Becoming independent

Among my daily worries I also have my long term worry. Will my son with Autism have an independent adult life? Will he get to move out? Will that be a group home? Or will he get an apartment? Who knows- maybe reaching for the stars he will find someone, get married, and maybe enjoy college!? But really I just want him to be happy and fulfilled in life, whatever that means for him.

I also don’t want to be fighting a 17 year old… or a 32 year old to wear deodorant or to put his dish in the dishwasher. So for the past few years I’ve been teaching both my boys basic life skills. For Mr. L I really have to break down the steps, act upbeat, positive, and stick to it. These basic skills have been:

  • Dressing themselves
  • Bathroom routines
  • Helping with laundry
  • Helping with meals
  • Cleaning their toy room
  • Buckling themselves in the car

But breaking down those chores can have a lot of steps. For example I can break down “helping with laundry”:

  • Helping mr. L put his dirty clothes in his basket
  • Helping mr. L hold a small pile of his clean folded clothes
  • Walking him to his room and keeping his clothes in his hands
  • Having him hold his clothes while I show him how to put them in his drawers
  • Walking next to him while he carries his clothes to his room
  • Having mr. L pull open his own drawer and then hold his clothes while I put them away
  • Mr. L carries his clothes and puts them away in the right spots
  • He can help me put the rags away
  • He can help me put towels away
  • He can put his clothes, the rags, and towels away with out me standing next to him
  • He can put other family member’s clothes on their beds

As far as laundry goes, mr. L and mr. C can also pull the clean clothes out of the dryer now, can switch the wash to the dryer with supervision, and are currently learning how to load the washer.

There are just so many steps and these steps can take weeks, months or years! But I feel like learning these things now when I can physically guide mr. L will benefit everyone in the long run. And if we get lucky and Mr. L gets to a point where he can move out I want him to know how to do the basic things already. I want things like dishes, cleaning a bathroom, and self hygiene to already be under his belt. Moving out is already a huge change, but having to learn how to boil pasta shouldn’t be another thing to have to learn then too.

Are you living independently? What are some things you wish you knew before you moved out? Do you have kids? What are you trying to teach them before they try to venture out into independence? Let me know in the comments below 🤓 and don’t forget to like and share!!!

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