Growing Up With Autism

What is autism? Who can have autism? How can autism impact Life? Do people with autism live normally? Is autism curable? Who treats autism? let’s discuss autism here.

Adolescents & Autism Disucssion

an autism teen smiling
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Knowing how challenging adolescence can be, it is normal for any parent to worry about their teenager. When you have a child with autism, you may feel even more anxious thinking about their future. How will a child with autism traverse this complex world? Will an adolescent with autism be able to take care of themselves and enjoy life at the same time? The good thing is, counseling for both parents and teens is now available for autism and in various forms. 

Preparing For Adulthood

What entails autism? Why is autism in teens and adolescents an important subject to tackle? And how do parents manage their teen’s autism? Here, we will discuss more on how it is living with a child diagnosed with autism.

Puberty will be a different experience for each person, even for adolescents with autism. It is a time for teens with autism to use their strengths and develop the skills they need in life. It is not just about body and hormonal changes for people diagnosed with autism or ASD. Being a teen with autism and preparing for adulthood can be an overwhelming experience. Teens with autism have to adapt to changes in their routine, environment, and demands all at once. Autism is a condition that requires patience and diligence. 

Most adolescents will have memories and experiences that made them into the adults they are now. This is not the same for those with autism. Children with autism have different experiences from those their age. Your child with autism may not have the usual relationships as he was growing up. 

Being a teen with autism and preparing for adulthood can be an overwhelming experience.
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What about adolescents with autism?

Different counseling strategies are available for common questions parents have:

  • What is it like managing typical teenage rebellion with autism and other behavioral issues?
  • Will adolescents with autism understand the importance of personal hygiene or picking out the right clothes?
  • How do autistic teens and with social difficulties make friends in high school?
  • Will adolescents with autism handle adult responsibilities, like housekeeping and managing bills, well?

Social Skills Training For Teens With Autism

Some teens with autism may have difficulties in social situations. Teens with autism may find it even more challenging as they need to communicate with unfamiliar people. Social skills training will help in counseling autistic teens with basic social rules. The counselor will help autistic adolescents with autism develop communication skills, understand social norms, and solve common problems.

Social skills training is done either individually or in a group. Counselors will help teens with autism pick up non-verbal cues. This will help autistic teens to develop social thinking as they see other people’s perspectives. This will also enable teens with autism to practice their social skills with the guidance of a counselor. 

a teenager in a coffee shop
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy for teens with autism who have difficulty adapting to a situation. This counseling technique focuses on a person’s thoughts and feelings as it affects their behavior. It teaches autistic teens with autism to replace maladaptive thoughts with more positive ones. 

The CBT process begins with identifying the negative thoughts affecting an autistic person’s behavior. Counselors may also teach relaxation techniques for anxiety in teens and adolescents with autism. The goal of CBT is to teach conscious and effective coping strategies. These strategies become easier for an adolescent with autism over time.

Group Activities

As children become older, they develop a sense of autonomy. The generation gap becomes more evident, and suddenly, your teen with autism would rather spend time with their peers than with you. Under the supervision of a counselor, your teen with autism can model their peer’s behavior. In the presence of others, your teenager may be more motivated to learn and participate. Autism is a condition that can effectively be managed through group activities. Your teen with autism can improve by participating in activities that encourage interaction with others. 

Group therapy focuses on specific skills and hobbies. Some group therapies aim to improve siblings or classmate relationships. Exposing children with autism to different people will help them form their perspectives.

Independent Living Skills Training

It’s impractical to give your full attention and efforts to your child with autism. But soon they will need skills to help them stand on their own. Adolescence is the best period to teach them basic life skills to get them to function on their own. This will help teens with autism engage in more activities at home and in the community. 

Just like with social skills, adolescents can learn life skills through education and guided practice. Learning more complex activities is also important for children and teens with autism. Some examples are maintaining the house, driving, and walking around the community. Teens with autism will be guided to do these activities until they can manage by themselves.

Transitioning From School To The Real World Setting

Adolescents attend school to learn knowledge, skills, and behaviors in preparation for the bigger world outside. Not all adolescents learn these things easily like most, and this may be the case for those with autism. Adolescents with autism may struggle to socialize with their peers and future colleagues. 

It’s important for teens with autism to start while they are young. One strategy is to have their non-autism-diagnosed peers mediate their interactions. Another is to supervise adolescents with autism to build a peer network with similar interests as them. Adolescents can also be exposed to work and other practices to give them an idea of their future life. 

Autism is a condition that needs awareness and attention. If you are parent of a child with autism, learning more about dealing with autism and strategies for your child to tackle his condition more effectively is tremendously beneficial.