When are you going to grow up?

Most people can’t wait to reach eighteen, move out of their parents’ house, and be independent adults. Many autistics have the same dream, but it may not be a practical option. Why not? Because autism is a developmental disorder which can make it difficult or impossible for some autistics to live on their own. Others may need extra time to mature before they are ready to move into their own place. And still others may be perfectly happy living with their parents.

Autism tends to take society’s standards and expectations and throw them out the window. Most parents expect their children to go off to college and never live at home again. Parents of autistics tend to take a slightly different view—they hope their kids will be able to attend college and maybe even live on their own one day. Of course, depending on the severity of the autism, some parents must face the reality that their kids will never be able to go to college or live by themselves.

This sounds pretty bleak for the autistic, right? Well, there again, you have to look at from a different perspective. For most people, they would go nuts living with their parents indefinitely. For autistics, it’s not always such a bad life. You know there are people nearby who love you and can help you if you’re having a day where you can barely function. You can rely on people who understand you to provide the support and assistance you need. Most likely, your parents will give you as much freedom as you’re able to handle, so you don’t feel like they’re trying to hold you back or keep you from growing up.

Life with autism is a challenge. There’s no denying that, no matter what perspective you look at it from. Simple, everyday things can be difficult or overwhelming for an autistic. Knowing your child may never be the independent adult you’d always dreamed can be overwhelming for the parents. But autism is a fact of life, a way of life, and it can make a person disabled or it can make a person differently abled. Of course, society may consider a differently abled person disabled, but like with success, you have to view it on an individual basis. All autistics have talents and deficits, just like any other person. Autism just increases the chances that your child may never “grow up” in the standard way and move out as soon they reach adulthood.

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