in social interaction are the prime indicators for long term successful outcome. Children with minimal learning and achievement issues have the best outcomes in terms of success in school and transitioning into adulthood. High IQ and language skills suggest future success as adults in terms of communication and social competency. These two skills are fundamental to finding the right jobs and appropriate loving relationships. as a parent, your greatest fear is that you will not always be around to care for your child. By looking at and preparing for the future your child will be ready to assume self care. Certainly some children and adults with ASDs require more support than others. Yet, the same strategies are needed for both.
The ability to initiate and maintain relationships is fundamental to long term success and overall happiness. Children who desire social contact yet are unable to do so tend to have long term social and emotional issues in the home and in the workplace. They tend to become frustrated, anxious and loose interest in making attachments to others.
Maladaptive behaviors that cause social and behavioral stress are also associated with less successful outcomes. If the child to adult transition is made more difficult by acting out or self injurious behaviors then compliance and job performance will be hindered and opportunities for employment will be limited.
The key is to identify and leverage skill sets and interests into job opportunities. Look for skills and interests even at young ages that will allow your child to find a job and allow successful transition into the adulthood. The right job placement will provide them the satisfaction and ability to pursue and hopefully achieve responsibility for their own care. Read the Wall Street Journal every week and scrapbook any information about job opportunities. Network with friends, neighbors, associates and coworkers. Ask them for job opportunity ideas and seek an entrepreneurial opportunity where you could start a business your child would be able to thrive in. Find out what inspires your child. What is he passionate about? His greatest chance for success is finding and performing a job that provides him social and financial opportunity as well as emotional support and satisfaction. This will make the transition to adulthood exciting, rewarding and less fearful for both of you.