In a previous post (http://www.disabilityliving.ca/disability-canada-preparing-your-special-needs-child-life-after-high-school/) we discussed ways you could prepare your child with disabilities/special needs for life after high school; this post will feature ways to prepare your son or daughter for independent living.
There comes a time in almost every individual’s life when the desire to live independently from family emerges.
We understand that this desire cannot always be accommodated for individuals with special needs or those with certain disabilities. However, there are options for semi-independent living for people with disabilities. And in some cases, people with disabilities/special needs may be able to live independently.
What are some options for semi-independent/independent living for someone with special needs?
Here are a few examples of living accommodation options:
– Live at home
– Live in a group home with “live-in or periodic support”
– “Live in a community created specifically for people with developmental disabilities”
– Live independently (with occasional care)
– Live in a “shared” space
– “Live in a larger space with more residents and more assistance”
– Institutionalized living (for people who may hurt others or themselves)
As you can see, there are plenty of options for post-high school living for kids with special needs/disabilities. Which one would most appeal to your son or daughter? Once you have that information and can determine what option is most appropriate, you can begin visiting residential spaces and making plans for your child’s future.
How can you make sure your son or daughter is prepared for post high school life?
Here are a few tips for preparing your child for adulthood:
1. Locate a support group for your child entering this new phase of life — If there are no such support groups, think of starting your own (http://www.disabilityliving.ca/disability-canada-how-to-start-your-own-support-group/).
2. Invest in Occupation Therapy — An Occupational Therapist can “teach your child the social and vocational skills” the workplace demands.
3. Consider counseling — A counselor can communicate life skills that your child will need as an adult. A counselor can also inform your son or daughter of issues such as “nutrition, obesity, contraception, alcohol, etc.”
How can you minimize worrying about your child with a disability when he or she is living independently?
There really is no way to totally prevent worry. However, worry can be controlled. You might also take measures to give yourself peace of mind, such as arranging for your child to live close to home. Also, counseling is never a bad idea — perhaps investing in counseling for yourself through this transitional time would be helpful.
Is your special needs child living independently?
If yes, let us know how that is going and tell us about coping methods that are working for you.
*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority. Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.
Let’s Talk About It
What are your expectations for your special needs child after high school?
What is your greatest fear about your son or daughter living apart from you? What can you do to control that fear and comfort yourself?