Teenagers and Autism
The diagnosis of Autism can come at any age. With science so advanced, doctors have been able to diagnose spectrum disorders at earlier ages. This is extremely beneficial for the child and parents in order for treatment and therapy to begin immediately for a better quality of life. Communication can be difficult for child to parent and vice versa in the early stage of diagnosis in a younger child. In a teenager, connecting through these tough years can already be difficult, but for a teenager with autism the connection can almost be non existent. Knowing what your teenager needs, the reality of what expectations can do, and how to communicate with your teen will provide a greater understanding for parents.
Teenagers with autism can turn into adults who are scientists, artist, musicians or even educators. This transition from teenage years to young adult will not always be easy but there are options and ideas along the way to help with these milestones. Depending on the spectrum disorder your teen has, it will dictate what kind of therapy will be effective. Teenagers without autism can be difficult to communicate with, so having a teenager with autism will be even more of a challenge. Knowing the upcoming milestones such as puberty, sexual curiosity, and the social pressures of drugs and alcohol are all very real events. These events can be minimized into an understanding for your teen with the treatment and tools. Parenting a child with social and communication issues can be a trying scenario. Being prepared for these life events is the best coping mechanism.
Often time parents dive into literature and find themselves drowning in it. The literature for autism is massive field. Becoming overwhelmed by too much information and being unable to process it is a likelihood if too much is given. Literature is should be informative, and used as a guide. A teen with autism won’t act exactly how a book described. With a spectrum disorder there can be similarities in behavior, but there is never a definite. This disorder ranges from mild to severe. Knowing this, any literature should be used in conjunction with other resources. Other parents are great resources for parent a teen with autism. Sharing the struggles and the solutions can often help. Other parents may have found certain tools, or therapies that have helped them which can be useful information. The idea is to be involved with your teen but on a level you both understand. There can be no unrealistic expectations.
Frustrations can mount in parenting no matter what the age. The teenage years are formative and can have some of the biggest life changes which also can be the scariest. Especially to a teen that may not be able to full cope with all the aspects that go with it. There are other parents out there coping with similar issues, support group and professionals who can help with these transitions.