What can we most hope for our children with autism as they become adults and want employment, a career, and life satisfaction? What can we most hope for, thus, their wellbeing and happiness living in this world.
Resources are limited and sometimes nonexistent. Today’s situation isn’t a pretty one for many who struggle with challenges, yet these folks want employment and/or to participate and belong in a meaningful way. Individuals with their advocates are often overwhelmed with obstacles surrounding employment, supports, management and coworker interactions, social interaction, etc. Unfortunately, the current scenario for many results: in languishing at home, under stimulated, taking medications, or self medicating to relieve suffering and depression.
I don’t believe that is the best we can offer this group, a life of to relieve pain or to exist playing video games most of the day.
I want us to see the possibilities for the future of our young, to recognize their extraordinary strengths and talents in creativity, the arts, and yes, emotional capability, such as, empathy. I discovered that many feel deep emotions, yet, sorting through and responding was the difficult task. With the right tools many can develop strengths, pursue certifications/training, university studies, have a job or a career, become self employed, and live interdependently in this world.
I think the thesis that the best we can do is accept the current outcomes we see in this world: under and unemployment, failure at higher education, or isolated or disconnected is morally false and politically a dead end.
I think it is ethically imperative to assist people to get moving in their preferred interests, preparation, and direction on a career path.
The problem is we educators aren’t taught the full story about the benefit of a student’s strengths and talents. Nor are we taught about their deep passion beyond the linear progression of leaning and receiving a HS diploma, certification or a college degree.
We need to retool our educational system to teach students how to access the full range of their strengths and capabilities. To do this will require all of us to see their strengths and be their believing mirrors. We must put forth effort to create positive change. When one’s life situation improves, we all benefit in society.